How Do You Take Care of Yourself?
WM asked alumni, “How do you take care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally?
Walking for the Future
Jesse Owens said, “If we walk long enough and talk long enough, we can solve all of the problems of the world.” I’ve often thought of that idea as I do my two-mile walk each day and pull my thoughts together (talking to myself about the world around us). This picture of two of my grandkids a few years ago kind of embodies Jesse’s thought…. and gives me hope for the future.
Bumper Hostetler ’76
The Power of Art
Though I am slowed down a little by Parkinson’s disease, I still get a thrill from art.
My wife and friends are convinced that my passion for art is what is keeping me going. Every day I try to do some sketching or painting. I search the Internet for new artists and study their paintings. I read art history and try to understand what artists were doing, and still are doing, to relate to their times.
I also enjoy creative writing in the form of memoirs and short stories and have written some plays that we have read on the stage here.
Don Scholz ’40
Photography has turned into my method for “stopping to smell the roses.”
At 49, I’ve never felt better physically, emotionally, or spiritually. A late bloomer, I guess. My wonderful wife and kids keep me grounded emotionally. Living and working in Haiti keeps me challenged and growing spiritually.
Steve Gross ’90
Teacher and missionary,
Cap Haitien, Haiti
Good for the Soul
Making music is good for the soul!
Danton Grube ’72
Our Work-Life Balance
I train for and do triathlons with my wife. This helps us keep work-life balance, allows us to train together, and keeps us mentally and physically fit.
David Martz ’93
A Wonderful Feeling
I grab my binoculars and head out in search of birds—whether that’s looking for birds in Central Illinois or along the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park, TX.
Being out of reach by email and cellphone while searching for species of bird I’ve never seen before is truly a wonderful feeling.
H. Allen Yow ’86
Siblings from All Over the World
Athletics and family are the physical and mental/emotional cornerstones of my life.
I train year-round for sprint triathlons and compete in two to three races every spring/summer.
My siblings are my closest friends and confidants. The eight of us are adopted from all over the world: Albania, Bulgaria, South Korea, and Vietnam. They are my travel mates, emotional advisers, thought-partners, and best sources of feedback in all aspects of personal and professional life.
Ramsey Bradke ’14
Just before I turned 60 I began high jumping again.
I had not taken a single jump since my last Wabash track meet 38 years earlier. I was shocked to find my jumps were about 1½ feet lower than my best at Wabash (6’ 8”).
To redeem my self-respect I joined a gym, worked out frequently, changed my eating habits, and began competing in Masters track meets year-round.
By the time I retired at age 66, I felt better than I had in the previous 20-plus years.
Just as we needed to train to attain our athletic goals at Wabash, we now need to stay “in training” to achieve an even more important goal: living a high-quality life during our most vulnerable period, which we reluctantly call aging.
Masters athletic programs are now quite popular. Last year we
had our first 100-year-old high jumper!
David Montieth ’67
New Year’s Day Discussion
I devote a few hours every New Year’s Day for a generative discussion with my wife and son, where we think ahead five years and list out our goals. This has proven to be enlightening and entertaining.
Brad Boyd ’75
The “Wordsworth Cure”
Three to four times a day, we walk our dog, an Australian shepherd, in the many beautiful conservation areas near our home, traversing meadows, woods, mountains, farms, and fields. My literary friend calls this the “Wordsworth cure.” It immerses me in the natural world where I rely primarily on my senses—it is a walking meditation.
Jay Alexander ’69
Controlling the Traffic
For me, it’s guided or mindful meditation—not necessarily the whole ‘chanting a mantra’ over and over, but really just trying to separate and control the traffic that’s going on in my head.
Over the past year juggling marriage, graduate school, a side business, and a high-stress job that requires weekly trips across the country, meditation has positively alleviated anxiety, sleep issues, and even improved my overall cognition.
Matt Dodaro ’09
In the Wilderness
My kids and I have gone wilderness canoe camping for the past 30-plus years; we prep our own food, have our own gear, and go for about a week each summer to Quetico Provincial Park.
I also fly. In medical school I helped form a flying club when I got my license. I’ve joined a flying club again since my retirement, earned my instrument rating, and I’m working with a friend who is helping me build a kit plane.
I also stay active in music. I direct the men choir at our church, and I sing in Canticum Novum, an auditioned chorale at Northwestern Michigan College, and this summer we are going to sing at Carnegie Hall.
My wife, Pat, and I have now been married for 26 years, which greatly helps maintain my sanity.
Bob Nelson ’59
On a Journey
Recently I’ve been drawn back to the beauty and orthodoxy of the Catholic faith. I pray the Rosary every day now. It encourages me to focus on events in the life of Christ. As I do this, it clears my mind of burdens and cares I’ve been dragging around. My spiritual life has never been stronger and emotionally I’m stronger.
I’m still an independent Christian, but I’m on a journey.
Joe Masner ’88
Gentle and Loving Souls
We have populated our five-acre “farmette” with rescue animals—currently two horses, two miniature donkeys, two dogs, and one other dog and cat we brought with us. The horses and donkeys were adopted from rescue farms who purchased them at auctions to save them from being sent off to meat processing plants.
Caring for the animals and tending the property keeps us physically active, and knowing that we are providing forever homes to a variety of gentle and loving souls gives us a great deal of personal satisfaction.
Earl Houck ’67
West End, NC
Mushing the Dogs!
Currently I volunteer my time as an assistant scoutmaster with my son’s Boy Scout troop. My son and I enjoy the activities and it’s great to see him and the other Scouts grow as well!
In February, we had the opportunity to experience dog sledding at one of the Northern Star Council’s camps. The Scouts were able to both ride on the sled and mush the dogs! !
L. Brian Lane ’91
About three years ago I launched a men’s TEDTalk discussion group. We meet at various men’s homes one morning a month over coffee and bagels and view one or two especially relevant TEDTalks and then discuss their meaning in our later lives.
This keeps our minds engaged on important topics and builds a tighter fraternal bond.
Phil Wescott ’65
“Gratitude Drives My Spirit”
I take robust walks in my favorite Los Angeles park: Griffith Park, more than 4,300 acres where I have plenty of nature to explore.
While there I always verbally give gratitude to God and The Universe for allowing me to be healthy and able to be right there in the park. Living a life of gratitude for all I am, all I have, and all I give, keeps me in pretty darn good spirits more often than not.
This gratitude drives my spirit, and my singular goal in life is to treat others the way I want to be treated.
Cam Montgomery ’86
West Toluca Lake, CA
Power of the Pen
I maintain regular social contact with old and new friends (I try to keep up with at least one person from each important phase of my life), and I keep a regular journal where I write to myself, while also writing for publication and corresponding with many dear friends and family. (I lost one of my favorite lifetime correspondents last year with the passing of Dr. Don Herring, my former advisor and teacher at Wabash.)
John Cunningham ’78
Vacations on Foot
Now almost 80 years old, I go with my wife to a personal trainer once a week, walk three miles or do an hour in the gym at least three days a week, and try to golf twice a week.
We usually choose vacations that involve either sightseeing on foot or hiking. Last August we did a beautiful loop of the central California Sierra.
Max Riedlsperger ’59
San Luis Obispo, CA
My wife and I both compete in Senior Games competition, both Pensacola Senior Games and Florida Senior Games. I do the 400- and 800-meter runs, and she throws the discus.
We also go dancing, nearly every week.
Norman Meeker ’63
Gulf Breeze, FL
A Return to Hiking
Although I have enjoyed hiking since I was a young man in the Boy Scouts, I did not start hiking in earnest until 2013 when I joined the Indianapolis Hiking Club. I found an extra benefit of enjoying a new set of friends which added to my emotional well-being. I have to hike alone, though, to feel one with nature while enjoying the sounds of birds chirping, wind rustling, and experiencing the sights of the forest, mountains, ocean, prairies, and desert.
Phil Coons ’67
A Fortunate Routine
I am semiretired from the practice of medicine in Indiana but still seeing patients two days a week while living full time in Florida.
We live just across the intercostal waterway from beautiful Anna Maria island. No less than four mornings a week I walk across the Cortez bridge to the island, obtain a cup of coffee at the local Circle K and then sit on the beach before walking along the surf and then back home. While at the beach I have my morning devotional and relax both physically and mentally. The entire trip is about a three-mile brisk walk. I consider myself fortunate that at age 80 I am able to participate in this exercise routine.
Attached is my morning view as I drink my coffee.
Hoyt Miller ’59
Learn New Things Every Day
I’ve maintained a vegan diet of nutritious whole foods for the past several months, and I stop eating when I’m full. I run, lift weights, bike, rollerblade, do yoga, or exercise in some other way nearly every day. I plan at least eight hours of sleep into my days, use a white-noise machine, and wake up with an alarm that simulates sunrises. I meditate at times, share mental concerns with loved ones, and learn new things every day.
Ben Cook ’14