Back to Back Issues Page
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #362. Compared to What?
December 15, 2023

Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays

Don’t compare yourself to others, we are told by people of wisdom. It isn’t healthy. But is not comparing ourselves to others even possible? Does it go against human nature?

I few years ago, I ran across something relevant by comedian Tom Shillue that made sense to me. Tips that work. Yes, he’s a comedian, not a fitness guy, as far as I know anyway. But his message has universal truth (you can access it at the end of the newsletter).

Here’s the question. How do we derive inspiration from highly successful people — but at the same time keep a healthy perspective if we do not reach that top rung on the ladder?

It’s no secret that I like fitness and admire those who have reached the pinnacle of the fitness lifestyle.

Example: The late Jack LaLanne once did one thousand consecutive push-ups on national television; he also made many long-distance swims — while handcuffed — pulling boatloads of fans in the cold waters of San Francisco Bay. His personal workout challenges were legendary. He had a nationally televised exercise program and lived, actively, to age 96.

But all Jack LaLanne and I had in common is that both of us embraced a fitness lifestyle, which began in our teens. Any of my accomplishments, however, unlike his, were modest. Nevertheless, my comparatively small attainments enriched my life. And fortunately, I’ve never felt envious of others whose achievements were far greater than mine.

Like Tom Shillue, I came to the realization long ago that comparing myself in a negative light to superstars would get me nowhere. I can go to my own website and click on “Your Stories” and find example-after-example of people who have overcome obstacles to improve their lives. Some are more accomplished than I am, some less. But all, I would argue, are better off for having decided to follow a fitness lifestyle. With a few of them, I played some role in their fitness lifestyle journey. I feel good about that.

Suppose they had instead gotten caught up in comparing themselves to super-athletes of some sort and figured “I can never be that good, so why make the effort?” Well, thankfully they didn’t. Rather, they found inspiration, took the soundest advice they could get, and worked with the hand they’d been dealt. That to me is the definition of living a successful life.

Like Tom Shillue, they got it just right. Take a look at his message here. It’s a few years old now, but you’ll get the idea.

Stay healthy. Stay fit.


Senior Exercise Central

Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. Well, I was a mere 70 years old then. I’m 87 now. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as strong or muscular as I was 17 years ago. —LF

Are you on Facebook?

Check out the Senior Exercise Central page at . . .

I search the Internet for senior health and fitness items. If you like what you see, please click the Like button. It helps me.

Spread the word. If you like the newsletter, we're making it easy to share it

Facebook Twitter More...

Newsletter Policy

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

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines, and television, this newsletter and my website contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and website provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

Back to Back Issues Page