I have a neighbor – his name is Dick Walther – and I call him the bionic man. He is going to be 93 in June and runs circles around most people. His level of energy, enthusiasm and his positive disposition is contagious. He was just highlighted in the “Hero’s Issue” of Tennis Magazine and is the winner of USTA’s 2014 Senior’s Service Award and inducted into the USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame. He is a former engineer and fought in World War II and started playing tennis in the 1940’s. However, it wasn’t until after retirement that he enrolled himself in a Professional Tennis Registry certification course and began coaching at Kent Place School… at the age of 75. He also started the Summit Tennis Association and revitalized and revived multiple tennis courts across the city to repair them for more active play and give back to the community. He still plays in the USTA League event in the 90-95 age group. Dick inspires me.
Dick is the perfect example of the premise mind over matter (my daily mantra in my classes and discussion in a previous blog post) and the notion it is never too late to make things happen.
Once again quoting Deepak Chopra’s book “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,” based on quantum physics, he advises on how to “defeat entropy,” to “believe” enough to control physical changes and to “reinterpret your body” to create renewal. By practicing these philosophies, we can elongate our lives by perpetuating healthy physical reactions within our body, starting on a cellular level. Chopra’s premise is that the more positive our mind is, the more beneficial the effect it will have on our body.
For example, as a society, we naturally anticipate retirement and have a mental image of what that entails. We tend to fall into that role and our minds and bodies begin to shut down – thinking that is the end of our active life. It is believed this has a direct correlation with a decline in health and increase in disease. Those societies that are not privy to retirement – ie. the farmer who has no choice to feed his family, will work until he can’t work anymore. His mind frame never shifts to “it’s time for my steady decline until I reach the end of the road.” They naturally live a more active, longer life because they never consider the alternative. Similar to the story of Dick. He has never quit or believed it is time to stop.
If you believe in it, it can happen. If you visualize yourself doing it, it becomes real. If you are fearful or convince yourself it’s not possible, chances are, you will have a difficult time and your body will shut down. By keeping your mind in a constant state of functionality, your body will naturally follow.
So just when you think you want to give up, or it’s too late to make a difference, think of Dick.
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