I, Ken Thomas, hereby presents the Century Challenge to one and all.
What is the Century Challenge?
The Century Challenge is adopting the effort in pursuit of the goal of arriving at your 100th birthday with independent vitality.
Requirements for Winning the Century Challenge
Upon your 100th birthday, you must:
- Be independently mobile; no wheel chair, walker, or cane needed.
- Ability to get up from lying flat on the floor without assistance from anyone or anything.
- Must be able to climb a flight of stairs, without assistance.
- Must be able to walk at least one mile.
- Must have erect posture - not bent or stooped while standing or walking.
Prizes will be awarded to all winners. See Prizes below.
Many times, I have heard people say they do not want to live into their 90's because they don't want to suffer the debilitation of old age. If I ask them if they would be ok with living into their 90's if they were not debilitated; they just look at me as if I said something preposterous.
Why am I Pursuing the Century Challenge?
I have gained new confidence over the past 29 years! In my 30's, I couldn't even imagine living to be a hundred. Vitality and elderly is not synonymous with my family history; however, something has changed. I became a Type-1 diabetic, which prompted a change to a Whole Food Plant-Based Fat-Free* diet. From that point; my health and vitality has been on a continuous, steady ascent - and still improving through my mid 60's. With that, being vital at 100 now seems more probable than not. That's only another 34 years for me! So, I'm going for it!
Want to join me? If so, please share your plans in the comments below. We could celebrate everyone's 100th birthday with a cross-country hiking party or something active like that! How awesome is that?!
What Is My Plan for Pursuing the Century Challenge?
My plan for winning the Century Challenge is to continue the WFPBFF diet that has been proven with three decades worth of continuous health growth and to apply all that I expect to lean through my remaining years.
Hazards I have learned to passionately avoid:
- Atrophy. I often hear family members wonder how some older individual is still able to do certain things. They are able to still do what they do simply because they haven't stopped doing it. It is clear that the ability to do anything is lost when the particular activity is stopped. If something becomes hard to do, for whatever reason, I extend the effort to keep going. Stopping, locks in debilitation. I have found that continuing, even if it is hard; the "hard" will eventually succumb to easy.
- Boredom. The all too common, "been-there-done-that" syndrome results in loss of interest, inflicting tiredness; resulting in atrophy. At the onset of boredom, it's time to find something interesting!
- Cheats. I've probably heard the phrase, "Just a little-bit won't hurt" a million times. Yes... it does hurt. Each little cheat set's health back by "a little bit", which seems insignificant, but, it is cumulative and erosive and sets a new, lower, reference. Remember: It is exponentially harder to catch up than it is to keep up.
- Insulin Resistance. I have learned from my Type-1 diabetes experience that insulin resistance is a silent diminisher of health. Silent, because it occurs slower than our attention span (making its effect perceived as benign and "normal") and lasts from months to years to lifetimes.
I have learned to:
- Keep my health management close. Not to trust my health to "professionals".
- Don't stop! Always keep going. Abilities are lost (atrophied) when stopped.
- Realize that "hard" does not mean "can't".
- Realize that the belief, "Can't", is failure by default.
- Keep life interesting. How hard it is to do something is inversely proportional to how interesting it is.
- Keep learning! Keep seeking knowledge. No matter how knowledgeable I may think I am, there is always more to learn and often times, a new finding humbles me to realize that what I thought I knew wasn't quite right.
- Maintain an open mind.
- Pay attention! Connect the dots of what I experience and what I observe. If it doesn't fit; It's not true.
- Realize that life is a continuing process - a process of which I am the director.
- Grand prize: extended youthful vitality throughout long life.
- Full life free from chronic pain.
- Totally rewarding, fulfilled life.
* The term; Fat-Free is referring to effort only, because all whole food plants contain fat - even lettuce. Fat is literally unavoidable - no need to pursue it. I claim "fat-free" because I do not seek fats, but more to the point; I do not eat any dish that contains any ingredient that contains more than 10% calories from fat.
Please understand that I am not a medical professional in any capacity. This writing is only to share my experience and what I have learned from it.
Nothing in life is more inhibiting, failing or debilitating than the belief; "I Can't."
Nothing in life is more freeing, enabling or successful than the belief; "I Can."