After I graduated from high school, I went to work as an electrical engineering draftsman for Brown and Root in my hometown Houston.
Actually, I went to work there as a “runner,” ferrying interoffice mail between different Brown and Root locations throughout the city. I did that for a while, then got a job as a graphic artist in a small department, and later moved over to become a draftsman, which I did for about eight years.
The 1980s oil crisis or whatever it was called struck, and I wound up getting laid off along with a bunch of other people, and I went back to school.
First, I went to San Jacinto College in Pasadena, then transferred to the University of Houston, where I got a degree in journalism and went to work in the newspaper business. My first job after getting my degree was with the Richardson Daily News, near Dallas. Then I worked part-time in the sports department at the old Houston Post, and then I went to work for the Temple Daily Telegram in Temple, Texas, halfway between Austin and Waco.
I worked there for 13 years and then I became a school teacher for 18 years. When I qualified for a decent amount of pension, I retired.
By that time, I was working as a freelancer for several newspapers in the area, and doing a little personal training at the gym I belonged to, so I was as busy as I wanted to be, and even though I couldn’t wait to quit teaching school, it was a serious shock to the system when I suddenly had no place to go every morning.
I described it as feeling lost at sea.
I felt like I no longer had a purpose.
Apparently, a lot of people have trouble making the adjustment when they retire, but it was something I never expected.
It took a while, but I finally figured it out.
What I discovered was, I was already IN my purpose.
My purpose now is to learn and grow as a person, to do what I do, and to try and help and inspire people.
Who knows what the future holds?
Today was a good example of that.
I started with a new client today at the gym. Since I started pole vaulting and getting in shape right around age 60, I have wanted to inspire other older folks to do the same — get in shape. And more importantly, to show them that it’s never too late to achieve their dreams.
When I was a kid, I was an athlete and that’s all I wanted to do.
Unfortunately, I turned into a knucklehead and gave up athletics when I was 15 years old.
Forty-five years later, I became an athlete again.
Now, I am a writer, an athlete, and a personal trainer, specializing in senior fitness.
This is what I do, and it’s pretty good stuff.