My great-uncle Aubrey turned eighty-eight this year. If anyone were to ask him, he'd say that he feels like a sixteen year old and everyone who knows him agrees! I am nominating my great-uncle for the "Aging with Vitality" contest because, in my opinion, he is a perfect example of a role model that anyone should fashion their life after. He is one person in my family that provides sagely advice to all around him, because he has lived such a full and healthy life.
My great-uncle spent the first twenty-five years of his life surrounded by his enormous family on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. He began working on the family farm at the age of eight, and continued to do so through his adolescence. As he got older, he continued to work on the farm, worked as an apprentice in his father's book binding store, and took classes at the University of the West Indies. At age twenty-five he boarded a plane for England. He spent the next thirty-five years of his life studying and working in the biochemistry field there before finally retiring and relocating to the United States.
Upon retirement, my uncle partook in everything possible, save relaxation. He has a driver's license but rarely ever drives because he believes primary vehicles are his own too feet! Therefore, he walks everywhere he needs to go (even in bad weather), and uses public transportation when needed, in order to make new friends! He does 15 minute stretches and exercises at least three times a day: when he wakes up in the morning, after lunch, and before he goes to sleep at night. He is also an extremely health food conscious individual. He does not eat red meat and he broils and steams all of his chicken, fish and vegetables. Amazingly enough, he is still extremely physically fit! I still have to jog to catch up with him when he is taking his daily walks!
My uncle is a involved member of his church and is a huge proponent of giving back to the community. He volunteers at our local and church soup kitchens, and you can often find him lending out a helping hand at his church's daycare center. Even though the majority of our family still lives in Trinidad, my uncle makes sure he is present for every major family celebration. The photo that I have included, is one of him helping me light candles at my sweet sixteen!
Great-uncle Aubrey is a living example of how you can live a long exciting life if you take good care of the body that you were given!