This is a guest blog entry by Lisa Hathaway, Ovation’s Office Manager. She was inspired by her grandfather and his commitment to fitness and decided to write about it for us.
Around this time of year, we’re all looking for inspiration from someone or something to make the coming year somehow better than the last; it’s just what we do collectively as a society. As I was thinking about people who inspire me, I realized that my grandfather is about as good as it gets when it comes to being active your entire life and fighting the best fight well into old age. He can look back and be very proud of what he has accomplished.
My grandfather’s name is George Bentz and he endeavored to stay healthy and active well into his retirement, which has now lasted over thirty years. He contracted polio before the vaccine was discovered and physical activity was always a challenge, but he never let his physical limitations inhibit his life or what he wanted to do; he spent forty years working at a physically demanding job building some amazing structures in New England, including the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire. Not to mention, his favorite retirement hobbies are canoeing and riding his bike.
Over the course of his retirement, he rode thousands of miles on Pennsylvania’s Rails to Trails in search of discarded cans and bottles to bring to the recycling facility for cash since he was paid by the pound for everything he collected. I joked that he stayed active, supplemented his retirement income and kept the Rails to Trails cleaner and more scenic for everyone else!
The photo of my grandfather riding his three-wheeled bike was taken when he was eighty-eight. Sadly at that point his road days were over and he could only ride the bike in his basement.
My grandfather just celebrated his ninety-second birthday in September; he is very special to me and I wanted to share his story. He never had a gym membership or a fancy treadmill, but he did his absolute best to stay healthy and active for as long as humanly possible. As I think about it, maybe he was a “trailblazer” too, just like many people here at Ovation.
Best wishes to everyone on a fabulous 2012!