Active Aging week is in full swing here in Richmond. Senior Connections, the Capital Area Agency on Aging, the Arthritis Foundation, and VCU ‘s Department of Gerontology asked us if we knew any seniors that help to model what active living looks like post-retirement. Surprise surprise, we know a bunch of them!
Gardner Divers, Midlothian
Gardner Divers, age 70, moved to Midlothian 11 years ago to be closer to his daughter and grandson. The move ended up being not just a change of location, but a change of lifestyle as well.
“I’ve seen people retire and immediately stop doing anything productive,” says Gardner, “They go downhill very quickly.” Gardner was determined not to let himself fall into that same fate. He wanted to keep himself sharp, both physically and mentally. “I take on projects around the house that I know nothing about,” says Gardner. “It seems like I’ve been working on my deck all summer now!”
As for the physical aspect, Gardner’s daughter got him into running. “I always wanted to run, but never got around to it,” he says. “I just never seemed to have the time.” After his retirement and with some convincing from his daughter, Gardner started running and hasn’t looked back. He’s been on Sports Backers training teams since 2005 and has completed 5ks, half marathons, and everything in between.
Gardner and his wife also enjoy traveling. They have taken several road trips all around the country, and have been to 48 states! The most important lesson Gardner has learned since his lifestyle change? “Don’t waste any time,” says Gardner. “Don’t even waste a day, do something tomorrow – go to a gym, start running, do something—you’ll be happy you did.”