Are You Younger Than A 72 Year-Old?

17 12 2011

A few years ago I met a great man at the health club where I exercise. I’d like to introduce him to you because I hope he is as big of an inspiration to you as he is to me. What makes him so special is that he is doing what every man hopes to have the will and courage to do, live life to the fullest. I got the idea to write a leadership article on Don because even though he was born March 11th, 1939, (Yes, that makes him 72!) he is able to out lift almost all the guys at the health club (including me). Although surgeries and the inevitable father time have been rough on him he is young at heart, proving age truly is a state of mind.

This is Don bench pressing 335lbs!

When and where were you born?

I was born March 11, 1939 just north of Jefferson, Wisconsin in the house I grew up in.  (I was going to make an old age joke but thought it not good for my health :))

Tell me about your family.

I have been married for 50 years to Cathy. I have three kids, 7 grandkids, and 3 great grandkids. 

Were you in the armed-forces?

I served for four years in the Navy as a Gunners Mate from 1956-1960. I traveled to many places like Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, China, Japan, and Hawaii. I was never in any combat but came close. As we were sailing down to the Panama Canal they cleared up the conflict before we got there. 

You lift a lot of weight for anybody much less a guy almost 73. Tell me how you do it?

Seven years ago I started lifting again after many years off. I had two shoulder surgeries on each shoulder and figured I better start doing something. So I started with the bar (45lbs) and worked my way up from there.

I set a goal to bench 315lbs on my 7oth birthday, a weight I have never put up in my life. On that day I bench pressed 325 pounds!

How do you stay so fit?

I just stay active. I workout five days a week. I guess I just keep moving then it’s not so hard to get started again. I set goals and then go after them.

Don, you’re pretty sharp and quick-witted with the young whipper snappers around here, what do you do to stay so “mentally fit?”

I read a lot. I like Western Books, National Geographic, and I like reading history.

You’ve been married 50 years! Any advice for us “youngins” on how to have a healthy, happy marriage?

Marriage is a give and take. You have to have patience with each other to work things out. The problem now-a-days is that at the first sign of trouble everyone wants to get a divorce. 

The goal of Team LIFE Leadership is provide people information in the 8F’s for them to keep striving for a better life. Don teaches a valuable leadership lesson. Never stop growing, never stop changing is the message he teaches as he is living that message every day by example. Thanks for the inspiration Don!

Enjoy the journey.  Steve Leurquin




19 responses

10 05 2013
He’s Still An Animal! | Steve Leurquin Excellence in Living

[…] Are You Younger Than A 72 Year-Old? […]

3 01 2012
Bill Eder

Steve: Thanks for sharing this with me. My birthday is March 8, 1939. Enjoyed the story about one of my peers. You are only as old or young as you choose to be. The body maybe more mature but you can decide how young to keep your mind. My Dad always said when you stop learning you start dying. Thank God I learn that lesson. Looks like Don also understands
knowledge applied is powerful. You gave me yet another nugget tonight

4 01 2012

Thanks Bill,
Don is a motivation to many around him. I’m glad it helped.
Steve Leurquin

29 12 2011
Blaine Terrill

Thanks for serving Don, & being an amazing example!

22 12 2011
Penny Graff

Great post about a great man. Funny… you just mentioned in Emily’s reply, the thing that caught my eye: That he set a goal of 315 lbs. on his birthday. I love the fact that he not only hit the goal, but beat it by 10 extra pounds! But then that’s what great examples do – they go the extra mile.
Thanks Steve and thank you Don!

24 12 2011

Thanks for your response. Setting goals and running after dreams utilizing the skills we were blessed with is what we were put on this Earth to do.
Steve Leurquin

19 12 2011
Matt Mielke

Thanks Steve for the interview with Don. How many people have a story to share, they just need a platform and a caring individual to listen to them. Well, off to the gym to lift the 45lb bar. I figure about 5 reps today, I don’t want to push to hard 😀

19 12 2011

The Team community is out finding the good/inspirational people in this world. Good luck at your pump up session in the gym.
Steve Leurquin

19 12 2011
Leadership and LIFE

That is a great message Steve! Tell Don thank you for living a life of excellence for others to follow!

19 12 2011

Thanks Dan,
Will do and he will be glad to hear it.
Steve Leurquin

18 12 2011
Gary Severson

Steve, there’s a powerful message here for sure. Wisdom has become a lost virtue in today’s culture. We can learn so much from old school “sages” such as Don. The key here is, are we willing to listen and apply that wisdom from those who have proven it flat out WORKS?!
What impresses me most about Don is his humility. He’s proven that living by principle is essential in life. By applying those principle’s to the FITNESS “F”, he’s accomplishing something that most would consider, impossible, yet, through a LIFE principle known as DREAM, STRUGGLE, VICTORY….Don, again has been victorious! Thank you for sharing this man’s story with the world, WE need it!

18 12 2011

It’s funny that you say that. Doing the interview was the best part of writing this blog article. Watching Don’s face light up as he was talking about his life was very enjoyable. It is amazing how much we can learn from people who have “been there” if we just stop long enough to listen to them.
Steve Leurquin

17 12 2011
Kevin Hamm

Hey Steve,

I’ve been watching for this one and you were right, that’s inspiring! Now I know, when I am free to not climb trees everyday that it will be possible to stay in shape regardless. Looks like it is a choice. Tell me, how busy is the health club at 10:30 am on a Tuesday?

Kevin Hamm

17 12 2011

Funny Kevin I believe that was the day and almost the exact time I took this picture. Other than Don, me, and two other young bucks that work second shift it’s pretty open at the club at that time. Feel free to join us!
Steve Leurquin

17 12 2011
Todd Fulton

Steve, that is a awesome blog. It shows that if u line up ur ant and elephant it doesn’t matter how old u are to reach ur goals and dreams. You have great writing skills and can’t wait till you write a book. I know it will be inspirational and educating.

17 12 2011

A book! Hold on now there Todd let’s take this one step at a time.

Don is a model of how to never stop striving for success. Thanks for your post.
Steve Leurquin

17 12 2011
Chris Brady

If we look close enough, there is inspiration all around us!

17 12 2011
Mike and Emily Hebbe

Don you rock!!!! I hope to meet you some day, Staying healthy helps so much on how you feel about your life in general!! Congrats on being a strong example for you family and the generations to pass. Keep lifting Don!!! Emily

17 12 2011

Don is a motivator to so many at the health club. He sets goals, reads, and likes being around good association. Sounds like a great program to be on!
Steve Leurquin

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