When the small group of Navy Seals took down terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden this spring, the entire country cheered. Chants of "USA" ensued. Some celebrated in more subdued fashion. However one celebrated, the mission was inspiring. It inspired me to take my Younger Next Year program to the next level and create something I am calling the Gray Seals. No, we don't burn up 6,000 calories a day, as the Navy Seals do in training, and we don't swim underwater for minutes at a time. What we do is show discipline in following an exercise and nutrition program -- in fact, an entire lifestyle program -- to be all that we can be.
Teri is on board, too. Since she colors her hair, to camouflage her white hair, I call her program Cinnamon Seals. The only pressure is what we put on ourselves to have the sticktuitiveness of a Navy Seal.
The goal is to turn up our metabolisms 50 percent, to reduce the illnesses and injuries suffered in the last third of life by 50 percent. The goal is to turn 30-year lifestyle problems -- things like drinking a latte every morning, eating fast food or parking right next to the store -- into 30-year lifestyle solutions. Every time I'm taking my on-the-hour break and walking stairs at work and someone else passes by to take a cigarette break, I can see firsthand the results.
Both of us have a long way to go to achieve personal greatness. The point, though, is in the journey, not the end of the road. It's in figuring out the best way to maintain the graze, not gorge eating plan while at the same time having the flexibillity to sometimes eat or drink almost everything without guilt, knowing an indulgence now might save a binge later. The Gray Seals and Cinnamon Seals programs are a good way to approach 9-10-11 and to continue the adventure far into the future.