The Writing Life

Maintaining My Energy

The aches and pains of growing old can distract me from getting busy with life. How do I keep my energy levels up and my attention span longer?

When I was a young man, I had unlimited energy. I ate with abandon, I could work for hours. I was strong and virile.

In my 20’s, I was in the Army as an Infantryman. Viet Nam loomed in my future. I trained for 11 months before shipping to The Nam. Most trained for just 4 months. I was a rock.

I got shot.

Coming back to The World left me in another state of limbo. I went back to school, endured the scorn of the peace-nicks, and got my degree. I bought a business.

The stairs in that shop kept me nimble. Up and down dozens of times a day, carrying, lifting, running. I stayed in shape through activity, not a plan.

Raising two boys kept me active, too. Scouts and campouts and hikes added to my enjoyment of life. I became a trainer and influenced the lives of tens of thousands of leaders over time.

The Eighties brought depression and failure. My business slowly eroded to a dwindling trickle. I closed the doors.

The Nineties gave me a new lease on living. I became a Consultant and traveled the USA and Canada for up to 200 nights a year. I got really good at living in airports. My middle began to grow on the rich eating in restaurants. I began to run and shop for groceries instead of sit-down eating.

I changed jobs several times and got closer to the desk instead of the road. Managing clerical workers was not the same as pushing troops. At one time, I had gained 40 pounds from my rock-hard best. These weren’t rocky pounds, though, just spare tire fat.

Today, I am eating moderately. I am hydrating some. I take my dog for long walks every day. I stretch. I take supplements.

My mental energy has improved. I’m still working on the physical. Lost years are hard to overcome, you know. But, every day I make progress through small changes.

How do you keep your energy up?

By John Larson

John is an experienced small business owner, management consultant, project manager, and family man. John has been married since 1967 to the same beautiful bride. He has two sons and eight grandchildren. He makes his home in Carlton, Oregon, USA.

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