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Role Models

Who are your role models, someone who you admire and who inspires you?

I met one of my first well known role models in 1998.  He is the reason I chose to get my personal trainer certification at the Cooper Institute in Dallas.  I got to meet Kenneth Cooper (still going strong at 87).

For 50 years, Dr. Cooper has been a leading pioneer of preventive medicine.  He challenges everyone to follow these 8 Healthy Steps to live better. Maintain a healthy weight; make healthy food choices most of the time; exercise most days of the week; take the right supplements for you; do not use tobacco; control alcohol; manage stress; and get a regular, comprehensive physical exam.

He wrote the book Aerobics in 1968 and coined the term.  In Texas, Dr. Cooper was instrumental in getting physical education back in schools.  His collaboration with PepsiCo to eliminate trans fats from its Frito-Lay snack line started an international wave other companies have followed. The biggest reason he is my role model is he literally walks his talk.  Though no longer running, most every weekday at 87 he rides a stationary bike for 30 minutes then does a circuit of 10 machines for 20 to 30 repetitions.  He also walks Scarlett, his 14-month-old Maltese, once or twice a day.

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About a month ago, I was honored to go on a yoga retreat at the Kripalu Center with Tao Porchon-Lynch, famous Master Yoga teacher, 100 years young. I felt like I was in the presence of love for all with Tao.  She has over 70 years of yoga practice and more than 45 years of teaching yoga to students in India, France, Dubai, China, Russia and throughout the U.S. Tao believes that following the principles of yoga can heal individuals and by extension, help heal our planet.

Tao was a model and actress in England, France and the USA (under contract to MGM) in the 1940’s and 50’s.  She helped Jewish people escape in WWII.  She marched with Gahandi and Martin Luther King.  She feels whatever our religious beliefs, there is a spark that makes us one with our fellow human beings and all forms of life on our planet. Tao’s philosophy is “There is nothing we cannot do if we harness the power within us.”  She started ballroom dancing at 87 and is an award winning world-class dancer.

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Tao Porchon-Lynch’s 5 Rules for a Long, Happy Life

1. Don’t procrastinate—tomorrow never comes.
2. You can’t believe in something if you only do it halfway.
3. Each day, whatever is in your mind materializes.
4. Never think about what can go wrong. I know my best day is every day.
5. If you wait for something good to happen, it will. Don’t look for tragedy.

Part of our health is genetics and life circumstance however these inspiring role models remind me of what is in my control.  Happy New Year!