Sixty Really Is the New Forty (Lessons from Chuck Norris)

Have I ever told you about the time I met Chuck Norris?

Actually, I didn’t just meet him….I was his bodyguard.

What Karen, you worked as a bodyguard?

Well, not exactly. I did provide bodyguard services a few times to celebrities. Chuck Norris is the only one I can remember (the others were minor celebs who flashed bright, then disappeared).

Chuck Norris was coming into town to promote one of his new movies. I forget the name of the movie. It was the one with the little kid. Supposed to be part action, part comedy. It wasn’t very good. Nevertheless, he had to promote it.

Now, if you’re a Chuck Norris fan, don’t get your pants in a bundle! I am a fan too, especially ofChuck Norris_InvasionUSA early Chuck: the “Lone Wolf McQuade” movies, the “Delta Force” series, “Missing in Action”, “Invasion USA” (which had a really good bad guy – like an albino with no eyebrows – he just looked creepy). Chuck couldn’t act well. But he pulled it off because you just sort of liked the guy.

I’ve also always admired his spinning back kick. Beautiful AND effective. Especially when he’s wearing his cowboy boots.

Anyways, Chuck was coming into town to promote this movie and the promoters wanted to ensure he had plenty of protection. My Tae Kwon Do instructor somehow got the inside track into providing “bodyguard” services. He asked several of us black belts, who were also instructors, to accompany him.

We weren’t really bodyguards, we were more like an extra escort to help out. But hey, it was a chance to meet Chuck Norris! And say we were his bodyguards! What self-respecting black belt wouldn’t jump on that?

So, there we were outside the theater, in position and waiting for Chuck to arrive. The crowds were cordoned off behind barriers. It was kind of exciting, lots of energy, lots of anticipation. We were trying to be cool, of course, like we had actually done this “bodyguard thang” before.

Finally, Chuck’s car pulled up. He got out. I remember my first impression was, “He’s so LITTLE!”

Chuck is not a tall guy, maybe 5’6”. With his cowboy boots on, he’s a little taller. His build was slight too.

My second impression was, “He seems older than I expected”.

I have to admit, at first I was a little disappointed. Here’s this larger than life action hero, and….he’s way smaller than me. (I’m 5’10”, and I’ve never in my life been described as having a “slight” build.) And he’s older than I expected. (Chuck was in the Air Force and ran his own martial arts schools for years before he broke into acting. By this time, he was already well into his 40s. Yikes, did I really say that was “old”?)

However, I quickly recovered because Chuck was also…in great shape! Here was a guy who worked out every day – and I mean, a real workout every day. You could tell. He was fit, he was hard, and he carried himself with great confidence.

I was also won over by his attitude toward us. Here we stood, a bunch of so-called bodyguards who were really just there so we could meet him. But he walked right up to us, smiled and shook our hands, and thanked us for coming. Then he went right over to work the crowd.

I learned a useful lesson that evening. Here was a guy who was short, was “old” – well into his 40’s – and couldn’t act very well. Yet he was producing movie hit after movie hit – action movies, to boot! And he did all of his own fighting and many of his own stunts.

Chuck had obviously made the commitment to get into, and stay in, great shape. And he was committed to his career. He wasn’t letting anyone tell him he was “too old” to do action movies, or crisp fight scenes, or dangerous stunts.

I was in my 30s at this time. But this glimpse into the possible – that you don’t have to give into chronological age as a determinant of what you can or should do, or how much energy you should have, or how you should look or feel – or even the activities you engage in – was quite meaningful.

More recently, we’ve seen Diana Nyad finally accomplish one of her long-lasting goals: to swim from Cuba to Florida.

When I heard she had finally achieved this goal – a 110 mile swim through shark infested waters – I had to read more about it. I mean, I remember being a kid when she first gained fame for attempting to – and often successfully completing – incredible long-distance swimming feats.

We hadn’t heard much about her in recent years. I didn’t even know she was still swimming.

Here’s the really interesting part. Diana has attempted this Cuba to Florida swim several times in the past, at much younger ages. She never could complete it.

This time, she said she knew she would make it. She had confidence from having attempted it before and her experiences with long swims.

More importantly, Diana said she knew she would make it because she felt fitter than ever – at 64! In fact, she felt better attempting this swimming feat at 64 than she did at 40, or even 30.

How cool is that?!

So you see, sixty really IS the new forty. That is not just a cliché.

Often, as people get older, they tend to become less active. This is partly due to life changes, such as increasing responsibilities at work, which can lead to more stress and time required on the job. Getting married or co-habiting and having kids puts additional time sucks on your day. You just don’t have the same free time you did when you were young.

More insidiously, many people begin to shy away from more intense or difficult activities because they are “too old” for it, or they have less energy to get in shape.

But you shouldn’t.

You truly are as young as you feel.

If Chuck Norris can continue to make action movies and TV shows well into his 60’s….and if Diana Nyad can finally accomplish one of her life-long extreme swimming goals at age 60….then you and I can surely commit to a healthy lifestyle including proper exercise and activity every day.

So push yourself to do something today, even if it’s as simple as doing some deep breathing, a few pushups and situps, and some walking. Even a little each day can benefit you. And it can “sneak up” on you too. A little bit today feels so good, you’ll want to do more tomorrow.

Before you know it, your new healthy activity will snowball into your own health and fitness program. One you follow consistently, just like Chuck.

One that will enable you to pursue that big bold goal you may have put aside, just like Diana.

You Can Do It!

Karen_signature

“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
www.BestBreathingExercises.com

P.S. You control how young you look, feel and do. This is exciting stuff! To help you leverage this power, I’ve put together an excellent exercise and eating plan for you in the “Fire Up Your Metabolism” Program. The specific steps, recommendations and exercises I share with you will put you on the fast track to vibrant energy, fitness and health. And it’s easy to work it into your current schedule. Pick up your copy today at http://www.bestbreathingexercises.com/metabolism.html.

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2013

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