Every now and then I’ll see some old dude with a cane or a lady with a walker, slowly making their way along the sidewalk, hunched over and clearly in pain. I wonder how they got to that point, and if it was preventable.

Time is harsh, sure, and genetics play their part, but there’s also something to be said about the choices you make when you’re still able to do so. It was terrifying to watch my grandfather’s mind and body betray him as he slowly succumbed to dementia, and ultimately, death. After that, I decided that I wanted to die happy, coherent, active, and super old.

I just realized I don’t really know much about my grandfather’s diet (why would I?). I know he liked a good steak, and he had a pretty standard retiree’s belly, but he wasn’t obese. He’d have a beer now and then, when I was 4 or so we’d go to McDonald’s once a week. He’d go on walks for exercise, and worked at H&R Block during tax season to keep his mind sharp (worked for a while, I guess). He also smoked from the age of 12 until… his 30s? Not sure.

In any case, I smoked for a decade, and ate garbage for much longer than that. I lost myself in narcotics for a year. I also still have a penchant for drinking excessively when not in a serious training phase. These all count against me, and who knows what’s lurking in my genes, but I’ll do what I can with a plant-based diet and an excessive amount of fitness. Then maybe, just maybe, come 2077 I’ll be as awesome as this guy:

This is what I choose.

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