By SHANE RICHARD BELL
Staff writer/Coeur d’Alene Press
Magnetic people live with a young heart.
They light up your life. They draw you in with their presence. Naturally you crave what they already possess.
They’ll tell you it’s not a secret, though.
They are aware of but not defined by their age. They rise above their bodies and fill their weathering temples with all of the gifts of a young child.
My dad is one of those people. He is the perfect person to start off our 2013 Young at Heart publication, which includes articles and local event calendars for seniors striving to live with a younger heart.
My dad was born in 1946 but he acts like he was born in 1989, the year I was born.
When he fell off a roof and broke his leg in five places, he recovered by training for a marathon on a three-wheeled, hand-operated bike. He won that race, placing first at the Tucson Marathon with a time of 1:53.
He then completed another marathon on foot, and then another.
When he got skin cancer, he received treatments and invested in giant sunglasses.
When probed about his condition, he made jokes. He laughed. He told people he’d been in a bar fight. He told one woman a wolf had attacked him.
Some strangers believed him. They laughed together.
When he had eye surgery, he laid low, read dozens of books, and caught up with friends. When he could see well again, he went skiing and played his guitar for children at the Kroc and for elderly folks at Ivy Court.
His secret is choosing to live with a young heart, every day of his life.