We speak to Dr Charles Eugster about his inspirational retirement story.
Dr Charles Eugster, a 96-year-old retired dentist and keen rower, started to discover that his body was deteriorating.
“I decided my body needed more muscle,” he reveals, “so I joined a bodybuilding club and hired a previous Mr Universe to train me.”
His trainer taught him more about workout techniques and suggested that to build muscle effectively he should only be training three times a week. Dr Eugster never realised that “increase in muscle appears in the recovery period”, but clearly someone not to sit on his laurels, he began to look elsewhere. Having admired sprinters’ bodies, he chose to start afresh.
I decided to start sprinting at the age of 95,” he says. “I have an enormous amount to catch up on, because as far as running and technique are concerned, I’m still an absolute novice. I would like to try 400m, which will tax my endurance. And in the 100m, I’m too slow in the last 50m. I’ve got an awful lot to do.
Still, his hard work has paid off. In March of this year, he broke the indoor 200m world record in the over-95s age group in a time of 55.48s, knocking more than two seconds off the previous best set by American Orville Rogers in March 2013.
As you can imagine, he is passionate about fitness, especially amongst those in late middle-age.
“The age of 60-65 is one of the most important periods of life where what you decide to do then will have an effect on the next 20 years of your life,” he says.
He admits he doesn’t care what his family and friends think about his new obsession (“I don’t know whether they’re embarrassed or not, I haven’t got a clue”) and is keen to carry on improving his body.
As to the future, he’s being circumspect and just enjoying his newfound skills. Would he like to be the fastest centurion in the world?
I just welcome every new day and that’s about it,” he says. “I don’t think about reaching a certain age. Probably the most important thing is to have a purpose in life. What’s the old saying? ‘The purpose of life is to have a purpose in life.