Physically Fit, Mentally Alert

Our common humanity is often best expressed through the struggle to maintain or regain our health. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Elvin Malone, as well as an audio recording of our full conversation. Click here to submit your own healing story.

 

Dr. Tuckson:
 

Elvin:

Dr. Tuckson:

 

 

Elvin:
 

Dr. Tuckson:

Elvin:

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Elvin:

 

 

Dr. Tuckson:

Elvin:

 

 

Dr. Tuckson:

Elvin:

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Elvin:

 

 
 

 

 

 

Dr. Tuckson:
 
 

Elvin:
 
 

Dr. Tuckson:

This is Dr. Reed Tuckson here with Mr. Elvin Malone. Elvin, how old a gentleman are you?

I’m 77.

And you look to be pretty fit. In fact, I’ve spent the day with you here at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and you’ve been walking all over the fairgrounds, from one end to the other, and you don’t get tired. You’re not going slow and at the end of a busy day, you seem just as fit as you were at the beginning of the day.

Oh, yeah. Really you feel better the more you involve yourself in physical exercise. If you’re physically fit, then you’re more mentally alert; they go together.

Now, I assume you work out on a regular basis?

Oh, I do. I work out four to five days a week, most times five days a week.

Wow.

I’m in a seniors program at Wesleyan College. I live in a retirement community and we have exercise facilities there too, but they’re a little bit too light for me, so I joined over at Wesleyan College. They have a seniors program and it’s very physical. Now we exercise and on Fridays I started a line dance.

Oh, did you?

Yeah. You know there are a lot of ladies in there so we started the line dancing and the instructor thought it was a good idea, so she made it a part of our exercise program. The last half of our Friday exercise, everybody wants to make it because it’s the line dancing.

And that gives you pretty good exercise?

Oh, yeah. Actually you work up a sweat faster in line dancing then you do in aerobics.

Wow. Were you always a physically fit guy?

Yeah. My wife and I, before my wife passed, she was an avid walker and we had a stationary bike. We had other equipment that we used in our home and so it became a part of our regular routine. To get involved in exercise one key thing is you need to do it as a group. It’s very difficult for you to maintain it by yourself. If you don’t have a partner, if you have some neighbors, if you all even go to the nearest mall and just walk, do it in a group and that’s fun.

Now I’m sure you know a lot of people in your retirement community who don’t exercise.

Yeah, a lot of people there give little excuses. Once you get into those kinds of habits, you go further and further back. Once you get involved in it then you look forward. In the morning I look forward to getting to my class at 9:30 because there are people that say, “Hey Malone, how you doing?” It’s kind of fun because there’s not many males in the class; there’s mostly woman. A lady might come up and say, “Malone, I’m having surgery on Thursday, say would you give me a hug and pray for me.” You enjoy it, you know. It’s something to look forward to.

If I miss exercise it’s mainly because I’ve got an appointment or something I have to do. But I don’t feel good by just saying, “I’m old. I overslept.”

That’s beautiful. If there’s one thing you can say to somebody who needs to get over the hump to get that motivation, to get out there and just start doing any kind of exercise, what would you say to them?

I would say, look, just start walking around the block. To maintain it try to involve some of your friends, some of your relatives, some of your neighbors. Once you get five or six people to doing that together, you will continue.

Good advice from Elvin Malone, 77-year-old, active senior and regular exerciser. Thanks again.