What are you planning to do when you’re 105?
BY DECLAN SCHROEDER
There are few things you can truly depend on in this life, but one of them is the sun. The good ol’ burning orb in the sky will rise every morning (as long as a certain two egotistical, badly-coiffed, petulant world leaders keep their stubby fingers off their big red buttons).
Another is Jaromir Jagr. When the sun sets on the NHL season every June, you can count on him to rise again come September.
Just when it seemed the mullet-sporting, grizzled Czechoslovakian had faded out for good after the Florida Panthers elected not to offer him a new contract despite his 46 points, Jagr appeared again just as the first rays of the 2017-18 season glimmered above the horizon.
The ageless one signed with Calgary on Oct. 4, and he made his Flames debut last Wednesday, proving age is just a (in Jagr’s case, very high) number.
Jagr’s got longevity, alright, but he’s an utter babe, a veritable whipper-snapper compared to another athlete from his home country’s neighbour, Poland.
The man I really want to shine a light on today has taken just a few more trips around the sun – 62 more, in fact.
You think playing hockey at 45 is impressive? I raise you Stanislaw Kowalski, who participated in a track meet at age 105.
Kowalski, who looks half like Robert De Niro and half like determination incarnate, is now 107 and still alive. Because if you’re going to live to 105, you might as well live to 107.
What are you planning to do at 105? I’m planning on continuing to rot, ideally underneath a solid gold statue that people make pilgrimage to from countries afar.
In June of 2015, Kowalski was still on the right side of the dirt and participated in three events – the 100 metre, shot put, and discus.
And if you think Kowalski’s performance was just a PR stunt to get a doddering old man to exchange his last scrap of pride for a spot in a record book, you’d be wrong.
He ran the 100 metre in 34 and a half seconds. Can I do that? I have no flipping clue. I don’t even run.
He then chucked the shot put an even fourteen feet, which is incidentally exactly how far my kitchen – the one that has the corn flakes I want but am too lazy to get – is away.
As a grand finale, he tossed the discus nearly 25 feet, which is just under the shortest distance I’ve ever gone on the bus.
How did he do it? When interviewed, he said the key to his longevity is that he did anything he wanted and never saw his doctor.
“Do not overfeed and do not eat at night,” he said.
That’s it? I’ve got two of those down pat.
I’ll have to give up my 9 p.m. cornflakes, though.
Heck. They’re too far away anyway.