On Sunday my grandpa turned 93 years old and is the picture of good health! At 93 my grandpa still gets up around 6am every morning, eats a good healthy breakfast, goes to the gym for his morning workout and spends his days enjoying life thanks to good health.
I have always admired his efforts and have tried very hard to model in his shadow. I am fortunate to still be able to spend a lot of time with him despite the fact that he lives over 3 hours away. We only see each other about once a month but talk on the phone weekly.
One of my favorite yearly traditions is our vacation together, not only because we get to go someplace fun but because we all get to spend a lot of time together, something that doesn't happen as often now that my brother and I are grown.
While I have many fond memories of my grandpa I have to say that one of my favorites as of recent was during our annual winter vacation last year when my grandpa and I spent each morning at the gym together at our hotel.
Normally exercise is that last thing that I want to do when presented with miles and miles of warm sandy beaches but the decision between that and some quality time with my grandpa was easy.
Now what you are probably thinking was that my 92 year old (at the time) grandpa and I just took it easy and did some simple stretches and perhaps walked on treadmills while reading hotel magazines that dated back to the 90's. Oh no, not us.
The hotel that we frequent on our yearly winter vacation has a huge gym, "top of the line" as my grandpa would say, so pretty much any form of recreational fitness was at our fingertips.
Something important to note about my grandpa is that he is retired military, a Colonel in the Army and served many years for his country. He has always been very regimented in all that he does including his diet and exercise.
If I thought we would be having a simple workout I was wrong! My plans of walking on the treadmill while catching up on gossip magazines was moving quickly out of the picture as my grandpa started explaining how we would spend the next hour.
We started with stretching. "Kris", he said, "The key to any good workout is to get the muscles ready for action". And he was right. Once our muscles were warm we started in with cardio. 15 minutes on the bike, piece of cake, we road several miles side by side on the stationary bikes.
When I thought we were done with cardio my grandpa had other plans and off we went to the treadmills for another 15 minutes. Thinking I was doing good and was pretty proud of my speed I look over, and here is my grandpa literally running laps around me! "Patience Kris", he said, "With time you too will increase your speed".
After a quick water break we were off to use the weight machines followed by sit ups and crunches and ended the workout with him teaching me an "Army Push Up". Before I knew it our hour was over.
While I don't consider myself an exercise enthusiast by any means, I have worked out with my share of personal trainers, attended group fitness classes and worked out on my own but nothing holds a candle to the workout that I got with Colonel Homer S. Hilleary! Wow...
After the workout we grabbed an apple, some water and headed out to the beach to meet up with the rest of the family. I remember fondly walking out of that gym, my grandpa's arm around my shoulder and his saying "I am proud of you Kris, that was a solid workout. Now as for tomorrow. I am thinking we start around 6am and stay an extra hour".
We both laughed, however he was not kidding!