There’s a frequent statement that we hear almost every day, “I can’t wait to retire.” Sometimes, we even say it ourselves. I have been having frequent conversations about the topic lately and it’s interesting getting peoples’ perspective of it. Some say they feel that retirement is giving up your commitments to start doing the things you love again. Then, on the other side, they say that retirement is when you almost stop living… In other words, “a body in motion, stays in motion.”
When I was at the Arnold Classic, a woman asked Arnold Schwarzenegger what his ideal age to live to would be. Being 69 years old now, he was perplexed by the question. He thought about the question for the moment and finally said that he never thinks about when the end of his life will be. He said he believes that the end of your life begins when you retire. He went on to say that he will NEVER stop doing what he’s doing, because it’s what drives him towards something every day. It keeps him alive and it keeps him living, which I think being alive and living are completely two different things. I think we need to realize which one are we doing.
Now retirement, I’m not just talking about retiring from your job, but it could also be from stopping what you once loved doing. For example, I would always state that I “retired from boxing.” I used to be a boxer for 8 years and it was something that made me feel alive. I stopped for 4 years for work and school reasons, until this past year. It was brought to my attention that I wasn’t doing something for myself, something that made me feel alive. Boxing came back to my attention once I started teaching boxing classes. This past weekend, I went back to my old boxing gym with my old trainer and trained for 3 hours. Let me tell you, it was overwhelming thinking about going back; I was scared. During those three hours, it felt damn good to be back inside the place where you feel that “whole.” Don’t get me wrong, it was freakin’ hard and I have never sweat so much in my life. I wanted to throw up like 3 times. My entire body feels like I tore every muscle. I know I’m out of boxing shape, but these feelings are reminding me that I feel ALIVE. With time, I will be back to where I was 8 years ago, but all that matters is that I’m out of “retirement” and it was probably the best thing I could have ever done for myself.