By Ron Logan’s standards, 71 is not old – not even close. His lean body defies his years as he chats excitedly about skiing, hiking 14ers, rock climbing, road cycling, and mountain biking with his buddies.
Since retiring from a long-time career as a commercial airline pilot, this U.S. Navy veteran still looks for sky-high thrills that will challenge him both physically and mentally.
“I’ve always worked out, and when I was flying I would make sure to get a run in everywhere I went. It’s ingrained in my DNA,” he grins. “Sports have always given me confidence and enthusiasm. I work out so I can play hard.”
BUCKING THE TREND
Logan most definitely bucks the norm when it comes to the average daily activities of people over 65.
Most recent data in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Study shows the top five activities for this age group are (1) watching TV, (2) reading, (3) socializing, (4) relaxing/thinking, and (5) other leisure.
Shortly after he hit mandatory retirement age and left the airline, Logan pursued his certification as a personal fitness trainer out of his pure love for fitness. He worked in that field for 3½ years until he decided to get his phlebotomy license and go back to work full-time. “I just love working. I’ve always been a people person and really enjoy talking with people, learning their stories,” he says.
Logan is now “officially” retired and makes adventure-seeking his vocation. He has recently discovered the thrill of rock climbing. “It’s very adventurous and requires all sorts of equipment, which I love. I enjoy the camaraderie and the people. And when you climb together, you’re really connected physically and mentally to the other person.”
Another heart-pumping activity he loves is skiing off of groomed runs in Breckenridge, Colorado, with one of his best friends, John Fritz, a retired pilot and ski instructor. Fritz is the voice behind desertsnowjunkies.com, a popular hub for the snow skiing crowd.
“If you pay attention and you think about it, everything has its risk. But you have to be smart about it. The same goes for skiing. John is an excellent skier, and he has taught me a lot.”
Logan pauses for a moment and carefully chooses his words when speaking about what drives him to seek adventure.
“You build up experience. And with that experience, you get confidence. Why do you push yourself in anything? It gives you an adrenaline rush,” he explains. “I’m not an adrenaline junkie, but I suppose I could qualify as one because of some of the things I’ve done.”
As we age, we can easily find ourselves settling for a sedentary lifestyle if we allow our minds to take over the show. “I think a lot of time, people become afraid. They’re afraid they will get hurt, and so they sit it out.”
JUST STAY ACTIVE
Logan recognizes he’s not as young as he used to be. He notices less flexibility and joints that occasionally ache.
“As you get older, you have to work harder to stay in shape, both physically and mentally,” he says. “What I found through life is you have to adapt. If you can’t do what you did five years ago, find something else. Just stay active. There’s always something you can do. It may not be strenuous, but it’s movement.”
Logan and his wife, Kristen, also enjoy healthy nutrition and look for ways to prepare food that supports healthy aging. “A little wine every once in awhile is a good thing, too,” he laughs.
“At the end of the day, you have to take care of yourself,” Logan says. “Your body is going to change no matter what. But we can enrich our lives by keeping ourselves healthy so that the time we have is the best it can be.”