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Are You the Tom Brady of Your Field?

Category: Health and Wellness Issues

January 3, 2023 – Tom Brady, QB of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (or cousin Tom as we call him in our family), is 45.5 years old, having a pretty darn good season, with his team atop the NFC South standings. By all historical measures, he is a freak, performing as well or better than his peers who are 10 and 20 years younger. But he is not the only “older” person who is breaking records in a younger person’s field. How about you, are you still going strong in some vocation or avocation, astounding your peers with your ability to hang in there?

The NY TImes just profiled a group of senior aged citizens who are doing great in some physically and mentally demanding jobs. They wrote about Jesse Izaguirre – a paramedic who is 70, an 84 year old NYC City tour guide, a doctor who is 85, and a 95 year old artist, among others. Earl Pollock, who at 82 is still in the logging business, summed it up this way: “I keep the job on my mind 24/7, I guess I’ll stay till I can’t get up in the morning.” The Times used Census Data to help identify these outstanding specimens of tenacity.

The upshot – we’re not finished yet!

The people reading this Blog are mostly 55 and over- a lot younger than the “old” people profiled in the Times’ article. So it is clear we are not finished yet, whether we are retired, still working, or somewhere in between (many of us). Let’s look at some of the factors that might come into play for people to be successful beyond the normal age in a job.

Tom Brady is an excellent example. His regimen for staying fit and healthy is legendary. Reports are that he works out 4 or 5 times a week, using resistance bands, massage balls, and vibrating foam rollers. He also does mental exercises to keep sharp, along with mindfulness exercises. He mostly eats plant based foods and tries to limit trans and saturated fats. Clearly he is not going to prevail against the young monsters trying to smash him into the field without a lot of hard work and preparation.

We can do the same – if we work at it. Schedule regular physical exercise appropriate for our age. Yoga, pilates, regular stretching are all great things to do. If you can afford a personal trainer or nutritionist, that would be a plus, even if you do it for a limited time to get recommendations for the activities you like to do. Many people go to the gym, but they have no real plan for what exercises or equipment they will use. The results could even be negative, resulting in injury or loss of flexibility. Sitting around and not getting any exercise, and eating the wrong foods, is not going to help us set any records.

Mentally there is plenty we can do to stay sharp. Learning to play an instrument, speak a new language, take up a new hobby, and word games are all great. Anything that breaks up the normal patterns and makes you think in new ways is probably going to help slow down our aging brains.

Some good examples

We want to hear about people you know who are blowing out the age curve in a given activity. We know a few too, all of whom work at staying young and flexible. My brother Mike shoots his age (72) or better quite often in golf, and he is playing as well or better than when he played on his college team. My tennis partner Justin is 89. Last summer we won a lot more doubles matches than we lost, thanks to his durability and tennis smarts. Lucy Burdette’s writing pals are still going strong. One is in her 80’s, is on the best sellers list, and writes 2 and 1/2 books a year! For that matter, it seems like most of our political leaders are long past youthfulness. But whether you like their politics or not, most of them remain amazingly effective in their jobs.

So who do you know who is outperforming their age stereotype? And what are their secrets? Please share your examples in the Comments section below. We could all use these good examples in our own lives. Obviously there is a certain amount of luck involved too – avoiding accidents and illnesses and the like. As Dianne McIntyre, the 76 year old dancer put it in the Times article, “Longevity is really a gift.”

Posted by Admin on January 2nd, 2023


  1. And he has lost his family because he refused to retire. Not all positive. As an attorney I saw this often in couples when one was so obsessed with their job that the spouse felt abandoned and moved on to a more balanced life.

    by Patricia — January 3, 2023

  2. And for those of us who don’t aspire to be a Tom Brady: Barbara Walters. Talk about grabbing the ball and blasting through the opposition, inspiring and mentoring generations into her nineties. But even she admitted her family life suffered at the expense of her achievements. Gotta have that balance if you want it all.

    by Daryl — January 4, 2023

  3. Still think I am!! However, getting smarter in my old age!! Having a Lady around brings a smile to my Face!!

    by BillyBogey — January 4, 2023

  4. I started writing books about retirement after leaving my primary career in academia (I taught Microbiology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Healthy Psychology and ran the science/math department at a community college). My husband had several corporate transfers, so I started thinking about all the Boomers, and where we (I’m in that demographic) would retire, and how to make the “rest of our lives the best of our lives.” I wanted to write books that were holistic, not just about the financial issues affecting retirement (and my husband is a CPA, so that helped).

    And, I had what I call the “5Ps” to increase my odds of success: Product (a book people would want); People (a huge demographic for my books); Persistence (I know it’s not easy to get a traditional publisher, but I felt I would get one, and persevered); Platform (I gave free talks about retirement at local business meetings that were looking for speakers, so I would have groups I could contact once I had a book to promote – and publishers want to know you have a way to sell your books), Patience (it took a little time to find an agent who would represent me – I used “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published” to write my book proposal, and Passion (loved the topic, and knew I’d be helping my audience, as well as myself!).
    So, have published five books, beginning in 2004, and my last one was just published in 2022. I’m also the “Healthy Living” columnist for a magazine that is directed primarily toward Boomers.

    by Jan Cullinane — January 5, 2023

  5. I have no desire to keep working, just retired at 62 and damn happy about it. 44 yrs of solid work, I’m ready to relax…

    by keith — January 5, 2023

  6. I’m part of the opposite.

    I was forced into early retirement by a disability (stroke).

    My new “career” is recovery. It’s more than a full-time job relearning stuff like walking, driving, using my right side, etc. And I’m one of the lucky ones — I am improving (slowly) and I have a loving, supportive wife.

    Well, work if you must, but keep in mind that life is short and we’re fragile beings.

    by Scott R Lucado — January 5, 2023

  7. My grandmother lived to be 99.5, of sound body and mind right up until the last month. She was 4’9” and 175 lbs. At that time I was an aerobics instructor, mother, had a full time job frantically running in the rat race. I remember asking my grandmother whether having “piano legs” as she called them, bothered or embarrassed her. “No, they get me where I need to go.” And that was her philosophy of life. She walked everywhere and took public transportation into her nineties, ate plain foods although to excess, didn’t drink, wasn’t religious, had no chronic diseases and didn’t sweat the small stuff. There’s no plaque on a building in her honor, or book in the library, but she raised 4 great kids while working full time. So every time someone dangles a carrot in front of me today, or dares me to keep up with the Joneses, I think of her.

    by Daryl — January 6, 2023

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