Aging Outrageously, ala J.D. Salinger?

Walking into the main branch of the Albany library, something on the new book table beckoned to me… “Aging Outrageously Well: How to Save your Own Life and Have Fun Doing it,” written by Judi Haven Gentry, a life coach for seniors. The book outlines how to be a “pro-active age warrior,” with chapters on using anti-aging supplements, exercise, diet, attitude, and outrageousness (crazy like a fox!) “to make your 70 feel like 50.”

Now, I’m guessing this approach may speak to some Boomers or 70-somethings, and some of it is good advice for anyone. However, it doesn’t translate directly to the lifestyles of the elders I know in Upstate NY, who have achieved at least one key goal of the book (“age-defying longevity”). Yes, some of them exercise, but not necessarily by scaling mountains. (Hydroslimnastics is more their speed.) And I’m guessing they eat whole grains, but for many, a hot meal from a crock pot is truly ideal. And living outrageously – does that include risking your life in sub-Arctic temperatures to get to your doctor’s appointment? Or showing up on opening day at Save-A-Lot to get a bargain on canned peaches?

Perhaps JD Salinger, who died yesterday at age 91, would be a better fit with the Aging Outrageously model. He was into yoga, supplements and alternative health practices, according to Wikipedia. AND he and is on record for using outrageous language, including 237 appearances of the word “goddam” in Catcher in the Rye. So there you go.

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Meika Loe

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