Life is for Living: How to get the most out of life at any age by John Shackleton is a small book full of down to earth advice and a call to action to help us make the most of our health and enjoy living life to the full.
Life is For Living: How to get the most out of life at any age
By John Shackleton
John Shackleton challenges his readers to reconsider what aging really means. Are we limited by our assumptions of slowing down, losing our health and fitness, and getting fat as we get older? Is it possible to be fit, healthy and full of vitality at any age?
This isn’t a book setting out the latest fad diet or get-fit quick programme. It doesn’t promise an easy way to look years younger in mere days. What it does offer is practical advice borne of experience and a call to diligent action to protect our most precious asset – our health.
John Shackleton does not purport to be an expert in nutrition or medical matters. What he offers is the product of his own experience and insights. He shares these insights in a conversational style full of personal anecdotes and understanding gained from his study of sports psychology.
As a teenager John never quite reached international standards in his chosen sport of swimming. He admits he found many excuses for this – lack of height, limited ability, etc. But later in life he realised the reality was lack of self-esteem.
However, at the age of 50 he became a first-time father, swum 3 lifetime personal best times and won 3 top ten places in the World Masters Championships in Italy in 2004. He did this through a combination of positive thinking, increased motivation and confidence, goal setting and sheer effort.
You won’t find anything startlingly new amongst his ideas. You will, however, be encouraged by the down-to-earth advice delivered in a way that is passionate rather than preachy. John uses common sense and humour to get across his message which is applicable to readers of any age, but most strongly aimed at baby boomers and seniors.
His quirky sense of humour shines through in the use of photos of him integrated into the chapter headings and the delightful end page. I won’t spoil the surprise – but if you want a good laugh go straight to chapter four!
The difference in approach from many other books of this type is that the reader is told in no uncertain terms that the best results in health and fitness will come from dedication and continued hard work. He even has a chapter on how to organise your finances to support what you need to do to keep up with his suggested processes.
The slim little volume is well set out and easy to read, in a clear san serif font on bright white paper – a real boon to boomers. I was able to read it in two sittings and I must sheepishly admit to getting out the exercise tape in between readings and feeling all the better for it.
The only problem I have with the book is that John has a goal of winning a swimming competition at 100. As I’m in the same age-group as the author, I’m going to have to live to 100 too so I can check out whether or not he wins.
Published by Maruki Books, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2008 - 107 pages in Paperback