*** Spring Chicken by Bill Gifford


Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying) is emphatically not a self-help book, which I feared a little when I chose it at the library. Rather, it explores research about aging and contrasts it with the claims of quacks and crazies who make a good living selling hope to aging baby boomers. 

The book is very entertaining, with characters that include a 92-year old pole vaulter who built a pit in his backyard, an engineer in his fifties who takes ice-cold showers and fasts before long runs, and the author’s father, whose end-of life plan reads “Just shoot me” — and that does not include the true freaks aka quacks!

And adding to our list of words-that-don’t-exist-in-English-but-surely-should: ikigai, a Japanese word that means “reason to get up in the morning”. At this point, it seems to be the only proven anti-aging factor.

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