Inspired Mover - Ken Gross

Meet Ken Gross - an amazing human and mover out of Arizona.

Ken out hiking.

Ken out hiking.

A couple of years ago, my family went to Arizona for a long weekend to visit family and break up the winter. Arizona is such an amazing place for hiking and for getting outside.

While we were there, my brother-in-law Tim invited us to go on a hike with his dad, Ken. What happened next literally brings a smile to my face when I close my eyes and think about it.

Ken is 86 years old. So when we met up with him, I wasn’t sure what kind of hiking we would be doing.

Um. We hiked. We hiked hard. Ken lead the whole way along a river - under trees, over big boulders, on trail, off trail.

And the whole time we chatted and Ken told stories and was just an absolute delight.

Ken told me that he and a friend like to go tubing down a local river.

Tubing.

 When I think of Ken, I think to myself, “MOVER.” He seeks out movement and he looks for movement that he likes. He is incredibly inspiring to me and that’s why I chose him as an Inspired Mover.

We exchanged letters because Ken doesn’t have or want a computer or cell phone.

We exchanged letters because Ken doesn’t have or want a computer or cell phone.

Here is his story in his own words (which he handwrote to me because he doesn’t like computers or cell phones.)

S: Have you always liked to move your body?

K: I was lazy as a child, but by the age of 20 had developed a love of work and physical activity which exists to today.


S: Is movement something you feel like you ‘have to’ do or something you ‘like to’ do?

K: Movement is something I both have to do and like to do. To be physically inactive is torture to me.


S: Why do you like to move?

K: Because it feels good. I bicycle 8 miles 5 days a week, less on Saturday & Sunday. I work out in our fitness center 40 minutes 7 days a week.


My brother-in-law Tim (aka gentle giant) and his dad on our hike.

My brother-in-law Tim (aka gentle giant) and his dad on our hike.

S: Why is it important to you?

K: It’s important to me because I enjoy physical activity and I believe it keeps me healthy and able to enjoy life.

S: What are your favorite ways to move?

K: My favorite activities are bicycling, walking and hiking. I also love hiking our beautiful mountains.

S: Does your body feel differently now that you’re older when you move? In what way?

K: No, I don’t feel different, but I do tire more quickly and have lost a lot of strength.

S: Does getting older frustrate you in any way or no?

K: Not so far, but I expect that to come. That is why I stay active, to put that day off as long as I can.

 

Three generations. Pictured with Ken & Tim are my amazing nephews Sebastian and Henry.

Three generations. Pictured with Ken & Tim are my amazing nephews Sebastian and Henry.

S: How is your love of travel and exploration and movement connected?

K: I loved travel when I was longer, but now I avoid travel beyond day trips. But enjoy hiking and local sight seeing.

 

S: What do you like about getting out into nature?

K: I think I enjoy everything about nature, it’s beauty, tranquility.

 

S: How does moving your body support the all of you?

K: Without good health, the closest I could get to nature would be to see, hear and smell it from a chair, if ever that!

 

S: What advice do you have for us?

K: I believe in balance. I wake at 5:15 am, celebrate mass, then go home, do some work, then workout at the fitness center and then a day of activities like lawn bowling. I’m in bed by 9:00 pm.

 

When I think about getting older and how I want that to look – I think of Ken.

Thank you Ken for inspiring me, and now many others. You’re awesome.

xo, S