Never Get Old

March 12, 2023 at 11:52 a.m.
Roger makes it a point to engage in hobbies and activities that keep him engaged in life
Roger makes it a point to engage in hobbies and activities that keep him engaged in life Roger Urbaniak

Early in our relationship I promised Linda that I would never get old. I do my best every day to keep my promise.

Many people my age look old, act old, plus think of themselves as being old and uninteresting. Getting older happens to everyone, but I believe getting old can be controlled because it is a state of mind—followed by conscious actions that go with it.  

Years ago, I watched people circle the parking lot at the gym, looking for a parking stall near the door. My reaction ever since has been to avoid parking stalls nearest the door and “Save It for Old People.” Staying as physically fit as possible helps me not just feel better, but it helps me feel like doing something that requires energy.

Retirement from my career was the first real test of not getting old. Rather than waste uncommitted, bonus time in my week, I chose to actively pursue new hobbies and adventures. Driving through all 48 lower states in our Eurovan Camper helped develop an appreciation for our country. We made sure we saw Alaska and Hawaii on our travels too. 

The internet helped introduce me to hobbies that I had not tried yet. Some, like pickleball, became favorites. I once imagined someone asking me if I had done anything interesting lately. It made me want to be prepared with a ‘yes’ in response. Old people talk regularly about their health issues and grandchildren. I vowed to try being more interesting, both in my conversation and my activities.

Another test of avoiding getting old came when Linda developed health and heart issues that kept her from joining me on outings that required much exertion. Driving to eastern Washington for the outdoor activities I enjoy, including foraging for a variety wild food and/or mineral rocks are all hobbies I enjoy immensely. Linda’s solution was to encourage me to find new, younger friends to accompany me on these outings. Fortunately, my variety of hobbies and activities put me in contact with lots of people.

Suggesting specific outings on designated days to a few people, especially my pickleball friends at the YMCA, drew immediate positive response. Trips to eastern Washington to gather morel mushrooms, wild asparagus and petrified wood all on the same outing filled my car with three or four new, usually younger, new companions all seeking adventure. My companions reciprocated by taking me crabbing, clamming, hiking, or invited Linda and me to dinner. New friends with varied experience and backgrounds became a new source of knowledge and energy once I showed interest in what they knew. Their energy helps stimulate and invigorate me. 

Attempting new things means some things don’t work as I imagined. Hindsight shows that learning from my mistakes keeps me challenged and stimulated. I learned that it is far better to fail than to not have tried. Success is often subtle.  With a personal belief in the many benefits of trying something new, I created a website,, to encourage people to try something new outdoors and then give readers the basic information they would need to be successful in their first outing on a number of activities. 

Give this site a look, as you may find something to try that will become your future favorite hobby. We can elect to just survive or to thrive in our journey through life. When you start each day seeking new experiences and you are willing to put forth the energy to find them, life becomes richer plus more enjoyable.  Best of all, you will not become old.

Roger Urbaniak writes about the Great Outdoors from his home on Mercer Island. “Rogers Outdoor Channel” is the place to learn about the adventures of Northwest Outdoor Enthusiast Roger Urbaniak along with his lovely wife Linda and trusty pooch Sparky. Visit for more information or email Roger at

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