In today's October 1, 2009 newsletter . . .

  • Act 2 of Life

  • Horizontal Pull-Ups

Recently I received notes from two subscribers who found in my newsletter archives something I wrote in July of last year. It was titled "Act 2 of Life." I had forgotten it but went back and looked, and decided it was worth repeating. It follows. - LF

Act 2 of Life

The people at AARP know when you turn 50 and send you an invitation to join up. In their eyes, you’ve just crossed that line — you are a senior.

It has been more than 20 years since I found my invitation in the mail box. At first, it was a punch in the stomach. Then I would joke about it with friends. But the clock stops for no one.

People who don’t think much about retirement suddenly realize the day isn’t all that far off. Depressing? For some, yes. And that's too bad. Because here is the good part. When you do finally retire, you really can, if you choose to, rediscover your passion in life.

Here is how I did it . . .

I knew that art and fitness were my callings by the time I was a teenager, and probably even earlier than that. What I could do better than most of my peers was draw. And I was always looking for ways to build up my body. Other matters, some important and some not, diverted my attention along the way; but, finally, there I was — retired. I could actually do as I pleased.

The years have passed and I have never really felt a void. In fact, it has been quite the opposite. I am fortunate to be absorbed in the creative process of making art and promoting the fitness lifestyle. Without these strong interests, however, or something equally engaging, I cannot imagine what life would be like. We've all seen people who retire and then vegetate in front of a television set.

Probably your interests are very different than mine. But somewhere in each of us the interests are there, only waiting to be rediscovered and released. One good way to uncover them is by looking backward to your childhood and adolescence. Recall the thoughts, activities, and dreams that sent your imagination and spirit soaring. Those are your clues. Develop interests related to them and you are likely to experience a personal renaissance.

P.S. The following is a great story about one retiree who is making the most of his time and living life to the fullest. Read "In Act 2 of Life, Doing Work That Matters."

You've probably heard about the tremendous benefits of weight training and how you can retain -- or even reclaim -- the attributes of youth . . . Discover the way with . . .

Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women

Horizontal Pull-Ups

Pull-ups, chin-ups, and their many varieties are great upper-body strength and muscle builders. One of the least seen varieties is the horizontal pull-up (also called an “inverted pull-up” or “horizontal row”). Whatever name it goes by, it is a good one.

Vertical chinning is of course a super exercise. But horizontals bring into play abs and lower-back muscles, which must stay very tight to hold your body in a straight line as you pull with lats, rhomboids, biceps, and forearms. Further, all the equipment you need is a sturdy horizontal bar.

See full description and short video here.

Muscle Up!

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to our subscribers. Our purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

Always consult with your physician before making dietary changes or starting an exercise program.

Your comments or questions are always appreciated.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter