At 64, Mike Merino says he’s only now learning what life is all about. It’s a tough lesson, with cancer serving as his teacher. But Mike tells Growing Bolder he has more hope than ever that the rest of his life can be the best of his life.
Mike found himself out of shape, overweight and lacking energy after 44 radiation treatments for prostate cancer. He knew he had two options: stay on his current track and rely on medications for the rest of his life or get off the couch and start moving.
So, he headed to the gym!
It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fast. Mike had to try various exercises and workouts to find what fit him best. That took him from strength training to indoor cycling to dance fitness classes, and the more he worked, the more it worked, helping him to lose weight and start to feel more alive than ever.
And in hindsight, he says he realizes that his past behaviors may have contributed to his diagnosis — he is now very careful about what he eats, asks questions about medications and treatments before accepting them and says he’s committed to finding his Fountain of Youth.
Mike knows first-hand how short life can be. He’s a veteran who now works in the spinal cord injury center at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa. His battle with cancer and now, his journey into health and wellness has inspired him to lead by example, telling Growing Bolder:
As a 64 year old single man, I`m sure I am no different than any other male similar to myself, in that I wish to enjoy my senior years with all the energy and youthfulness my mind and body can muster. With that said, I want to send a stern warning to all older men that want youth and vitality to keep things natural by eating healthy and exercise daily, and stay away from medical fads and miracle claims in the media. Remember, your life depends on it!
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