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Interview with Patch Schwadron
Julia Valentine: The first time I saw your picture, it was on a Fitness for Life exercise class flyer at the Reebok Sports Club/NY. Your picture is fantastic. You look gorgeous. And Fitness for Life is such a great motto. How did you come up with it and can you explain the double meaning?
I spent some of my youth in Europe, and much of my training was in Europe. After coming to America, I found myself somewhat mystified by the way the American culture views age. As a professional trainer, I work with a wide spectrum of people, from preteens to the elderly.
There are many types of mentoring programs out there; from informal to formal programs, one-on-one to group-based and from school to career-based. With a little digging, you could easily find a program that fits your personal style, time-constraints and best utilizes your forte to benefit a younger person.
Fitness and fun—these two words are usually not used in the same sentence post–elementary school. However, the fundamental difference between a successful life change and another failed fad diet is a positive association between fitness and happiness. Utilizing your body is not a chore, it is a luxury.
Continued from Part I
Although there are numerous explanations as to why living a fulfilling life is the exception rather than the rule, we will throw out a few thought-provoking ideas.
Suffering and Pain: The Best Justification
The first inkling that there was a flaw in my thinking came when I observed my stepfather. He played violin in the orchestra of an opera house, which brought him great joy and meaning but relatively little income, not to mention it took up most of his time. Since he knew everything there was to know about violins, he became a violin dealer, finding great deals for a few of his clients — and in the process, he substantially increased his income in just a few hours a month. I was amazed. Suddenly, the dream of the triad of money, joy and meaning was a lot more achievable.
Most people are familiar with anecdotal evidence of creative genius continuing well into the later years of life. Giuseppe Verdi composed “Ave Maria” at age 85; Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal lenses at 78; Frank Lloyd Wright completed the Guggenheim museum at 91.
But why not have fun with it? Why not play with it, try it out, experiment? If you can't decide if mentoring students is something you'd enjoy, try mentoring one for just a semester and see how you like it. If you'd like to give Greek lessons, try it for a few months. Maybe it's for you. Maybe it's not. Either way, it's all good — and how will you know if you don't test it out?