Living to 150: Ease on Down the Road
With a subject as broad as living to 150 years, I feel like a snail looking to climb Mt. Everest. Overwhelming? Maybe. Perhaps HooplaHa can serialize this; there’s much to say. Back in 1965, as a sophomore in pharmacy school, I decided not to age traditionally. That meant taking 30 supplements and anti-oxidants a day which I’ve been doing since. I tweak my daily cocktail as new research dictates. More importantly, I believe the aging gig is an attitude; a mindset to think and act young. For years, I told myself while meditating on the Shark River jetty in Belmar, NJ that I was not going to age typically; the power of positive thinking. When I was 60 (six years ago), I auditioned for Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ and got pretty far. A few weeks before that, my son called from college and asked his 60 year old dad to come down to the fraternity house and hang with him and the guys. Power of positive thinking.
Early years of my quest were focused on being a centenarian and being able to play doubles tennis; visions of eight on each side of the court danced in my head as 100 year old tennis players are less mobile so more of them can fit on a court. I do attend lectures on aging. In October, I was at the Singularity Summit in New York learning about the future and how to get to 150. The best notion I learned; if you can make it the next 15 years with most body parts in relatively good shape, then technology will ease you down the road to 150. A quick example of the power of technology: they’re now growing liver cells in a test tube; someday if you’ve got a liver problem, then no problem; they’ll grow you a new one.
Job one for me is to get to 100 and become one out of 5000 people who make it and let technology take over. All by myself, I came up with a theory that massive amounts of exercise (sensibly) can do wonders for the human body. I theorized that it probably has a preventative effect on diabetes; a nasty disease which cuts into life expectancy. All four of my grandparents had diabetes which means I had four guns of genetic probability aimed at me. Well I do exercise a lot; been that way 20 years and have no diabetes. I also know that living to 100 is 10% genetics and 90% lifestyle. We do it to ourselves; stress, nutrition, fast cars, cigarettes and remote control everything. Science is rushing to give us robots with a human personality to help around the house.
The centenarian gig had me wondering how some people attain that. Tomorrow I’m having a glass of wine with a woman who’s 102; part of my conscious on the road pursuit. Sometimes I think about that mysterious switch which starts the aging process. I know a 65 year old person’s cells age 125 times faster than a 12 year old, giving credence to the “downhill” adage. Of course I didn’t say “over the hill,” a conscious attention to attitude. I also know we’re programmed to make it to 90 and then we need help.
I’m a guy so I checked to see where men live the longest; Sardinia, Italy where their diet is plant based, wine (loaded with polyphenols) and high intake of omega 3’s. My search then found Okinawa, Japan where people live seven years longer on the average and have five times as many centenarians. In Okinawa, they cultivate six friends from early childhood that last a lifetime. Our average here in America is 1 ½ friends for life. Socialization keeps me here in New Jersey and is important for longevity as is the fact that someone measured the size of dinner plates in Okinawa; American plates are much bigger and therefore room for more calories.
My wife just called me in for dinner. I yelled to her, “Use the small salad plate from now on.” She said, “What?” There are a lot of ‘what’ to this living to 150. Let’s see ‘what’ happens when I say now, “To be continued.”