YOU NEVER KNOW UNTIL YOU TRY
” Don’t assume that you can’t do something. Prove that you can’t, and if so, try something else.”
~ Think Simple.com
One of the surest ways to keep you young and vibrant despite your chronological age is to not live in the past and go out in the world and keep trying new things. Since writing a book about aging I am somewhat obsessed about the things we can do to keep us as young as possible for as long as possible. And this does not just mean looking good, and it’s not about denying the the clock is ticking. It’s about keeping keeping on keeping on and waking up each day with enthusiasm and finding things to look forward to, not expecting them to find you or be miserable because there are none knocking on the door.
One thing I have noticed in older people is many just sit back and live in the past and stop extending themselves into new directions. And often times this starts in one’s fifties. There are many reasons for it, one is people don’t want to fail and most likely by a certain age you have gotten good at one thing you don’t really want to go out there and be bad at another. Also people figure why bother? Bad choice. The real reward is not in the result it’s in the effort.
Over the next five months I’m going to choose people who have ventured of their comfort zones and done something they never have before and were either rewarded emotionally or in other ways.
The first person I’m highlighting is ~ oh no ~ here we go again, with the second cousin once removed in -law businesss, which I have a complete mental block on. My second cousin in-law is his official title. But I’m going to call him my Uncle, because it’s my blog and I don’t have any Uncles and I want one and he acts like one. So my Uncle Bob Fox who will be 82 this month, though you would never know it. He embodies the way to age, he works out every day, he is crazy active and I mean that in the good way; like he works on all sorts of committees and is constantly busy and engaged and he tries things outside of his comfort zone.
Bob was very successful for decades in broadcasting. He owned and operated radio stations and has served on so many commitees and boards and and headed up so many of them I can’t begin to list them all. But he was not a writer, not by profession and not even as a hobby.
But this last year he was back in Cincinnati where is originally from and he became aware there was an essay contest for an ice cream store called Graeters that is very well known in the area. Bob decided what the heck, he had a story and he would enter it in the contest. Well, not only did he sit down write his story, send it in, he won the Grand Prize out of 2,000 entries ~ at the age of 81.
For me this is modeling how to live as we grow older. He didn’t say, I don’t have a chance, I know a lot about broadcasting and other things but I’m not a writer. He gave it try. It was in the action and then of course winning is always better than losing. The reinforcement that no matter how old you are or what you know you can still go out there and excel at other things. And even if you don’t win the grand prize you give yourself the grand prize for just daring to try.
Never give up. Never stop reaching. Never stop trying new things. You will be amazed at what can happen.
So, I’m posting Bob’s essay because he is an example for us all. Plus it’s a cute story!
“Share an Ice Cream Moment”
Graeter’s Online Story Submission Contest
Grand Prize: 12 Pints Shipped to any location
in the Continental US
Title: The Ice Cream That Nearly Ended an Engagement
by Robert Fox
Many years ago in 1925, George Fox and Dena Richter were engaged to be married. They were both 20 years old. George lived in Walnut Hills and Dena lived in Avondale – not far from the Phillips Swimming Pool. One day in the summer of 1925 it was very hot which was not unusual for Cincinnati that time of the year.
George decided to go to the nearest Graeter’s Ice Cream Store and he purchased a pint of Peach Ice Cream. He brought it home as he lived with his parents and Dena had dropped in to visit. George was glad to see her and he sat down in a chair and with spoon in hand began devouring the Peach Ice Cream. Dena asked for some and George refused. It was very hot (not the ice cream) and there was no air conditioning in those days. Dena asked again and George refused. Dena stormed out of the house and she yelled that the engagement was over. George had to decide quickly if he was going to finish the ice cream or let the ice cream finish his engagement to be married.
With ice cream in hand he chased after Dena, shared the ice cream and solved the problem. George and Dena were married for 68 years. They were my parents and I had heard this story since the time I was a child. Through their marriage my mother always attempted to take food from my father’s plate and he always rebuffed her. Some things never change. When in Cincinnati, I always order a scoop of peach and a scoop of chocolate ice cream. I never bring my wife with me when visiting one of the stores. I am not going to share the world’s best ice cream with anyone. The apple (or should I say peach) doesn’t fall far from the tree.
And the icing on the ice cream so to speak is he gave his prize to the Cancer Ward of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.