In 2012, at age 62, George Crowder retired from his profession as a regional fire prevention chief.
“I was a highly qualified, able-bodied firefighter,” said George. “Besides emergency responses and standbys, much of the days was consumed in maintenance. In my younger days, I was invincible. If you wanted something moved or carried, I was your man. As I aged, I noticed a decline in my muscle strength and tone. My balance and coordination were starting to decline, and most of all, I was losing my functionality.
George and his wife, Norma, reside in a four-bedroom home on a 6,000-square-foot lot in Windward O‘ahu.
“Maintaining my home, yard and automobiles was starting to become a huge chore,” said George. “After working in the yard or doing other maintenance chores, I would be sore for days and have to take aspirin for my aches and pains.
In August 2013, George and Norma attended Generation’s Magazine’s® Aging in Place Workshop at the Ala Moana Hotel.
“We were totally inspired by two senior women who were demonstrating exercises — Joan, 92, and Doris, 78,” said George. “They were exercising on a stability ball. I was absolutely blown away by their agility and vitality. I knew after seeing them there was hope for my wife and I to regain our function in our golden years.
George and Norma started working out twice a week, focusing on strength, flexibility and balance — all the things we lose as we age.
“Personal Trainer Diane Cadinha is a stickler for body functionality, and mind-body connection,” said George. “We are going on three years and my function, balance and flexibility have improved dramatically. Maintaining my home is no longer a huge chore. Gardening has become a joyful activity again, and aches and pains are no longer an issue.
George said his biggest challenge has been his diet.
“My highest weight was 330,” he said. “Now I’m down to 250. Diane educates us about the importance of getting enough fruits and vegetables every day. She always says that sugar is our worst enemy for creating inflammation in the body. Giving up the Coco Puffs from Liliha Bakery, the flaky doughnuts from Zippy’s and the crispy malasadas is not an easy task for me, but I’m working on it — one day at a time!