Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sharkie Zartman on Winning at Aging & Staying Fit, Free, and Loving Your Retirement

In this interview, Sharkie Zartman talks to Alexander “The Engineer” Lim, host of AuthorStory by, about her book, Win at Aging: How to Stay Fit, Free, and Love Your Retirement!

“We have been given the gift of time.” ~Sharkie Zartman

Sharkie is a former member of the USA volleyball national team who has, since then, become a member of the Hall of Fame in three different organizations and has coached different teams to two state and one national title. “This is exactly what I wanted to do,” Sharkie remarks of her athletic experience, adding that knowing how to train and take care of one’s body is important. She adds that she didn’t think that much about nutrition when she was starting out, and notes that this was at a time when the research on the power of food was yet in its infancy. Sharkie has, since then, studied up on nutrition and now has a good grounding on which foods can help one get to one’s physical goals.

Writing books are an extension of her teaching, Sharkie notes, adding that she started out because she needed textbooks for her courses and couldn’t find the right ones which would fit what she taught. Sharkie decided to focus on ageing because she realized the “poor attitude” present society has towards ageing. “Ageing is inevitable, but we can control how we age and the rate at which we do so,” she remarks, adding that her work involves changing people’s perceptions about ageing, particularly now that the senior population is increasing. Writing books on ageing also is a way for her to help seniors live their senior years productively and more positively, as she notes that seniors feel that they can’t do what they want to do, and use the excuse that they’re too old to not do that. Sharkie, however, points out that there are people today, in their 70s and 80s, do the same things that people in their 20s and 30s do. “We can control our choices and attitudes, and that’s huge,” she remarks. “And I want to remind people of that.”

“Exercise isn’t optional, as we get older,” Sharkie remarks, noting that our bodies and brains need to be active and mobile, adding that activity increases the amount of oxygen the brain receives. “Ageing is an individualized process,” she notes, adding that, if one wants to live to the fullest in one’s senior years, then one has to step up and be active and empowered.

Where Win at Ageing is concerned, Sharkie looked at athletes as well as such aspects as nutrition, and analyzed the mindset these athletes had. She thus came up with the acronym RAP, which are important attributes for anyone trying to reach their goals. These attributes are:

Resiliency - not getting upset and down and complaining, stepping up and doing what needs to be done

Accountability - being responsible for one’s own choices, particularly when some of the symptoms that come up when one ages could be due to the decisions one made in the past

Passion/purpose - that which makes one want to live life, as well as looking at what’s positive in life

“Our quality of life is our responsibility,” Sharkie remarks, where wellness is concerned, “because doctors can’t be with us all day.” Where the mind-body connection is concerned, “this is huge.” Sharkie, for her part, focuses on the mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of ageing to enable her clients and students to lead active senior lives, using the story of a person who got into an experimental cancer drug study as an example of how powerful the mind-body connection actually is. This connection, Sharkie notes, might not give people “everything,” but it does give people the opportunity to live the best lives they can.

Sharkie admits that the spiritual aspect is probably the most important part of how to live a fulfilled life. This is also the most difficult aspect to teach, as a lot of people believe that they need to be religious to be spiritual, and she best links this up as spirituality being part of the human experience. She recommends some sort of yoga or meditation to get in touch with one’s inner self, and staying away from watching the news, as the latter “is depressing.”

One of the things people can do immediately, to lead active senior lives, is to make oneself a priority, Sharkie notes: “Hey, whose life is it anyway?” Sharkie also adds that one should realize that one is in charge of one’s life, and that one can pick one’s own team, which includes those people whom one would want to be around - a good social network, in short. “Psychic vampires,” who are people who drain one’s energy, should be kept away from as much as possible. Maintaining communications with people, the social contact, is thus very important, particularly during these times of the Covid pandemic.

“You can have a full and vibrant life regardless of age,” Sharkie remarks, adding that, while it will take work and persistence on one’s part, it’s worth it.

Purchase from Amazon: 

Win at Aging: How to Stay Fit, Free, and Love Your Retirement! by Sharkie Zartman

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