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Dare to Be 100: Faster and Faster

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Andy Rooney is credited with the sage observation that "life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer to the end it gets the faster it goes." So true.

Just last week I was startled by a tweet attributed to the White House. May 29, 2015 would have been Jack Kennedy's 98th birthday. No way he could have been that old. He was actually 46 when assassinated. He was and remains young.

Even closer to home is the fact that our oldest child, wonderful Danna, single mother of four just turned 60. No way. I'm not that old yet myself.

Last year I gave a keynote talk to the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Atlanta. I started : I'm 84 years old. You are 24 years old. But yesterday I was 24. Tomorrow you will be 84. How do we get so old so fast?

My mother at 95, last survivor of 12 kids, widowed for 25 years, lost most of her friends kept asking "why am I still here?" What time was it in her life? She felt that she was in overtime.

Mike Czikszentmihaly, professor of psychology at Claremont, provides an important perspective in his book "Flow". In flow he says that time vanishes. Flow occurs at the idealized intersection of challenge and ability. When they are perfectly matched you experience Flow. Time stops. When a task is more than your ability then stress occurs, the world spins too fast. When the task is less than your ability then boredom occurs. Time is lethargic.

Einstein showed how time is context dependent. He observed "an hour spent with a pretty girl seems like a minute, but an hour spent on a hot stove seems like an eternity. That is relativity. When the airplane hits turbulence a minute last forever. On the other hand sexual ecstasy never lasts long enough.

Now in my 86th year I am grateful for a longer than average life. Dad died at 74. Mom made 95, But I still have much work to do. Alexander the Great bemoaned his unfinished business; only half the world conquered.

So I dare to be 100. Another 14+ years seems right, if I do it right. I'm trying.

Norman Cousins taught me, "Never let an opportunity go without response." Father insisted, "Listen to the Salutation of the Dawn." Take charge of every now.

I am ever mindful of Bortz's law: "it is never too late to start, but always too soon to stop."