Steve’s Longevity Model

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Live Long, Finish Strong – Attaining Maximum Functional Longevity

Steve Greene Portraitby Steve Greene

A man visiting at a local neighbor’s house for three days parks his brand new Corvette sports car in their driveway. I notice this because during the course of my life, I have owned two of these vehicles, and appreciate the design aesthetics. The sparkling red thoroughbred finds the man cleaning and polishing it daily, sometimes up to an hour at a time, meticulously grooming every possible area that is visible to onlookers.

The owner is in his early thirties, the same age as the folks who own the house. His actions with the Corvette seem to indicate he is proud of his automobile, and wants to give it the best care possible. I am sure he also maintains the engine and all parts with equal fervor. The car is in superior condition compared to its owner. The man is shirtless in the warm sun, wearing shorts and flip-flops, as he pampers his car. A very large belly protrudes over the top of his pants, giving the appearance of a woman nine months pregnant. All the while, this man is puffing on a cigarette, which is replaced with another once burned down to the nub.

There is no doubt that this man takes better care, by a huge order of magnitude, of his prized race car than he does of his own physical body. This scene I watch from the kitchen window, while washing dishes, for three days during his visit across the street is typical of the larger picture of American male behavior. There is nothing askew about it, and we have all witnessed similar episodes many times during our lives. This man represents a sizeable percentage of affluent Western males. He is so average that hardly anyone sees anything amiss regarding him. He is what we might term as normal.

I am not normal, as I am sure most of you might accept if you’ve been reading my stuff over the years. Of course, who is to say what normal is? I see normal as what the largest percentage of any given population is or does in relation to what is being studied. My base of reference is primarily the first-world country in which I have found myself residing since my reported birth in the middle of the twentieth century: United States. I say “reported birth” because I have absolutely no recollection of it, and am basing the event totally on what is called “hearsay” in the justice system courts.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE, ON THE WILD STEVE WEBSITE.

16 Responses to Steve’s Longevity Model

  1. Howard Veit says:

    Steve, your wonderful article confirms what I have suspected for some time — you are I are soul brothers. We both own the world’s fastest production trike, you the Catrike 700 and I the ICE Vortex++. Your father died at 57 sending a powerful message to you. Mine died of a heart attack at age 53, thrusting me on a life-long quest for maximum functional longevity. I have gradually evolved in my search for an optimal lifestyle as the science evolved. I became a vegetarian in 1984 and evolved to a vegan (not an aqua vegan) in 2006 after becoming acquainted with the works of John McDougall M.D., Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. M.D., Joel Fuhrman, M.D. and others. I too am an evangelist, who has tried to convert the normal to the an normal like me. I have had limited success, even with my own family. Your fine article has added some additional arrows to my lifestyle quiver. I don’t drink enough water during the day, even though I am an avid triker who logs at least 150 miles per week. I don’t sleep enough, and I have been lax on including resistance training to my regimen. I am now committed to do a better job with hydration, sleep 8-10 hours/night, and to add at least two sessions in the gym per week. Thanks for the inspiration! Although I agree about the Omega 6/Omega 3 ratio and usually stay in the 1/4-1/10 range, I am skeptical about fish oil and use a plant-based Omega 3 supplement from an oil made out of seaweed. Seaweed is where the fish get their Omega 3. I am concerned about our treatment of fish and the oceans, and the possibility of fish contamination (mercury, for ex.). I am an avid reader of your website and am continually inspired by your enthusiasm for healthful living.

  2. Trike Hobo says:

    Hello Howard,
    Thank you for the wonderful response! I am impressed that at least one other TA reader out there shares my longevity and health mindset – it is rare! The article is admittedly rather short, lacking many finer details, and even other strategies I employ in my pursuit of super centenarian status, but for a trike website, it will have to do, as I could end up writing an entire book if I don’t limit my evangelism. I have indeed found that attempting to convert folks who I see suffering is a futile effort usually, often met with hostility, so over the years I have learned to remain silent unless queried about health, fitness, and longevity. This is what’s nice about a website – if folks find what I write not to their liking, they can simply just stop reading. Simple as it sounds, water is surely the basic element upon which all our other longevity strategies must be built! I agree with your fish assessments fully, and this remains my conundrum, however I have yet to discover a source of Omega 3 as powerful as fish – I shall look into your seaweed solution, although I suspect it is in ALA form, and would require very large amounts to reach the levels currently thought most beneficial for the heart and brain. The Omega 3 is highly concentrated in fish (as is mercury, of course). The ICE Vortex is a great trike! You made a wise choice, as I suspect the rear frame may be stronger and more durable that the new VTX. Only road time by many riders will answer this question. Take care my friend.
    steve

  3. Howard Veit says:

    Steve,

    As I said in my previous post, it is amazing how many lifestyle views we share and that we were both motivated in a life changing way by the premature deaths of our fathers. With regards to Omega 3, I buy DHA+EPA Purity from DrFuhrman.com. Here is how the supplement is described on the website http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/pdf_product_factsheets/DrFuhrmans_DHA_EPA_Purity.pdf:

    A Vegan Source of Healthful, Long-
    Chain, Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    DHA and EPA have many essential functions and health benefits. They are crucial for the health of the brain, eyes, and cardiovascular system—from fetal development all the way into old age. DHA and EPA are most commonly obtained from fish, whose tissues accumulate these long-chain fatty acids from algae or algae-consuming marine life. ALA, a short-chain omega-3 found in certain plant foods, can be elongated by the body into DHA and EPA; however, even with an ideal diet, many people may not sufficiently convert ALA to achieve optimal long-chain omega-3 (DHA and EPA) status. Adding supplemental DHA and EPA to a high-nutrient, plant-based diet has the potential to enhance the health benefits of your diet.

    I haven’t had a blood test, so I can’t verify the effectiveness of this product at sustaining healthy levels of Omega-3. I do trust Dr. Fuhrman, however. His nutrition advice is right on target.

    I have spent several years trying to convince people to adopt what you refer to as maximum functional longevity. In fact, I ran seminars on the subject for our local men’s club. Although I have had some successes, mostly I have found that people don’t have the will to change, even in the face of serious illness. With my men’s club group they mostly all were constrained by their social situation, especially the fact that their wives would have no part changing the way she ate or cooked or shopped. In my case, my wife bought the package when we married because I was a vegetarian 27 years ago when we got hitched.

    One of my riding buddies, a 56 year old woman, recently had a heart attack. I was in Florida when the event occurred. Although I talked with her by phone, it was six months later when, during a ride together, I introduced the subject of diet change to a whole foods plant-based eating style. I am afraid that I totally turned her off because she started arguing vehemently about the health benefits of her current Mediterranean Diet loaded with fish and olive oil and I suspect lots of meat and dairy. She told me that her pleasure of eating will never give way to a plant-based diet. Unfortunately, I may have lost a friend even though I think I was rather gentle in my unsolicited advice. She has been noticeably cool to me ever since our exchange. I am just guessing, but I suspect her husband wasn’t pleased either.

    With my family I have tried to be a good healthy lifestyle role model and have succeeded, at least partially, with my sister and my oldest son. My youngest son is about 60 pounds overweight, and I have had little impact. My wife cooks great vegan meals for me, but will not make the shift herself.

    It is hard to describe how fortunate I feel being 72 years old, in perfect health, taking no medicines, ride my trike (and two wheeled recumbent) an average of 200 miles per week. Now, thanks to your prodding, I am back in the gym at least a couple times per week. It is hard to convince my youngest son who is 26 how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. He can’t foresee the health risks that will mount as he gets older. Like my cycling friend, he is unwilling to give up his pleasures for what is to him the vague illness potentials of the future. I have even resorted to bribery telling him I will buy him a used Maserati (his dream car) if he will get his weight to a healthy level and adopt a healthy diet for life. He is considering it. I am sure that others will scoff at my approach, but I will do anything ethical that will work.

    I guess we can either preach or serve as a role model or do both. Frankly, I have found the role model approach to be the most affective, although of limited scope. You have a wonderful platform to reach a wider audience. I am envious. Keep up the good work.

    Howard

  4. Howard Veit says:

    Steve, BTW, check out my blog http://www.lifestylepower.blogspot.com.
    Howard Veit

  5. Trike Hobo says:

    I am enjoying the website Howard! Yes, it appears our maximum functional longevity models exist in the same universe, one that is immeasurably askew from the commonly inhabited reality of the multitude. Your assessment is correct regarding the sharing of information that provides the key for living a healthful and long life, in that few folks are willing to consider this path. My experience reveals that most people believe I am suffering in a perceived deprivation of enjoyable eating, thinking that surely I cannot be having the fun in life they are having, due to my lifestyle choices. Of course, as you clearly realize, this suffering does not exist, and only the thoughts in the heads of onlookers believe it to be so. Yes, we all make our own choices, and we all experience our own consequences as a result of those choices, and the best you and I can do is simply be guideposts for those with a modicum of curiosity. Active “conversion” is always futile, or at least I have found it so. I no longer attempt to persuade anyone to follow my path, but am always willing to assist if they voluntarily wish to learn the ways to avoid suffering and premature death. Thanks for sharing! Perhaps someday we can ride the Vortex and 700 together, the two white knights of speed triking!

  6. Howard Veit says:

    I would like to go on a trike venture with you sometime. If I am ever out your way, I will let you know. I spend winters on Longboat Key Florida, near Sarasota. The rest of the year is in Atlanta. If you are ever down my way, give me a holler.

    Howard

  7. Howard Veit says:

    Steve, I have just gotten started on my return to a bodybuilding routine to support my Maximum Functional Longevity journey. Thanks once again for all your helpful suggestions. Today I finished session two of my month-long full body program. I feel great! I am reminded that nothing makes my body feel better than intensive weight training. As much as I love trike riding, weight training wins the prize for the feeling of physical and mental well-being. My upper body is slowly coming alive again!

    My challenge will be to find a suitable facility to pursue my bodybuilding when I return to my second home on Longboat Key, Florida next week. At my home in Atlanta I have a fully equipped gym, which I have built up over the years by buying second hand equipment, yard sales, etc. My home gym now is first class including Frank Zane’s Leg Blaster apparatus, which is the star player in my leg routines — shoulder-safe squats and calf raises mainly.

    So, my current plan, as we discussed, is to do Mon-Wed-Fri weight training (intensively) and Tues/Thurs/Sat time on the trike. I might do a trike ride after one of the weight workouts when my body is back in form. Currently, after two sessions, my body is pretty spent after 1-1.5 hours of intensive training and I have opted to stay off the trike until the next day.

    I have mused about MFL on my blog and the challenge of keeping up both my passion for trike riding and bodybuilding here – http://lifestylepower.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-on-maximum-functional-longevity_13.html. When I am 100 and still riding my trike on century rides and doing my bodybuilding routines, you’ll be 91 doing similar things. Let’s go for it!

  8. Howard Veit says:

    Steve, one more thing. I ordered Raw Meal and have tried it in two smoothies. Like the taste very much. I am alternating Raw Meal and Vega One in my morning green smoothies. Using both adds nutritional and taste variety.

  9. Trike Hobo says:

    Keep leading the way Howard! It is fine examples like you that keep me confident of expressing my passions for longevity and fitness. My friend Jim Morris, at 79, also inspires me to understand where my path leads. Recently, I did a day trike ride of 40 miles with 72 year-old Bob Devlin, who completed the mileage in great form on his Greenspeed. “Old” Guys Rule! I have also hiked with backpackers (male and female) in their 80s and 90s, who are fully able to keep pace with me. Yes, age is clearly not the factor, and we must remain vigilant that we not succumb to traditional beliefs about early maladies, disablements, and death. Criterion-based study indicates that you (at age 72) still have about 50 years of functional life ahead – and by golly, that ICE trike will surely take you there in style!

  10. Trike Hobo says:

    The variety is sound logic – cover your bases! I have always kept a good variety of supplements going over the years. Using the Raw Meal three times weekly, after your workouts, should prove a good strategy, resupplying your body with most every nutrient it needs, including 34 grams of high quality protein. The other days, use your standard protein supplement. I love fresh plant-based smoothies (use a “Magic Bullet” blender – noisy, but the results are awesome).

  11. Howard Veit says:

    I have a Vitamix 5200, which has served me well over the years. . Green smoothies are the mainstay of my whole foods plant-based lifestyle. I just bought a Vitamix for my son who just moved into his new apartment. Trying to pass MFL on to the next generation too!

  12. Trike Hobo says:

    Hey Howard, You’ll enjoy this video of 70 year old Sam Bryant, Jr. I have also placed it on the TA Weight Trainer page.

    He talks about how age provides many people an excuse for being lazy. How true!

    And here is a great documentary of Jim Morris at 78! Inspirational!

    steve
    https://trikeasylum.wordpress.com/stevestuff/world-of-steve/weight-trainer/

  13. Howard Veit says:

    Steve, thanks I have included both Jim Morris videos on my blog. Tomorrow I am headed to Florida until April. At my home in Atlanta I have a well equipped home gym with everything I need. In Florida I have been using the YMCA, but need to find a better place. I hope to ride my trike to/from the new gym on workout days. I am also hoping to find some other 60/70/80 yo folks to train with.

  14. Trike Hobo says:

    Your home gym in Atlanta sounds great. I have been training at my own home gym for a few years now, and find it better for me than a commercial facility. At public gyms, my old “better than the next guy” aggressive mindset returns and can thwart my best training techniques, because I become more interested in showing off (male ego) than doing the exercises in ways that will produce the most benefit to my improvement. At home, I train instinctively, doing what feels best at the time, with no mind to anything else, as no one else is around. All those reps and sets I have spelled out are, for me, simply theoretical foundations, as at this point, I listen to my body, and modify everything each workout to fit what I feel I need during that particular day. This instinctive training comes with decades of experience – The first twenty years of my training, I always had it all spelled out on training cards to the nth degree. The first two years of my bodybuilding, I worked out at a YMCA, and have occasionally used one when traveling over the years, but each facility can vary all over the map as far as quality and equipment. You will be hard pressed to find other 60-80 year old folks who are seriously into maintaining a healthy body, but they are indeed out there! Finding a perfect training partner is like finding a goldmine, or the fountain of youth. A great training partner is valuable beyond measure!

  15. Howard Veit says:

    Steve, I agree about the home gym versus commercial. Over the years I have accumulated (through used equipment stores, estate sales, and some new) a wonderful home gym including a Smith Machine, dumbbells from 5 to 100 lbs., adjustable benches, a Zane Leg Blaster, a leg press machine, a seated calf machine, a seated bi/tri machine, a back hyperextension, a knee raiser, a seated leg extension machine, a seated rower, a Concept2 Rowing machine (which I love), a recumbent bike trainer, and a treadmill. When I am in Florida I haven’t found anything close to what I have at home. And, of course, I have a home routine that can’t always be replicated in a commercial gym. My ego isn’t so bad in a commercial gym, mainly because my training has been spotty (not as consistent as the trike) and I have lots of catching up to do. BTW, I also have a sauna room at home. I love my home gym and get great uninterrupted workouts, playing the music I like….Perfect!

    If I were to go to Gold’s Gym in Sarasota, or one of the other high end gyms I would find everything I need, of course, but unfortunately these facilities are a long ways from my home. I could ride my trike to/from the gym, but the traffic is pretty ugly, especially in the snowbird season. Hopefully, I can find something satisfactory close by this year.

    Actually, good training partners are hard to find whether in the gym or on the trike.

  16. Trike Hobo says:

    Man, I’m impressed with your home gym Howard! I may have an envy attack later this afternoon – hope I survive. At the gym I used to own, I had saunas in both locker rooms. Another advantage of a home gym is being able to use all the time usually needed to get to and from a commercial facility for something a tad bit more productive than driving (of course, if you are pedaling there, then it’s okay because of the physcial exercise involved). The last year I worked out at a normal gym was after I had given up owning a petroleum powered vehicle, and I made the difficult decision to walk to and from the gym each session. I learned to wear a waterproof pauncho to keep dry – my workouts then began while it was still dark, so in the winter, I’d be walking the streets at night in the rain – cops never did hassle me though – thought sure they’d be suspicious.

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