I intend to be the world’s oldest living person when I die

by Carol from Oshawa on June 9, 2010 · 1 comment

in Online submissions

[Editor's note: Today we present the first in a series of submissions from online readers. Keep the conversation alive by commenting in the space below this post—or submit your own response. Find guidelines here.]

I have already set my goal for my lifespan. It is currently at 125 years, and may go higher given future developments in health care, neuroscience, and spinal cord repair research, among other items. I intend to be the world’s oldest living person when I die, and I hope that will be more than 72 years from now.

I chose this target when I heard about Mme Jeanne Calment, who died at the age of 122 in 1997. She was born in 1875 and there was absolutely no reason why she should have lived to such a tremendous age, given what she had to survive: two world wars, poor harvests, and the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918-19, just to name a few catastrophes.

I was born almost exactly 40 years before Jeanne Calment died. Being a Canadian by birth, I have had tremendous advantages in longevity enhancement that Mme Calment did not have.

I have had easy and pretty much cost-free access to high quality health care since before I was born. My education was also top-notch; I am a university graduate with post-grad certificates. My curiosity about life, people and a universe of other subjects knows no bounds. I read about 5-6 books a week, along with two weekly newspapers and magazines.

Many of my friends are young people, among them the nine students I have tutored this year, along with many of my past students from an international college in Toronto, so I don’t expect to be lonely.

I have maintained a healthy lifestyle, with limited alcohol consumption, never smoked, and still walk 10 to 20 km a week just for the fun of it, or to do errands near my home. I work from home, so I have no risks in daily traffic to get to my job. I don’t own a car; my mom is happy to drive me anyplace I need to go within 20-30 km, and beyond that I take a commuter train or bus. I choose to fly by airplane to leave the continent at the moment. I am investigating cruises for general transport around the globe as well as for specific holiday destinations and periods.

There are scientific, historic and social anniversaries coming up in the next 50 to 75 years that I don’t want to miss: 2061 sees the second passage of Halley’s Comet in my lifetime (and I want to see the darn thing this time! I advised 14 other people about where to look for it, and they ALL saw it); my country’s 200th birthday will be in 2067, when I will turn 110; and 2069 will be the centennial of the first walk on the lunar surface by humans. I hope to have been to the moon myself once by then.

There is no reason at present that I should not be able to live to be 125 years old, provided I continue with my current lifestyle.

Best wishes to every other would-be centenarian-plus out there. My advice is to set a target and start taking care of yourself NOW, today, to reach your longevity goal.

Oshawa, Ontario Canada

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

alison x July 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

Good luck with that. We are genetically predisposed though your goal is admirable. That may change to some extent but will not alter completely. MMe Calumet may have longevity in her family. I hope you do too. Best, a.

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