Keep Rolling Like the Rolling Stones
Clad in bright colors standing out against the night sky – yellow, green, red, and blue – a quick glance of the band might have given you the impression you were at a Wiggles Concert. But, there was no Dorothy the Dinosaur. No Captain Feathersword. And, no Wags the Dog. No, these were just four old guys with a collective age of 282 years old performing on the stage. They are called The Rolling Stones. They are ageless wonders and timeless performers. And, they were playing my favorite kind of music – high voltage rock-n-roll.
I could not tell you if Charlie Watts missed a beat, or if Keith Richards missed a note, or if Ronnie Wood missed a hit on his cigarette. I’m not that musically savvy. But, I can tell you there are not many 71-year-old great-grandfathers that can move continuously shimmying, shaking, and strutting for most of the two-hour and fifteen minute show like Mick Jagger did.
Like the Energizer Bunny he kept on going and going and going, I doubt Jagger knows Dr. Jack Hughston but he unknowingly follows his advice of “keep on keeping on.”
Yes, a rolling stone gathers no moss and that is today’s lesson. And, rolling and keeping on is easier if you love what you do, and that’s today’s second lesson.
A Rolling Stone Gathers No Rust
Perhaps we should say “a rolling stone gathers no rust”. The human body is the only “machine” that breaks down faster from a lack of use rather than from regular and standard use. Remember your physics? A body in motion stays in motion. That is just as true for humans as it is inanimate objects.
One key to longevity is not stopping. You have to keep moving and keep doing – physically and mentally. As long as you are moving – guess what? You ain’t dead, yet!
I think we can safely assume with a high degree of confidence that members of The Rolling Stones have not been kind to their bodies. Just a guess on my part. Does anybody disagree with that? And, if any of them die before their Zip Code Tour is over I don’t think anybody would be shocked – just saddened – because it would mean the end of something very special – a rare phenomenon – unlikely ever to be replicated.
I am always amazed at how resilient the human body is, however. It can take a lot of punishment. Which is good, or we all would be doomed much sooner. Staying active physically and mentally offsets to some degree poor health habits – not entirely – but to some degree.
So does attitude, and even more so. A youthful optimistic attitude is a magical elixir. Aging is inevitable but getting old is a mindset. Think young, stay young. The Rolling Stones still have a youthful mindset. They don’t act 70 years old just because they are 70 years old. And, that’s another lesson we can learn from them.
Many 70 years old probably would find it hard to stand for over two hours. In fact, I have several 70 year-old patients who cannot get out of a chair even if it has arms to assist them. Jagger did more than just stand or get out of a chair. With few exceptions he moved on stage the entire night making sure to use all of it – gyrating and doing his famous strut. Maybe not quite as brisk as might have in the past, but far brisker than most his age could ever hope, and far brisker than many including myself thought he could. In reality he was doing is own kind of aerobics – Jaggerobics. Hey, I just coined that!
And, it wasn’t just Jagger. The whole band played with scores of energy and enthusiasm. Both Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood showed some moves of their own. Charlie Watts was tethered to his drum set unable to show all the moves still in him, yet his arms and feet were moving the entire night as well.
Keep active. Keep moving them bones. Keep on keeping on. Keep rolling like the Rolling Stones!
Love What You Do
The saying “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” dates back to Confucius. He’s right. Work is a chore and performing a chore is stressful. And, it drains our energy and very being.
Doing what you love does not. It has the opposite effect on our bodies and our minds. It regenerates, it reinvigorates, it rejuvenates – all words to describe “anti-aging”. Doing what you love has healing properties. It provides a form of self-sustaining energy, and energy is the key to life. And, it soothes the soul!
It’s apparent the Jagger loves performing and is a master commander on the stage. The entire band looked to genuinely enjoy basking in the limelight performing the night I saw them at the famous Horseshoe in Columbus. Afterall, they were in their element doing what they do best. How can one not be excited even at age 70 when that is the case? Being your best doing what you do best in front of a vast crowd in one of the most iconic venues would seem to be a recipe for exhilaration. And, who does not want to feel exhilarated?
Yes, they will make a lot of money from this tour and that would probably make anybody smile. But, they are professionals – professionals who have performed and master their art and innovated their industry for over 50 years. And, to do that you really have to love something. As we learned from The Beatles money “can’t buy me love.” No, such a love comes from within and defines one’s very being!
Find something you love to do, and then do it! Be in your element and do what you do best!
Staying Active As You Age
Here’s my advise for patients who are skeptical about exercise or living a physically active lifestyle. Regardless of your age, whether you are in your 20s, 30s, 40’s or reached your double-nickel birthday like many I know – imagine yourself 70 or 75 or even 80 years old. How active would you like to be at those ages? Do you want to be able to mow your lawn or walk a round of 18 holes of golf? Do you want to walk three miles everyday? Or, run a 5K or something bolder like a half-marathon? Do you want to walk the Appalachian Trail?
Now ask yourself this. Is what you envision yourself doing at ages 70, 75, and 80 years already more than you are currently doing? If so, you have a problem. What you envision doing is most likely not going to happen. You need to be already doing more than what you envision doing at those ages to be able to do what you envision when you become those ages. Read that a few times – it will make sense eventually.
Most people envision themselves being more active in those advanced years then they will ever end up. Don’t be one of them. Get moving NOW!
There’s no time like today to start being more active than you currently are and that’s true even if you already are quite active. Keep on rolling like The Rolling Stones.
Healthy aging is nothing more than dying at the slowest rate possible. Staying physically active, maintaining a positive outlook on life, and having a passion for something makes healthy aging more likely.
Think young, play young, stay young!
There are times when you go to an event and you realize you are witnessing history unfold in front of you. It’s palpable and you know it. Attending The Rolling Stones’ concert was one such moment.
I attended the concert with my wife and 15 and 16-year-old sons. The boys play in their high school band and were thrilled watching The Rolling Stones perform. Until the concert they were not very familiar with many of The Rolling Stones’ songs. “Awesome” was the word the oldest one used. It was a welcome relief from the techno music or whatever it is you call what they listen to. The younger son commented “they sure played and moved with a lot of energy for being in their 70s.”
The younger boy has the same exact body frame as Mick Jagger. So I’ve been calling him “Mick” since the concert. He reminds me emphatically, “My name is KEVIN!” But, I told him Mick Jacko is about as close as anyone can get to Mick Jagger. And, he even has moves like Jagger. He just doesn’t sing.
Since I watched the Stones perform on May 30, Ronnie Wood – the baby in The Rolling Stones – added another year to his life the same day I added another one to mine bringing the Stones’ collective age to 283 years and mine to a mere youthful 55! How’s that for optimism?
*Special thanks to Lori Ortega Sammon – a high school classmate – who had better seats than I and generously provides the photographs!
I hope I’m moving this well at 71 as Jagger is in the video below which was the opening to the concert. How ’bout you? The music starts at 1:50. Tell me their colors don’t remind you of the Wiggles.