Mt. View’s Chuck Yogi looking to live till age 115
Are we limiting ourselves when we set a goal of living to be 100?
According to 92 year old Chuck Yogi from Mountain View we are doing just that.
“I read an article in National Geographic that said we should set our age goals higher,” Yogi said. “I’m looking at living to be 115 years of age.”
Yogi is correct in his assumption as much of the research done on the subject of aging indicates the body was built to last 120 years and by mentally projecting a life span of 100 we may be short changing ourselves.
Yogi got his start in sports as a freshman at Mt. View Intermediate School when he was recruited to run high school track for Hilo.
“One of the coaches at Hilo asked if I was interested in running for the team,” Yogi said. “I was a little nervous at first as I didn’t want to waste my time if I wasn’t going to travel with the varsity team.”
It was back in 1936 that this young 9th grader made the varsity traveling squad for the Vikings as a one mile distance runner.
“It was fun traveling back in the old days,” Yogi said. “We’d take the Cattle Boat from Hualalai to Maui and it would take all day.”
It was also back in the days that everyone ran on dirt tracks, without spike shoes, and no one was able to break the 5 minute barrier in the Territory of Hawaii according to Yogi.
“I was able to run 5:02 which made me one of the fastest runners during the 1930’s,” he said.
Yogi continued his love for running far beyond his high school days, as he ran at Sacramento Junior College, and then later transferred to Iowa State.
“My college and educational plans were interrupted at the start of World War II,” Yogi said. “It was necessary for me to return to Oahu to work in the naval fueling station at Red Hill.”
After the war Yogi continued to run competitively in the island winning 72 gold medals in his age group over a span of several decades.
“I eventually converted myself from a distance runner to a sprinter,” he said. “Most of my medals have come in the 100 and 200 yard dashes and the 4×100 relays.”
Yogi spent nearly 40 years living on Oahu and most of those years were as the Customer Service Representative for Times Super Market.
“While I was working at Times I trained the owners of KTA, Richard and Tony Taniguchi, in customer service,” Yogi said. “I helped them with ideas in taking care of their elderly customers to increase business.”
Today Yogi is a regular shopper at KTA where he drives in from Mt. View every Wednesday and Sunday to do his shopping.
“When I come in on Sunday’s I also go over to McDonald’s where I treat myself to a hamburger,” Yogi admitted. “It is something I look forward to and it has become a regular part of my life.”
Yogi stopped competing in racing a couple of years ago, but still stays active by walking two miles every other day.
“I stretch every night before I go to bed,” he said. “The stretching helps me get ready for the next day.”
Yogi’s stretching routine includes knees to the chest, straight leg exercises and shoulder exercises.
“Part of living well means reducing the amount of stress in your life,” Yogi said. “We all need to learn to practice patience, learn compassion for other, understand and don’t grumble and never be in a rush.”
For diet Yogi admits to having some weakness, but overall has a high fiber, healthy daily diet.
“I treat myself to a slice of pizza and a bowl of chili once a week, along with my Sunday hamburger,” Yogi said.
Every morning Yogi will have a half papaya, along with a small sweet potato.
“I need the papaya and sweet potato to keep everything flowing in my body,” he said with a grin.
Yogi will list black grapes and cherries as his favorite and will eat fish on a daily basis.
“I will have some sort of citrus on a regular bases and will have a very light lunch,” he said.
Yogi claims that he has lost three inches in height through the aging process, along with ten pounds.
“I now weigh 130 pounds and they tell me that I’m 5’ 3”,” he said.
In December Mr. Chuck Yogi will turn 93 years of age and appears to be in great health with a positive, stress free attitude.
Whether or not Chuck Yogi makes it to 115 years of age, one thing for sure, he is certainly making the most of the time he has.
And someday should you happen to see a tall, thin jogger come passing through the back roads of East Hawaii remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
Email the Big Dog at firstname.lastname@example.org.