Let’s Change the Conversation About Aging.
5 Over 50 proving...
Age is power. Age is possibility. Age is a mindset.
Ralph Rubio has touched thousands of lives since founding Rubio’s Coastal Grill, which has nearly 200 locations. Rubio’s serves fresh Mexican-inspired fare featuring quality ingredients and grilled, wild-caught seafood.
As a Perennial, he greatly values the invigorating energy his younger employees contribute to his business. They “bring youthful energy that is so important for our future success.” He believes that creating opportunities for people to grow and develop is critical to any organization’s success.
Ralph also believes that there’s an opportunity for experienced leaders to make more and better contributions as we age, beyond what we can do for ourselves. He encourages his peers to “continue to contribute to your workplace, your social circle, your church —wherever your community may be. The more experienced role models we have, the more we’ll see a change in the cultural conversation.”
On a personal level, Ralph Rubio stays active at the gym, on the soccer field, and on the tennis court as well as stepping away from his business periodically to travel with his wife. All this activity keeps him in a positive mindset as he continues to age. For as he sees it, “Aging is a natural thing, it’s inevitable, but it comes down to how you do it. I’m an optimist at heart and I see better days ahead.”
Ralph is really leading us by example to a fresher, healthier tomorrow
Rehabilitating the Soul of America, One Story at a Time
Darryl Nyznyk was a high-powered lawyer who felt the soul of America was fading. In 2007, he decided to leave the world of law so that he “could help rejuvenate that soul with stories...where hate and divisiveness can be overcome by the real goodness in us.”
While some people take fewer risks later in life, Nyznyk had “the realization that one can age and not get old,” discovering his second career as a writer to be one of the many surprising gifts of his later years. To continue sharing his stories, he’s committed to prioritizing his overall health. He pairs a diet comprising “less red meat and dairy products and considerably more vegetables, fruits, and fiber” with near-daily walks of up to five miles, usurped only by Sunday church service to nourish his spirit.
More and more, he sees his outlook on aging reflected in society’s conversation around age. Tasking fellow Baby Boomers to mentor younger generations and create this shift, Darryl insists Boomers are up for the challenge since they are lifelong rebels who “don’t want to go quietly into that good night. We want to go kicking, screaming, loving, learning, and giving.”
“Involvement wasn’t a question, it was an imperative!” That’s how Joanne Bollinger felt on her first trip with WISE to the small town of Kaoma in the East African country of Zambia.
After taking care of her elderly parents and husband with Alzheimer’s Disease, Joanne never imagined she would travel the world, enlisting the help of others on behalf of a community that touched her so deeply. But “engagement” is the word she feels best defined by, finding that as she ages its “deeper engagement [she enjoys] and find[s] gratification in.”
Having experienced Kaoman culture in which reaching older age is a rarity, Joanne believes that ours should better integrate generations to shift our outlook on life after 50. She sees those in advanced age as having so much to give, and counts herself among the lucky who were “born with a joyful spirit, and [she feels] blessed that [she] can share it.”
To get to where she is today Joanne has kept her diet full of “plenty of vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken, and eggs. My diet over the years has moved increasingly towards more vegetables...and smaller portions of protein-rich foods.” She stays fit via her tai chi practice and daily walks while keeping herself mentally firm by limiting her hours on a computer, reading, and staying connected with others.
Playing Her Best Role in Her Second Act
Judy Burley just keeps moving. Bored in retirement after a career in the Federal Government and looking for a challenge, she answered a background casting call on her local news station. Six years later, 70-year-old Judy is in her second Screen Actors Guild contract and enjoying a robust background acting career—one she knows is partly thanks to her very active lifestyle.
With a diet rich in fruits, green vegetables, protein, and fiber and an energetic daily routine that includes at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical exercise, eight glasses of water, prayer and meditation, and plenty of step-climbing, Judy’s a prime example of how a commitment to health is really a commitment to one’s self. “I try to set goals, and that really helps me a lot,” she explains when asked about how she accomplishes it all. “You can do anything you want to. Take it one step at a time, day by day.”
That’s the message she has for her peers, and the one she champions when discussing changing society’s views of older generations. “We in the 50-and-older community can change the conversation around aging by showing the world that regardless of age, we can do anything that we set our mind to. We just have to know our purpose in life, implement an active and healthy lifestyle, and believe in ourselves.”
Hall-Of-Fame Record Breaker
“Aging is a positive. Full stop.” That’s how long-distance swimmer Pat Gallant-Charette sees it & she wants everyone else to, too.
After losing her 34-year-old brother to a heart attack, Pat’s then-teenage son expressed a desire to swim the 2.4-mile Peaks to Portland swim, just as his uncle used to, in his honor. 46 at the time, Pat thought it impossible for her to join in. Nevertheless, her son encouraged her by saying, “You can, if you try.”
She credits her initial self-doubt to a lack of visible and active older-age role models, and tasks the media to change the collective conversation around aging. “Years ago, when I was in my teens and twenties, [the focus] was geared towards younger generations so I grew up thinking that at a certain age, it all just stopped.”
Now 68, Pat knows this couldn’t be further from the truth if one commits to doing the work. It took her a year of training hard to qualify for her first swim, but her determination has led her to a slew of impressive milestones, including—but not limited to—setting a World Record for the oldest woman to swim the 21 miles from Catalina Island to the mainland of California at age 60 years and 258 days. It’s all part of her mission to prove that older people “can be just as strong, just as determined, and get the job done.”