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THE ENDURING JOY OF PLUS-SIZE YOGA  ASHTON APPLEWHITE ON ENDING AGEISM

Rebranding Aging®

JANE SEYMOUR'S MISSION OF LOVE RECORD-SETTING CENTENARIANS

Cyndi's Still So Unusual

Lauper Detours to Conquer Classic Country Music.


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CONTENTS JULY/AUGUST 2016

FEATURE

STILL SO UNUSUAL

12

DEPARTMENTS 5 | FROM THE EDITOR

Cyndi Lauper conquered pop, blues and Broadway. Now she’s taking a detour to classic country music. BY BILL SHAFER

6 | GROWING BOLDER WITH ...

18 | BOLDER HEALTH Former U.S. Surgeon General urges personal responsibility. By Jackie Carlin

28 | SURVIVING & THRIVING ® Fearing the worst, couple discovers a new path forward. By Marc Middleton

7 | THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH ® Centenarians are tearing up the record books. By Marc Middleton

22 | FUNCTIONAL AGING The Functional Aging Institute is changing attitudes and lives. By Katy Widrick

30 | THE TAKEAWAY A manifesto to end ageism, starting with you. By Ashton Applewhite

8 | MOVE FORWARD. GIVE BACK. Actress Jane Seymour reaches out with a mission of love. By Bill Shafer

25 | NEVER TOO LATE When Bill White left the corporate world, he started living. By Bill Shafer

9 | ROAD TO RECOVERY How to avoid delays and denials of necessary care. By Robert Masson, M.D.

26 | TEAM GROWING BOLDER Neal Unger’s unusual pathway to personal peace. By Marc Middleton

10 | 5 QUESTIONS Barbara Hannah Gufferman on style, sex, health and money. By Bill Shafer

27 | TEAM GB ELITE Gaining mat confidence, one pose at a time. By Karen Putz

THE ENDURING JOY OF PLUS-SIZE YOGA  ASHTON APPLEWHITE ON ENDING AGEISM

®

4 GROWING BOLDER

®

REbRANDING AGING®

JANE SEYMOUR'S MISSION OF LOVE RECORD-SETTING CENTENARIANS

Cyndi's still so UnUsUal

Lauper Detours to Conquer Classic Country Music.

ON THE COVER: It's hard to believe it, but sassy Cyndi Lauper has been a part of pop culture for more than 35 years. Cover photo by Chapman Baehler. J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6


FROM THE EDITOR

Editor-in-Chief Marc Middleton Managing Editor Jackie Carlin Associate Editors Bill Shafer, Katy Widrick Contributing Writers Robert Masson, M.D. Additional Photography Chapman Baehler, Gloria Feinstein Digital Development and Production Jason Morrow, Pat Narciso, Josh Doolittle, Mike Nanus

407-406-5910 One Purlieu Place, Suite 139 Winter Park, FL 32792 GrowingBolderMagazine.com All editorial content copyright 2016 by Bolder Broadcasting Inc. Growing Bolder is a registered trademark of Bolder Broadcasting Inc. Nothing may be reprinted in part or in whole without written permission from Bolder Broadcasting Inc.

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artsLife

SUMMER 2016

I

JEANNE CALMENT’S VERY GOOD DEAL

recently had the honor of evangelizing from the Book of Bolder as the opening speaker at the Functional Aging Summit in Phoenix. The summit attracts health and fitness professionals from all over the country who are looking to grow their businesses by tapping into the rapidly growing number of older Americans who understand that lifestyle modification today is the most powerful, most cost-effective form of healthcare for tomorrow. I opened my talk by sharing my favorite story of Jeanne Calment. Jeanne was a French woman who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years, 164 days. That’s the longest documented life in history — and until someone lives longer, it defines the maximum human lifespan. Jeanne lived a simple but active life. She took up fencing at the age of 85, rode her bicycle until she was 100, lived alone until she was 110 and walked without assistance until she was 115. She credited her longevity to a diet rich in olive oil, port wine and chocolate. When she was 90, Jeanne entered into what's known as a viager deal with a 47-yearold attorney. A viager is a contingency contract popular in France in which someone buys a property but only takes possession when the owner dies. The attorney, thinking he had made the deal of a lifetime, agreed to pay Jeanne the equivalent of $500 per month. Thirty years later, when he died at the age of 77, Jeanne was 120 and still going strong. The obligation for the monthly payment transferred to the man’s widow, and Jeanne lived for nearly three more years. When she died, the man and his wife had paid nearly $200,000, more than double the apartment’s value, and never lived in it a single day. Before she died, Jeanne said, “In life, one sometimes makes bad deals.” The best deal you can make today is to start Growing Bolder. Get off the couch and get moving, improve your diet, and start hanging out with others who don’t see age as a disease but realize it’s an opportunity. Who knows? Maybe one day you‘ll redefine the human lifespan. 

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Marc Middleton, Editor-in-Chief marcmiddleton@growingbolder.com GROWING BOLDER 5


GROWING BOLDER WITH

MIKE CAMPBELL

90

World’s Oldest Hockey Player

“I didn’t plan on being around this long — but I never drank, smoked or had a weight problem, so maybe all of that helped. I’m also a strong believer in exercise. In the winter, I play in more than 60 hockey games, including against my sons and grandsons, and in the summer I’m always on the move. For more than 40 years, I’ve volunteered to mow the lawns in cemeteries near my home. I use a push mower, not a riding mower. You’ll never get better sitting in a rocking chair. Just get up and move. My legs never bother me, my wind is all right and I’m on no medications, so I keep playing. I like to play hard and I hate missing games. I love to win, eh?”

At 90, Mike Campbell of Nova Scotia may well be the world’s oldest player of organized hockey. He spends his winters playing in adult leagues with teammates and opponents decades younger. This former coal miner says exercise has helped him through tough times, including the death of his wife at 40, which left him to care for their 12 children.

FABIAN

73

FORMER TEEN IDOL “I had a year or two of feeling my oats. When you think you’re special or different, you’re dead. When I was younger, I got into a bit of trouble and I certainly regretted it. Once you wake up and find out no one is special, that’s a wonderful feeling. I understand how Justin Bieber has gotten himself into so much trouble. I’ve been there. He’ll come around. There are very few people who can say, ‘I know exactly what he’s going through.’ We all have our ups and downs, and we all have our doubts, especially when we get older. You just try to hang in there and remember that you have good people around you. Start thinking about all the people who have helped you. When you think of those who weren’t good to you, it puts you in a bad place.”

In the 1950s and ’60s, few stars were bigger than Fabian. Eleven of his songs cracked the Billboard Hot 100, and he appeared in more than 30 films, acting alongside John Wayne, Bing Crosby and Jimmy Stewart. Today, he tours with fellow classic crooners Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell.

90

Holocaust Survivor/Speaker

“I’m glad that our soldiers who return are able to get help and talk about their experiences. We never had this. I lived with my memories of the Holo­caust all my life. When I came out of the hell, I couldn’t talk about it. I was very naive. I thought people wouldn’t hate each other anymore. Germany and Austria had some of the highest cultures before the war, but this all happened because of propaganda. If it could happen there, it could happen again. Hate has to be taken out of people’s hearts. When children come into this world, if parents put love into them, they will love. The hate is what they inherit; what they learn from others.”

Sonia Warshawski is among the last living survivors of the Holocaust. As a teen, she survived three different concentration camps and later moved to the U.S., where she married and had three children. For decades, she didn’t talk about her Holocaust experiences, but in her 70s, alarmed by hate crimes, she started speaking publicly about what she went through.

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to listen to our complete Growing Bolder Radio conversations with Fabian, Mike Campbell and Sonia Warshawski.

6 GROWING BOLDER

J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6

photo by Gloria Feinstein (SONIA WARSHAWSKI)

SONIA WARSHAWSKI


FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH 

Ida Keeling posted a congratulatory message on Facebook (above right) to a fellow centenarian who broke her age-group world record for the 100-meter dash.

INCREDIBLE IDA Centenarians are Tearing Up the Record Books. BY MARC MIDDLETON

S

he’s the littlest big deal in track and field. Or was for one week. Ida Keeling stands just 4 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 83 pounds. But she electrified a packed stadium while capturing the attention and admiration of the world at the famed Penn Relays in Philadelphia. Just four days before her 101st birthday, the great-great-grandmother from New York City lined up to compete in a special mixed masters (men and women) 100-meter dash for runners 80 and older. With more than 40,000 spectators on their feet and a worldwide television audience tuning in, Keeling ran and powerwalked her way to a new women’s world record in the 100-104 age group, finishing in one minute, 17.33 seconds. “Thank God that I can still run,” she tells Growing Bolder. “I’m very happy to hear that I can inspire people. It makes me feel even greater than my height.” Keeling felt so good after crossing the finish line

GROWINGBOLDERMAGAZINE.COM

that she dropped to the ground in the infield and celebrated with five pushups — to the delight of the crowd. Keeling didn’t start running until she was 67, following the tragic (and still unsolved) murders of both of her sons. She became so depressed that her daughter, Shelley, all but forced her to get outside and start running. The results were immediate. “I just threw off all of the bad memories, the aggravation, the stress,” Keeling recalled to the New York Times. At 101, Keeling still lives alone in her native Brooklyn, relying on lessons learned growing up during the Depression — especially the importance of self-reliance and the futility of self-pity. “It taught you to do what you had to do without anyone doing it for you,” she told the Times. “I wash, cook, iron, scrub, clean, mop and shop.” Keeling’s philosophy on active longevity comes down to one word. “Attitude. Keep a good attitude. Don’t let nobody turn you around or change you up. Be you.”

What’s next? Keeling's hard at work on her first book, and her daughter is encouraging her to become the world’s first competitive weightlifter in the women’s 100-104 age group. “She’s quite strong, and there are no records in any of the powerlifting, bench, squat and deadlift,” Shelley Keeling told Runner’s World. And suddenly, there’s new competition on the track. Just three weeks after Keeling set the record, Ella Mae Colbert turned 100 and stepped onto the track behind Chesnee Middle School in South Carolina. After falling face down on her first attempt, Colbert was bandaged and tried again, this time beating Keeling’s time by more than 30 seconds. Afterward she told the crowd, “You don't stop. You’ll have some trials and you’ll have something that gets in your way, but you don’t let it get you down. You get up; you go again.” While Colbert’s time will likely become a Guinness World Record, it won’t be recognized as an official record because it wasn’t run in an officially sanctioned meet. Colbert plans to rectify that when she enters a masters competition this summer. Keeling wasted no time congratulating Colbert with a Facebook post: “Congratulations Ella Mae on your 100 meter mark. God has blessed you the same as he blessed me. If we can get two more, we can run a relay!” Still, Keeling told Growing Bolder that she hated to lose. “But I have to understand that people are younger,” she notes. “I just have to do the best I can with what’s left.” 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to listen to our conversation with Ida Keeling and to see the video of her record-setting run that inspired people around the world.

GROWING BOLDER 7


MOVE FORWARD. GIVE BACK. At 65, Seymour is proud of her age, and says her refusal to undergo cosmetic surgery has enabled her to play a wider variety of characters.

OPEN HEART

Actress Jane Seymour Reaches Out With a Mission of Love. BY BILL SHAFER

J

ane Seymour has achieved much in her career. She’s been awarded an Emmy, two Golden Globes and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But, she says, while those honors are important to her, they’re simply the conduit for her true passion — using her celebrity to help make a difference. The actress, perhaps best known for her stint on the CBS-TV series Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, sat down with Growing Bolder to explain why — or at least, why not. “I never had any major plans to do all these things,” she says. “But when a great idea strikes I’ve always been one to say, ‘Why not?’” Seymour credits her mother, who was a prisoner of war in World War II, as the inspiration for her Open Hearts collection of jewelry and artwork, and for the Open Hearts Foundation, which “turns adversity into opportunity” by supporting organizations committed to positively impacting lives through health, education, arts and sports. “My mother taught me that when faced with challenges, to open my heart and reach

8 GROWING BOLDER

out to help someone else,” Seymour explains. “Helping someone else gives you purpose, and when you have purpose, you find happiness. Happiness allows you to exude love, and exuding love brings love back to you.” Seymour also cites her friend, the late Christopher Reeve, as another source of inspiration. Reeve, who soared to fame as Superman on the big screen, was paralyzed from the neck down in 1995, when he was thrown from a horse. He and Seymour had done a film together, Somewhere in Time, in 1980. “After the accident, Chris refused to sit home and feel sorry for himself,” Seymour recalls. “He made a conscious decision to do everything he could to help make a difference for others. That made quite an impact on me.” Seymour has had several close calls of her own. “I nearly died three times,” she says. “I actually had to be resuscitated once, and another time I had anaphylactic shock. These are experiences I certainly don’t recommend, but they did change something inside me. The result has been that I don’t fear death. And it became quite clear to me

that we only take two things with us when we die. One is the love we share, and the other is the difference we make.” Unlike many actresses, Seymour, 65, is proud of her age. She says she’s never felt the desire to undergo cosmetic surgery, and has opted instead to pursue a life of health and wellness. She believes this approach has actually extended her career by allowing her to portray characters representing a wider range of ages. In addition, she says, there are many benefits and opportunities that come with age. “I believe age begets experience which results in wisdom which calls you to be of service to others,” she notes. Seymour is grateful for her celebrity status, and relishes the opportunities it gives her to speak out and attract attention. “It’s an incredible gift to be the voice for countless people that don’t have a voice,” she says. “I’ll always be willing to use it to help.” She’s a firm believer that reaching out is everyone’s responsibility — and something we’re all capable of doing. “We should all ask ourselves how we can contribute,” she says. “It makes me happy to connect with people and make a difference. It can make you happy, too.” 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to watch our sit-down conversation with Jane Seymour and to learn more about the charitable works her Open Hearts Foundation supports.

J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6


ROAD TO RECOVERY

Dr. Robert Masson encourages everyone to understand their insurance policies.

THE FINE PRINT How to Avoid Delays and Denials of Necessary Care. By Robert Masson, M.D.

W

e’re in the midst of a transformational change in the way insurance companies manage health. And if you’re awaiting approval from your insurance company for necessary care — or have been denied coverage for care — then you’ve experienced the growing frustrations of millions of Americans. In terms of delays and denials, this is, by far, the worst that it’s been in my decades as a surgeon. There are many people with progressive narcotic addiction, progressive failure to thrive, progressive weight gain and serious orthopedic disability who are being denied care in the face of increasing premiums, higher deductibles and less access. These delays can be tragic, ultimately resulting in less favorable outcomes and GROWINGBOLDERMAGAZINE.COM

seriously diminishing the opportunity for extreme recovery. Without getting into politics, there’s plenty of blame to go around for gridlock and backup in the delivery of care. Providers have a history of not taking evidence-based measures to justify every procedure and every surgery. We’ve managed data from the perspective of failure rather than from a perspective of functional recovery. That’s rapidly changing, but in the midst of this change, insurance companies are denying necessary care. Every element of personal choice and freedom relative to our healthcare is mandated and dictated within the fine print of our insurance policies, which are radically different person-to-person, even when issued by the same company.

We’ll see 100 people from any one insurance carrier in a month, and every one will have a policy that differs from the others. Patients are shocked, surprised and disappointed to learn that their policies don’t provide the coverage they expected. As the relationship between payers and providers evolves, the need for consumers to be proactive in understanding their insurance coverage is greater than ever. As a patient and a consumer advocate, I strongly encourage you to invest the time and energy necessary to fully understand what your policy will cover, when it will provide coverage, who makes the decisions for your care, and which hospitals, networks and providers you’re allowed to see. We all understand that health insurance is something we need — but very few actually know much about their coverage until it’s too late. 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to watch more of Dr. Robert Masson’s Road to Recovery Minutes.

GROWING BOLDER 9


5 QUESTIONS Grufferman, 59, says the years since she turned 50 have been the best of her life.

AFTER 50, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING How the Milestone She Feared the Most Turned Out to be Transformational. By BILL SHAFER

10 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6


Barbara Hannah Grufferman

is an author and journalist. She’s a contributor to Growing Bolder, the Huffington Post, AARP The Magazine and has written an eye-opening, mind-blowing, life-changing book called The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts' Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More.

Barbara, nobody wants to turn 50. Our culture teaches us that it signifies the beginning of the slide into our twilight years. Why do you disagree?

If you’re recommending that we all go out and start running, that’s just not going to happen. Are you saying that running is the key?

Well, if you had asked me when I was 45, I would have agreed completely. I was terrified of turning 50. I feared the worst. But now I’m 59, and much to my surprise, the last nine years have been the most amazing years of my life.

No, not at all. But movement is. We all have to move. We have to do something, because health and fitness are the keys to living life to the fullest. You need to think about what makes you feel good, and make it a habit. I happen to love taking walks. It’s when I do my deep thinking. Just start with something like that to be your foundation. You’ll find that instead of feeling like you have to force yourself, one healthy habit will lead to another and another.

What happened that turned everything around?

There was one pivotal moment for me. I had just turned 50. The New York City Marathon runs right past my apartment, and all of us were standing outside cheering for the runners. Well, my daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, I want to be here cheering for you!” Now, mind you, up until then I had never run. I hated running. I couldn’t imagine why anybody would want to run. But something made me look at her and say, “I’ll do it!” Keep in mind that I’d just gone through menopause, and had gained 15 pounds and was still putting on more. So the very next day I bought a pair of running shoes and Jeff Galloway’s book on running, where he explains the run-walk-run style of training. And right there it clicked. I started replacing old habits with healthy habits. That doesn’t mean I became this big runner — but I developed the habit of making my body move every day. It became the foundation for my new life after 50. And just to complete the story, to celebrate my 55th birthday I did run in — and complete — the New York Marathon. GROWINGBOLDERMAGAZINE.COM

How has your life changed in the nine years since you turned 50?

Well, that’s when I had the idea for the book, Best of Everything After 50. The old me would have left it at that, just an idea. I would’ve talked myself out of going any further with it. After all, who am I? Why would anybody listen to me? But I forced myself to complete it. And almost like a light switch, my attitude changed from always asking “why” to wondering “why not?” Now, I’m just about finished with my second book, also about positive aging, which will be published next year by National Geographic Books. I give talks all over the country on embracing your age. I’ve been a semi-regular on Today and a number of other programs. And I’m inspiring people to be the best they can be. When I was in my 40s, I never would’ve dreamed any of it. Instead of being a spectator in my own life, I’m in control. I’m making things happen. I’ve become the star of my own movie.

Turning 50 seems to be the age when fear really starts to creep in. We’ve been conditioned to fear aging, and we see evidence around us that there are good reasons to fear it. How do we use that fear to motivate us instead of paralyze us?

We all have fear. It’s the human experience. You just have to understand it. The knee-jerk reaction is to move away from whatever’s triggering it. But fear is created by the unknown, by challenge and by opportunity. And if you always avoid it, your life will never change — you’ll never grow and never have new adventures. Bonus question: Is life after 50 really an opportunity, or is all this talk just a way to sell books or to tap into this evergrowing demographic?

Look, that’s a great question, and the whole point is this. You don’t have to buy my book. You don’t have to buy any book. The lesson here is that your life should be in your control — not your boss, your spouse or even your kids. You get to decide what brings you joy and what makes you feel good. Find out what makes you be the best that you can be, and that’s what you should do. Simply embrace your age, because if you deny it, you deny yourself. And the reward is a life so full, so rich and so vibrant you can’t even imagine. 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com for more tips, advice and inspiration from Barbara Hannah Grufferman and find out what she discovered that led her to write The Best of Everything After 50.

G R O W I N G B O L D E R 11


photo by Chapman Baehler

Most of us were introduced to Cyndi Lauper in 1983, when she released the raucous feminist anthem, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." At 62, she's still blazing new trails musically.

12 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6


TRULY

COLORFUL Cyndi Lauper Conquered Pop, Blues and Broadway. Now She’s Taking a Detour to Classic Country Music. BY BILL SHAFER


Because Lauper was bullied as a child, she has an affinity for those who are discriminated against because they're different.

I

f you’ve ever felt like life was stacked against you, then you have something in common with Cyndi Lauper. “I never saw myself as an insider,” the colorful pop icon explains. “I was always an outsider.” It’s a surprising admission from a superstar who says her life has been a decades-long struggle for acceptance.

“I’ve withstood a lot,” she admits. “I grew up in an environment where people were the product of misery. People who ‘should've been, could've been, would've been, but ...’ And I always thought, ‘There are going to be no ‘buts’ for me. It’s going to be sink or swim — and I’m going to learn how to swim.’” In a heartfelt interview with Growing Bolder, Lauper reveals that very few expected her to be a success. She believes her resolve was strengthened in high school 14 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

and college, where she was constantly ridiculed and bullied. “People would throw rocks at me because my clothes were different,” she says. But Lauper was never one to just walk away. “It didn’t help when I’d yell back something like, ‘Yeah, Archie Bunker, where’d you get your outfit from? A rack with 10 others exactly the same?’ And then, of course, they’d pick a bigger rock and throw that at me, too.” Uncompromising is a fitting description

of the Astoria, Queens, native. She’s never considered changing herself to please others. Quite the contrary, she’s always believed that she could change others to accept her. And that’s pretty much how it’s worked out. Because Lauper, now 62, still behaves (and looks) like a youthfully exuberant musical spitfire, it can be a bit jarring to remember that she’s been prominent in American pop culture for nearly 35 years. Most of us discovered Lauper in 1983, J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6


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Lauper's new country album features collaborations with some of the biggest names in Nashville.

when her career took off like a rocket during the early days of MTV. At the time, it was difficult to tell if we were seeing something genuine or some kind of fabricated cartoon character. Soon, though, it became apparent that Lauper was the real deal. Her inaugural solo album, She’s So Unusual (1983), was the first ever by a female artist to include four Top 5 hits. Reaching the upper tier of the Billboard Hot 100 chart were “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “She Bop,” “Time After Time” and “All Through the Night.” She won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1985. The title track from Lauper’s second al16 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

bum, True Colors (1986), reached No. 1 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocal Performance. A follow-up single, “Change of Heart,” peaked at No. 3. Lauper is also remembered for her 1985 romp through professional wrestling. She “managed” WWE women’s champion Wendi Richter, and famously feuded with veteran heel Captain Lou Albano. A sometime actress, Lauper played Michael J. Fox’s ditzy secretary in the 1993 film Life with Mikey. She won an Emmy in 1995 for her role as Marianne on the NBC sitcom Mad About You with Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt.

She has appeared as a performer on numerous TV shows, and in 2010 competed on Donald Trump’s reality game show Celebrity Apprentice, finishing sixth. In 1999, Lauper was ranked No. 58 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Also that year, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” notched No. 39 on MTV’s list of the 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made, while She’s So Unusual landed at No. 75 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Albums of the ’80s. In 2007, Lauper co-founded the True Colors annual music event, a multi-artist tour that helped support the Human Rights CamJ U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6


“If you’re not willing to cut a vein and bleed a little while you’re telling a story, if you feel embarrassed doing that, then it may as well be anybody singing.” paign, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and PFLAG (formerly known as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). The following year, she launched the True Colors Fund, which works to raise awareness of, and bring an end to, LGBT youth homelessness. In 2010, the fund initiated the Give a Damn campaign to get straight people more involved in LGBT rights. In 2013, Lauper conquered yet another musical genre when she wrote the songs for the Broadway hit Kinky Boots, and became the first woman to win a Tony for Best Original Score. In 2015, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, which she considers to be her most significant career achievement. Her autobiography, Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir, was released by Atria Books in 2012. “She was mouthy then and she’s mouthy now … when authority wags its stern finger in her face, she still responds with a finger,” wrote the Washington Post. It's true that throughout Lauper's career, just when her audience thought they knew who she was as an artist, she’d surprise them by taking a new direction. She knew that such risks might alienate, confuse or disappoint fans of the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” Cyndi. But, regardless of the career consequences, she was determined to explore every nook and cranny of her soul. Lauper has been driven — some say obsessed — by the need for constant change. In fact, she thrives on change, and considers it to be her Fountain of Youth®. It’s one of the reasons she was so determined to go to Nashville and record an album of country music. It’s called, appropriately, Detour. “Somehow along the way, you get so busy being famous you don’t get to do cool things. And this was definitely on my bucket list,” she says of Detour, which was the result of a collaboration with Seymour Stein, co-founder of Sire Records and a vice president of Warner Bros. Records. Sire, which has a distribution deal with Warner Bros., is Lauper’s new label. GROWINGBOLDERMAGAZINE.COM

“Seymour’s like a walking dictionary of music,” says Lauper. “He knows every song ever recorded. I’m not kidding you.” Lauper says Detour represents a natural evolution from her previous album, Memphis Blues, which was released to critical kudos in 2010 on the Downtown Records label. She notes that blues and country share deep Memphis roots, morphing into rockabilly when the genres met and melded at Sun Records with Elvis Presley and his legendary labelmates. Detour was produced by Tony Brown, the Nashville legend known primarily for his work with Reba McEntire, Vince Gill and George Strait. Brown has been a musician on, or a producer of, nearly 100 No. 1 country singles. Undoubtedly, an artist of Lauper’s stature — she’s sold more than 50 million records worldwide — will bring new fans to country music in general, and these songs in particular. Many of the tracks will likely be new to Lauper’s legions. On Detour, she duets with angel-voiced Emmylou Harris on the title tune, a western swing-style admonition against making poor life choices. The song, written in 1945, was a hit for Spade Cooley and Patti Page, among others. She also pairs with Willie Nelson on the Red Headed Stranger’s evergreen lament, “Night Life.” Other guest artists include Vince Gill (on Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty’s “You’re the Reason Our Kids are Ugly”) and Alison Krauss (on Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas”). Also joining Lauper is Jewel, who showcases her yodeling chops on Patsy Montana’s “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” the first country song recorded by a woman to sell 1 million copies. And what country compilation would be complete without a Patsy Cline song? Or maybe two? Detour showcases Lauper’s soulful takes on both “Walkin’ After Midnight” and “I Fall to Pieces.” “Who didn’t listen to Patsy Cline when they learned how to sing?” asks Lauper,

who lists the ill-fated icon among her musical heroes. “I think everybody did.” Yet, early in the project, even Lauper wondered if this time, she’d wandered too far astray. “The very first song I sang for the album, I was awful,” she admits. “I sucked. I was bad. And I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m not Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan. All I need to do is just be me.’” It was then that she opened her heart to connect with the music and her band in her own way. A thought came into her head that defines how she’s come to be such a success: “If you’re not willing to cut a vein and bleed a little while you’re telling a story, if you feel embarrassed doing that, then it may as well be anybody singing.” Lauper believes that her willingness to take a detour — and take a risk — is why she’s as passionate, inspired and creative as ever. In fact, she’s closing in on the possibility of reaching one of the rarest accomplishments in all of entertainment. She’s already won Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards — and has her sights set on one additional honor. “I really want to win an Oscar,” Lauper says. If that ever happens, she'd be only the 13th person ever to win all four. She’d love to do it by scoring another film. (In 1985, she wrote the soundtrack to The Goonies, so it’s likely that a film opportunity will present itself.) It’s gotten to the point where Lauper seems most comfortable trying to accomplish things no one thinks she can. “I just got used to understanding there are gatekeepers who stand in front of you, and tell you that you can’t do something,” she says. She believes her mission in life is to push past those gatekeepers — something she hopes to continue doing, time after time. 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to listen to our entire Growing Bolder Radio conversation with Cyndi Lauper and to hear some tracks from her new album, Detour.

G R O W I N G B O L D E R 17


BOLDER HEALTH Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona is on a crusade to get Americans to take responsibility for their health.

TAKE CHARGE

Former Surgeon General Urges Personal Responsibility. BY JACKIE CARLIN

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e was born to a poor immigrant family in New York City, where he experienced homelessness, hunger and health issues, only to rise to unimaginable heights of success. He eventually won unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate to become the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, from 2002-2006, during the administration of George W. Bush. His road to success was anything but easy. Richard Carmona, M.D., M.P.H. (Master of Public Health) and F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons), is a former high-school dropout who went on to become a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran as a member of the U.S. Army’s elite Special Forces. While in the Army, he earned his GED. After the war, he enrolled in college, first earning his nursing degree before graduating from medical school. His career has also included stints as a hospital and health system CEO, a deputy sheriff, a writer and a teacher of medicine at the University of Arizona. “My story bespeaks of what a great country we live in,” Carmona tells Growing Bolder. It’s Carmona’s love of this country and

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its people that motivates him to work tirelessly on what may be his most important mission yet: helping Americans turn their lives around before being crushed by the healthcare crisis sweeping the country. “Each one of us needs to take personal responsibility for our health,” Carmona says. “We have to make healthier choices. We have to eat healthy, we have to exercise a little bit every day. We have to wear our seatbelts and helmets.” Adds Carmona: “We’re spending $3 trillion a year, which is 18 to 19 percent of our GDP, on what we call ‘health care.’ It’s actually ‘sick care,’ because most of what we’re spending our money on is diseases caused by bad lifestyle choices. These choices are taking up 75 to 80 percent of the budget — and most of that is preventable.” Carmona, who currently serves as president of the nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute, notes that our choices over a lifetime add up. The goal is to make healthy choices most of the time. You don’t need to be perfect, he says, but you need to put in the effort. As Surgeon General, he released what was then the most comprehensive and au-

thoritative report on the health effects of secondhand smoke. In his landmark report, he wrote: “The debate is over. The science is clear. Secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance but a serious health hazard.” Ten years later, he’s still trying to make the case to the 42 million Americans who still smoke that it’s never too late to quit. “The good news is, that the number of smokers continues to decrease,” Carmona says. “But there are still certain pockets of our population where a lot of people smoke. For example, about one in three of our veterans, soldiers, sailors and airmen smoke, compared to one in five people in the general population.” Breaking that addiction to nicotine, Carmona adds, is a real challenge, even with all the products now available to help people quit. He says that 95 percent of people who try to quit fail the first time. Often, it takes several tries to quit for good. But it’s a battle worth fighting, Carmona says, both for smokers and society. “The individual’s right to smoke is now pushing up against our collective right as a society, because we have to pay for his or her care,” Carmona notes. “A smoker is going to live a decade less. A smoker is more likely to have emphysema, cancer and cardiovascular disease — all related to smoking. It’s a big problem in our society.” Carmona’s biggest takeaway? Each of us has the power and the responsibility to be a part of the solution. “There are so many innovative ideas being advanced right now focused on new technologies,” says Carmona. “We have telemedicine, distance learning and interconnected, digitally driven healthcare systems. I think all of those things are wonderful.” But, he adds, “As we advance the healthcare system of the future, if people aren’t engaged in their own health, we’ll just end up managing a sicker population better.” Today, set a goal to take a walk and make a better choice at your next mealtime. And slowly, choice by choice, it will lead to an avalanche of better health for you — and the nation. 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to listen to more of our conversation with Dr. Richard Carmona. He’ll share the four tips you can incorporate into your everyday life to delay or perhaps prevent the onset of dementia.

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NEVER TOO LATE 

‘WHY I QUIT!’

Bill White Couldn’t Wait to Start Living an Adventure. By BILL SHAFER

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ountdowners. You probably work with a few. They’re aware of exactly how many years, months and days are left until they can retire. Maybe you’re one of them. Bill White still had seven years to go. He listened to his coworkers talk about all the exciting things they were planning and he started to think, “What in the world are they waiting for?” So, on his 58th birthday, White went into work and turned in his resignation. “Ten days later,” he says, “I hopped on my bicycle and headed to Key West.” It didn’t make sense to White that so many people were OK with waiting for the days to tick by before they could begin doing what they truly wanted to do. He knew all the reasons they gave. But he started to believe that those reasons were simply excuses. “A lot of people say, ‘Well, I can’t af-

GROWINGBOLDERMAGAZINE.COM

ford to quit.’ Well, I couldn’t afford not to,” he says. “We all live in fear of not having enough money. And what I’ve learned through this whole thing is that the need for money is greatly overrated.” White says we don’t need as much of a nest egg as we probably think. “I don’t have a fancy house, don’t have a fancy car, don’t have a boat, don’t have jet skis, don’t have any of that stuff. I’ve got a bicycle and I’ve got my life. And that’s more important than all the money in the world.” What does have value for White is seeing the country and meeting people. That’s why he became an adventure cyclist. He’d be gone for a week, then a month, then three months — sometimes traveling thousands of miles. “It’s not about the bicycle,” he says. “It’s not about being an adrenaline junkie, because I’m not. It’s about really being alive and making your own choices. It’s about meeting like-minded people and seeing the world.”

Bill White finds life behind the handlebars much more appealing than life behind a desk.

White remembers one incident in particular that cemented his feelings. He was riding through the redwood trees in California when a family in a minivan passed him, then pulled over long enough for the kids to roll down the windows and snap a few photographs before hurrying along. “It dawned on me right there,” says White. “That’s the way most of us go through life —and that’s just wrong. When you slow life down, you start to think about who you are, what your life is about and what’s really important. Isn’t it ridiculous to wait until we’re in our 60s to do it?” White says that far from winding down, he’s now living with a whole new level of excitement. “I’m more motivated today than I’ve ever been before, because every single day of my life is mine,” he says. His advice is direct: “My gosh, look around, people. There’s a big old world out there. Hike it, bike it and explore it. Just don’t do it in a minivan. Get outside your little world. Reclaim your own life, and feel what it’s like to truly be alive.” 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to hit the road with Bill White and see some of his favorite photos from his adventures.

G R O W I N G B O L D E R 19


Explore Your New Active Adult Lifestyle

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el Webb Orlando is a 55-or-better, active-adult community near the heart of all the action in Central Florida. For years, you’ve chosen your homes based on school districts, bedrooms for the kids or proximity to the office. But now is the time to start the next phase of your life — on your terms! So, what makes Del Webb Orlando different from other active-adult communities? Location, location, location! With such close proximity to all of the Orlando theme parks (and hundreds of other fun things to do nearby), your family will be visiting a lot — when you have time for them. And that’s the point. As an active-adult community, Del Webb Orlando has an array of amenities and activities for you to stay engaged with life — both mentally and physically. The indoor walking and jogging track and large indoor pool will keep you fit when you’ve had enough of the average 72-degree weather. At night, join your friends and make new ones with drinks and music around the outdoor fire pit on the lake. One of the best features of this community is the 30,800-square-foot Montecito Clubhouse, which has just the right ratio of amenities to homes. This means that any time you feel like using the fitness center, resort-style outdoor pool, crafts room, tech center, library, pickle ball or other sports courts, you won’t have to wait your turn. Who has time for that when there’s so much to do? With 35-plus clubs and classes, your mental acuity will also get a workout. Volunteer your time with the Community Service Club, get competitive in the Cards Club or start your own club! As long as there’s interest, no club idea is too small. That’s because Del Webb Orlando is truly engaged with its residents — listening and working hard to make the community what residents want it to be. All thanks to a full-time,

on-site Lifestyle Director. As a double-entry, double-gated community, you can feel safe along the walking trails or taking your family to the Grandchildren’s Park. Whether you walk, bike or hop in the golf cart, friendly neighbors will wave you by. There’s really nothing like the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you enter the community. And with so many opportunities to make new friends, you’ll feel right at home. And we’ll prove it to you! The Explore Del Webb program gives you the chance to stay in a fully furnished, private home that comes equipped with a golf cart to use during your stay. Plus, you’ll have access to all of our amenities — and a Resident Ambassador showing you around like only a local could. Your visit will allow you to soak up some sun, meet the residents and learn what it means to live inspired! So, you can have it all, including a quality-constructed Del Webb home. As the pioneer of active-adult communities, we’ve tested our homes until they’ve become Life Tested®. Our Inspired Design Collection features such smart options as raised dishwashers, so you don’t have to bend down to load and unload dishes. And microwaves lowered to eye level to help with mobility. Haven’t you always wanted a home designed specifically for your unique lifestyle and interests? At Del Webb Orlando, that option is not only available, it’s more affordable than you might have thought! What could be more exciting than getting to start the next phase of your life in a home and community that’s exactly what you want it to be? Now is the time to put yourself first! Stop dreaming and start planning today. Call 866-6713330 or visit delwebb.com/dwo to make today the first day of your new life.

Del Webb Orlando offers an unparalleled active-adult lifestyle community designed for those who plan to keep on Growing Bolder, year after year. Plan your visit around one of Del Webb’s upcoming community events, participate in a club or simply get to know some of the neighbors.

Call 866-671-3330 or visit delwebb.com/dwo to schedule a visit today. 20 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

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Explore Your New Active Adult Lifestyle and the Next Phase of Your Life! Call today to set up your appointment 866-671-3330. Ask about our Explore Del Webb program so you can stay and play!

6 Single-Family Home Designs Garden Series: Starting from $173,990 1,289-1,433+ Square Feet • 2-4 Bedrooms | 2-3 Baths 2-Car Garage • 40’ Wide Home Site

With the right location and the right price, Del Webb Orlando is active adult living at its best! • Resort-style pool & spa • 30,800 sq.ft. clubhouse with 30+ clubs & classes • Fitness center, tennis, pickle ball, bocce ball • Outdoor fire pit & amphitheater • Fishing pier & walking trails

Classic Series: Starting from $216,990 1,671-1,968 Square Feet • 2-5 Bedrooms | 2-3 Baths 2-Car Garage • 50’ Wide Home Site

• Billiards, craft room, and ballroom • Gated privacy • On-site Lifestyle Director

Visit delwebb.com/DWO to find out more. Prices shown are estimated base prices, do not include lot premiums or options and are subject to change without notice. Community Association fees required. Square footage of clubhouse is approximate. Model homes are subject to prior sale and may be withdrawn from market at any time. Select furnishings within model homes are available for purchase for cash along with home, see a sales consultant for details on available furnishings. At Del Webb communities, at least one resident must be 55 years of age or older, no one under 19 (18 in certain communities) in permanent residence, and additional restrictions apply. Some residents may be younger than 55. This material shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required or if void by law. Additional terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Contact a sales consultant for details. CGC1515415. ©2016 Pulte Home Corporation. All rights reserved. 5/31/16


Growing Bolder's Marc Middleton delivers the keynote address to a packed house at the 2016 Functional Aging Summit, held in Phoenix.

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A FITNESS

REVOLUTION FOR OLDER ADULTS

The Functional Aging Institute is Changing Attitudes and Lives.

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BY KATY WIDRICK

ou know the numbers: Today, there are more people over the age of 55 than at any other time in human history. The number of people over the age of 65 in the U.S. is expected to grow to 87 million by the year 2030. And the number of people over the age of 85 will increase by almost 400 percent during that same time.

That’s not only a lot of people — it has the potential to be a lot of overweight, unfit people due to the exploding obesity epidemic in America. One of the keys to Growing Bolder is developing functional fitness: building the strength, stability and mobility for everyday activities (which can then lead you to bigger training goals, such as running long-distance races or competing in other sports). Functional fitness can enhance every aspect of your everyday life, and help you remain active for decades. The key is to find something you love to do, set smart goals and work with a trainer or coach who can make sure you’re doing it safely and effectively. Do that and you’ll be on the way to making the rest of your life the best of your life. Growing Bolder CEO Marc Middleton, a GROWINGBOLDERMAGAZINE.COM

competitive masters athlete himself, served as the keynote speaker at the 2016 Functional Aging Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, where hundreds of fitness professionals learned how Growing Bolder is Rebranding Aging™, and listened as Middleton revealed the keys to active longevity. Elana Feldman is a California-based fitness instructor who attended the summit to learn more about working with her clients over the age of 40, and to pursue certification as a Functional Aging Specialist. She tells Growing Bolder that her goal is to change lives every day — and that Middleton’s presentation came at exactly the right time. “Marc Middleton was an incredible inspiration!” she says. “Marc couldn’t have been more perfect to kick off this fabulous conference, because he empowered me with

ideas to be a better fitness professional. His energy and compassion is contagious.” Feldman adds that Middleton “shared so many creative examples of how older adults can live their lives to the fullest and still pursue their amazing goals. Age is only a number, not a disease that sets limitations on one’s life. He inspired me to live every day to its fullest!” “I had a blast,” says Middleton. “I know we’ll be working together in the future with many of these passionate and highly motivated fitness professionals. They came not only to learn, but also to share what’s working for their clients. There was a tremendous spirit of creative collaboration.” The Functional Aging Institute (FAI), host of the summit, educates and inspires fitness professionals to specialize in working with older adults. And from a business G R O W I N G B O L D E R 23


Middleton with (left to right) FAI co-founders Cody Sipe and Dan Ritchie. The pair started the institute "for fitness professionals who understand that there’s an explosion in the number of people seeking a safe start toward getting healthy for the rest of their lives."

standpoint, the founders say, there’s never been more of a need — or an opportunity. Dan Ritchie, Ph.D., co-founder and president of FAI, opened the summit with a reminder to attendees that they are in the inspiration business — and that each client has his or her own individual needs. “We started the institute for fitness professionals who understand that there’s an explosion in the number of people seeking a safe start toward getting healthy for the rest of their lives,” says Ritchie. He adds: “Whether that client is a 75-yearold trying to complete a cross-country bike ride, a 50-year-old recovering from injury who wants to be able to walk pain-free, or a 100-year-old who loves dancing and wants to be able to do it for as long as possible, our certified professionals have the knowledge and expertise that other trainers may not.” Cody Sipe, Ph.D., co-founder and vice president of FAI, tells Growing Bolder that many trainers fail to keep their clients’ specific goals in mind. “Many of the people we see who are in their 50s, 60s and beyond are focused on what being fit and healthy allows them to do, and to do better,” says Sipe. “That includes playing with their grandchildren, 24 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

traveling across the world and enjoying everyday activities without pain.” He adds: “Traditional assessments and workouts just aren’t enough. Our goal is to educate and inspire our fitness professionals to not only be better at their jobs, but to help the millions of clients looking for the Fountain of Youth to dive in and start reaching their goals.” Other speakers at the summit included Lindsay Vastola, NSCA-CPT, founder of Body Project; and Sue Grant, a Fellow of Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute. Grant is also a master instructor for FallProof !, an internationally recognized balance and mobility training program. Also giving presentations were Dr. Evan Osar, an internationally recognized lecturer, author and expert on assessment, corrective exercise and integrative movement; and J.R. Burgess, CEO of Rejuv Medical and MedFit, companies working to change the direction of the current healthcare crisis. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to attend an FAI-sponsored workshop to become certified as Functional Aging Specialists. The truth is, we’ve all been brainwashed about aging. Everything from media reports

to flawed research studies, mandatory retirement ages, doctors prescribing unnecessary medicines, over-the-hill jokes, Hollywood portrayals, Madison Avenue commercials and more have all negatively affected the way we age. We’ve also been brainwashed by our families, our friends and even ourselves. But you have the power to get off the couch and get into life. Small steps add up to big changes. Believe in yourself and start Growing Bolder! 

FUNCTIONAL AGING WORKOUT Growing Bolder has teamed up with the Functional Aging Institute to create a workout that you can do at home. It’ll help you with dynamic balance, muscle power, agility, core stability and wholebody strength and endurance. So, whatever your fitness goals are, this could be your start! Visit growingbolder.com/ functionalaging for the workout, as well as information on finding a certified Functional Aging Specialist in your area.

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Following his presentation, Middleton chats with a Functional Aging Summit attendee.

ABOUT FAI The Functional Aging Institute (FAI) was founded in 2013 by leading functional aging experts Dan Ritchie, Ph.D. and Cody Sipe, Ph.D. For more than 15 years, Ritchie and Sipe have been at the forefront of developing innovative, effective and science-based training programs for their older clients. Over the past eight years, they’ve shared their unique philosophies, techniques and insights with tens of thousands of trainers around the world. During that time, they reviewed almost every “senior fitness” certification program on the market — and couldn’t find any that met their high standards. They decided then and there to create high-quality certifications that would help fitness professionals to be more successful with the fastest-growing client base in the world — adults age 55 and over. A team of highly acclaimed experts is being assembled to develop content and help reach FAI’s goal of 10,000 certified fitness professionals in five years.

THE MOST

ACCURATE AMY SWEEZEY | MORNINGS 4:30 AM - 9 AM

GROWINGBOLDERMAGAZINE.COM

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TEAM GROWING BOLDER "The Dude" is a lot older than most skateboarders. But his passion and fearless style earn him street cred with the kids.

DUDE LOGIC

Neal Unger’s Unusual Pathway to Personal Peace. BY MARC MIDDLETON

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ou’ve probably seen a photograph or video of Neal Unger on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. At 59, he’s a stereotype-smashing skateboarder with long white hair, a white beard — and an attitude. Unger, aka “The Dude,” is a true original who refuses to let anyone define him or his lifestyle. He’s another great example of those who reconnect with the passions of their youth and rediscover a joy that gets them out of bed every morning. Unger got his first skateboard in 1962, when he was 9 years old. After skating for several years, he gave it up until relatively recently. Then he became a beginner all over again. In a totally unexpected way, skateboarding has become Unger’s longpursued pathway to inner peace. “I was a real mess for many years,” Unger says. “I practiced transcendental meditation, and while it helped calm my relentlessness, it had nowhere near the impact that skateboarding does.” Skateboarding, he says, “reconnected me 26 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

with me. It requires intense focus, and that focus immediately quiets my mind and allows me to live in the moment. I’ve learned how important and powerful the ‘now’ is. Skateboarding is the only thing that totally relaxes me.” Unger may be relaxed, but he’s always pushing himself, always riding on the edge of his abilities — and never afraid to wipe out. “Wiping out is part of the creative process,” he says. “That makes it beautiful, because you have to destroy to create something new.” Unger is always the oldest skateboarder in the park. But his passion, skill and fearless style of riding immediately earn him the respect and friendship of skaters who are decades, if not generations, younger. “I can hang out with skaters of any age, in any country, and we don’t have to say a word to share a meaningful experience and enjoy one another’s company,” he says. “That’s very cool and very rare.” A team rider for several brands, Unger has become a worldwide ambassador for

skateboarding at any age, and a guy who refuses to be defined by the date of birth on his driver’s license. “My philosophy on life is pretty basic,” he says. “You’ve got to keep things simple, keep searching for what you love and never stop learning. If you can find a way to really get to know who you are, it’s like winning the lottery. That’s what’s happened to me through skating, hanging out with some really smart people and reading a few good books from people like Eckhart Tolle.” Tolle is the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose. In 2011, he was listed by Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world. In 2008, a New York Times writer called him “the most popular spiritual author in the United States.” Reconnecting with his past has enabled Neal “The Dude” Unger to more fully live in the present, which makes him more optimistic than ever about his future. Says Unger: “As I gain more balance in life, I also gain more balance on my skateboard.” Or is it the other way around? The answer will no doubt be revealed in Unger’s next wipeout. 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to see videos of Neal Unger in action and learn more about his “dude logic” in our Growing Bolder Radio conversation with him.

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TEAM GB ELITE Rachel Townsend's yoga classes help plus-size women view themselves in a new light.

YOGA FOR ALL

Gaining Mat Confidence, One Pose at a Time.

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hen Rachel Townsend took up yoga several years ago, she wasn’t even sure she could do the most basic poses. She was learning from the comfort of her home, using DVDs and books. “I felt like I couldn’t make my body relate to a skinny person doing yoga, so I sought out plus-size resources and taught myself at home,” Townsend says. Before long, though, the DVDs and the books weren’t enough. Townsend was ready for yoga classes. But her first experiences weren’t pleasant. Some of her teachers were intimidated by having a plus-size student. They simply didn’t know how to guide her through the classes. By this time, Townsend was passionately immersed in yoga, and wanted to find a class in which she could be comfortable. She located one specifically for plus-size students in Chicago. She enrolled — and once she was among like-minded students, she found that she could focus completely on the experience. “Yoga is one of the best tools for learning to accept yourself, especially for women,” Townsend explains. “Plus-size women are often told they’re not good enough, and that they have to change. I don’t think that’s true. Yoga helps give you a better view of yourself. It brings you home to yourself — and that’s very important.” Today, Townsend teaches classes for plus-size women in two Chicago-area locations. The sessions are so popular that she’s just

GROWINGBOLDERMAGAZINE.COM

BY Karen Putz added a more advanced-level yoga class at one location. “Many of my students come in with the idea that they won’t be able to do certain things, or that the classes will be too hard, or that their bodies won’t do yoga,” Townsend says. “They come into the class almost ready to give up before they’ve even started. Once they start, though, the students realize that they can do it. They work with where they are.” Townsend knows this because she’s been down the same road. With every class, she encourages her students to put aside bodyimage thoughts and concentrate on the work at hand. “My biggest inspiration came from other teachers, who taught me that I can do things that I never thought I could do because of my size,” she says. “Like most of my students, I came into yoga with this idea that a lot of poses wouldn’t work for me and my teachers showed me that wasn’t true.” Now, when Townsend attends other yoga classes to learn more, she says the instructors sometimes mistake her for a beginner and assume that she can’t do the more advanced poses. She simply laughs — and lets her experience shine through.  How are you Growing Bolder? Do you have a story to share? We’re now accepting guest writers and contributions to the Growing Bolder blog. Visit blog.growingbolder.com to get all the details.

G R O W I N G B O L D E R 27


Judson and Barbara Stryker both contracted and overcame the same rare neurological illness.

RENEWED HOPE

Fearing the Worst, Couple Discovers a New Path Forward. BY MARC MIDDLETON

A

fter more than five decades of marriage, it’s the simple things in life, like walking hand-inhand, that bring the most pleasure to Judson Stryker and his wife, Barbara. In 2002, they wondered if these simple pleasures were gone forever. “Barb started showing some symptoms of having difficulty walking,” Judson recalls. “She was confused in her thought process and had issues with shuffling.” A CT scan revealed a brain tumor, and after doctors successfully removed it, Barbara’s symptoms disappeared. She

28 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

returned to normal, until her symptoms reappeared 10 years after her surgery. This time, however, her condition was much worse — and far more frightening. “When I would go to bed, sometimes I would have headaches and it would sound like water was swishing in my ears,” Barbara says. Judson adds that his wife was close to being entirely non-functional — and they both worried that she was developing either Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s. The Strykers feared the worst, until a multidisciplinary team of specialists at Florida Hospital accurately diagnosed a rare and progressive condition called nor-

mal pressure hydrocephalus, or NPH, in which cerebrospinal fluid can’t drain properly, causing pressure on the brain. “Even general practitioners aren’t fully aware of it, and don’t spot it or misdiagnosis it,” Judson says. While there’s no cure for hydrocephalus, Barbara’s doctors recommended a procedure that can dramatically relieve symptoms. A shunt was implanted in her head that directs excess fluid from her brain into her abdomen, where the body absorbs it. After the procedure, Barbara’s symptoms began to quickly disappear. Within a month, she once again remembered how to play the piano, one of her greatest joys. Amazingly, just one year later, Judson began experiencing similar symptoms, including rapid cognitive decline and more. “I had a great deal of difficulty walking and balancing, and had pain up into the back,” he says. A distinguished and highly honored accounting professor at Stetson University, Judson feared that his career as an educator was over when tests revealed that he, too, had NPH. But, in another successful surgery, doctors implanted a shunt in his brain. Like Barbara's, his symptoms were dra­matically diminished, allowing him to re­turn to the career that he loves. Doctors don’t know why both Barbara and Judson developed hydrocephalus. It may have just been a rare coincidence. Whatever the cause, here’s the effect: The Strykers feel obligated to spread the word about NPH, a frightening condition that’s often misdiagnosed. “My personal feeling is we’re here for the purpose of touching lives and making a difference,” Judson says. “That’s what we should be doing.” Over 54 years of marriage, two children and three grandchildren, Judson and Barbara have shared all of life’s ups and downs — including a rare neurological condition. Now, thanks to great medical care, they plan on sharing many more years together. Says Barbara: “You just appreciate and thank God every day for the blessing to wake up and enjoy your life.” 

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to watch the Strykers’ story and to learn more about NPH. Plus, share your story of survival and we may feature you in an upcoming episode of the Emmynominated Surviving & Thriving®. J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6

Photo courtesy of Florida Hospital Best in Care Magazine

SURVIVING & THRIVING ®


BOLDER EXPERTS

SELLING DAD'S HOME A Personal Story for Us All. BY PAUL AND LYN HENDERSON

W

hen you’re young, you never think that one day you may find yourself helping your elderly parents go through their most precious possessions and trying to decide what to throw away. It’s emotionally devastating for everyone involved when par-

ents can no longer live on their own. After moving my own father, we had put his home up for sale. I took him along to see which books from his huge collection he wanted to keep. We sat for hours as he told us a story behind each one — along with his reasons for not wanting to part with any. Finally, with tears in his eyes, his mind muddled by dementia, he cried out, “Why can’t I just live here?” My father, an accomplished physician, sat there frustrated and confused. I realized that instead of helping, all I’d done was remind him of the independence he'd never regain. It became apparent there were very few places to turn to for help and guidance through this difficult time. So, my wife and I, each armed with more than 25 years of experience as real estate agents, created GreatTRANSITIONS® to help clients understand their options — and to assist them in making the best decisions. When you or someone you love has reached the time to sell their home, let GreatTRANSITIONS® guide you through. Learn more at Great-Transitions.com or call 407-476-1808 for a free relocation consultation. Paul and Lyn Henderson both hold the SRES® certification and are the founders of GreatTRANSITIONS® based on more than 25 years of personal and professional experiences. The program is designed to help people transition to the next place they call home.

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G R O W I N G B O L D E R 29


THE TAKEAWAY

ASHTON APPLEWHITE

I

A Manifesto to End Ageism, Starting With You.

f you had told me 10 years ago that I’d be mesmerized by the subject of aging, I’d have thought, “You must be crazy! Aging must be really depressing, and old people must be sad and lonely because they’re going to die soon.” And I’d have been so wrong. As I grew older, I started hitting all these ages we’re conditioned to dread. I don’t know about you, but I’ve hit 40, 50 and 60 — and I’m having a really good time! In my early 50s, I started studying aging and thinking more critically about outdated ideas regarding our later years. Rather than being depressed about facing the end of their lives, I’ve found that older people enjoy better mental health than younger or middle-aged people. There’s this thing called the “U Curve of Happiness.” Study after study, conducted in the U.S. and around the world, confirms that people are happiest at the beginning and at the end of their lives. I started to think, “Why don’t we know this stuff?” The reason is we live in a culture that drowns out all the positives about late life. Because if aging is a disease or a cosmetic problem — which it isn’t — then they can sell you remedies to fix it. If we see it as neither, we’re a lot better off — and it’s a lot truer to reality as we get older. I wrote a book that’s a manifesto for society to change. But all change starts inside us, and between our ears. We’ve all grown up in a culture that describes old people as lazy, useless or unattract-

ive. We’ve been barraged by negative images of aging that start out as early as children’s books with the wicked grannies or TV shows like The Simpsons with the clueless grandpa. When those negative messages aren’t counteracted by positive messages, you begin to incorporate those ideas into your own sense of identity. This idea that the older you is less valuable than the younger you — less attractive, less whatever — is crazy. Every time we make a “senior moment” joke, every time we think, “Oh these wrinkles make me less of a person,” every time we lie about our age, we’re validating that notion. We’re the products of all our experiences. Age is framed as this endless process of loss. But because we contain all the ages we've ever been, aging is, in fact, an additive process. It’s an enrichment. We have all these experiences, these relationships, that we’re able to draw on the longer we live. Our society continues to equate aging with a time of decline and death. But aging is living. We’re aging from the minute we’re born. Dying is just what happens at the end of that living. We need to push back. We need to see that these feelings of loss aren’t personal problems. They’re not because we didn’t use the right wrinkle cream, didn’t do enough sit-ups or didn’t eat enough kale. They're a function of discrimination in society. And it’s time for society — and ourselves — to change the way we view aging. 

If aging is a disease or a cosmetic problem — which it isn’t — then they can sell you remedies to fix it.

Ashton Applewhite is a journalist, author and activist who’s confronting many forms of ageism that exist in our society today. She's been a Knight Fellow, a New York Times Fellow and a fellow at Yale Law School. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, Playboy and the Huffington Post. She’s spent the past decade writing and speaking about aging and ageism, including on her blog, Yo, Is this Ageist? Her new book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, is a call to arms to implore all of us — regardless of our ages — to wake up to the ageism that surrounds us and is inside us. 30 G R O W I N G B O L D E R

GB EXTRA Visit GrowingBolderMagazine.com to listen to our complete Growing Bolder Radio Show conversation with Ashton Applewhite and learn more about her mission to end ageism.

J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6


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Growing Bolder Magazine: Vol. 24  

Cyndi Lauper conquered pop, blues and Broadway. Now she’s taking a detour to classic country music. We catch up with this beloved entertaine...

Growing Bolder Magazine: Vol. 24  

Cyndi Lauper conquered pop, blues and Broadway. Now she’s taking a detour to classic country music. We catch up with this beloved entertaine...