Age Is Just a Number


Wang Deshun with his daughter, DJ QQ
Photo by Tao Zi via City Weekend

What will you do when you are old? Spotlight tells about very old people doing very amazing things!

Watch Video


Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Colin Lowther.

Voice 2  

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

Wang Deshun walks proudly down a long runway as people watch. He is a model on a “catwalk” stage at a fashion show. Wang has a strong body and is full of confidence. But he is not like the other young fashion models. He is 79 years old!

Voice 2  

Many people may think that older people at the end of their lives cannot do much more. However, Wang Deshun is only one of many people who are achieving great things later in their lives. In fact, many people do not even start finding success until they are in their 50s, 70s, 80s and even beyond! Today’s Spotlight is on amazing older people showing how to be happy, healthy and successful in life. We start with more about Wang Deshun.

Voice 3  

“My name is Wang Deshun. Born and raised in Shenyang, China. Many people started noticing me after a catwalk fashion show. Some people call me “Hottest Grandpa.” Some also said that I am an immediate Internet sensation. But you know what? To prepare for this day, I have been getting ready for 60 years.”

Voice 1  

Wang Deshun shared this in a video from RedStart media. He says that he did not feel successful when he was young, or even middle-aged. In his 20s he was a theater actor and artist. He continued performing and worked in fashion. But at age 49 he was very poor. At the age of 50 he started exercising at the gym. When he was 57 Wang started performing again. It was not until he was 79 that people heard about Wang. He shared his own dreams, and encouragement for others:

Voice 3  

“I am 80 this year. And I still have some life in me! I still have some dreams to achieve. Believe me, there is a lot you can do, even when you think it is too late. Be careful you do not let age become your excuse for giving up. No one can keep you from success except yourself. When it is time to shine, be the brightest.”

Voice 4  

“My name is Ernestine Shepherd. I am 77 years of age and I am a bodybuilder. I do the same thing day in and day out. I eat the same thing day in and day out. I do it because I cannot tell anyone to do anything if I am not doing it.”

Voice 2  

The World’s Oldest Female Body Builder is Ernestine Shepherd. She started lifting weights when she was 56 years old. She began exercising with her sister. Then, suddenly, her sister died. After this, Shepherd stopped lifting weights. She did not want to do anything. Then, she thought her sister would want her to continue. Shepherd began to exercise again. Now, at age 80 she is still a body builder.

Voice 1  

The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Shepherd. But she is more than a body builder. She also teaches exercise classes in her city of Baltimore in the United States. She teaches people in her community how to be healthy at any age. Shepherd told Prevention Magazine the advice she gives to her classes:

Voice 4  

“Not everybody wants to be a body builder. Not everybody wants to be a runner. But find what you like to do. I say to my older ladies and the men: Do not forget - age is nothing but a number.”

Voice 2  

Younger people often feel a lot of pressure to be successful. They may already feel discouraged in their 20s. They feel they should achieve more. It can give young people hope to see older people have success later in life. These examples show that it is never too late.

Voice 1  

Older people have found success and joy in art, science, exercise, and business. In 2016, Colette Bourlier of France finished her PhD degree – the highest level of schooling. She worked on this degree for 30 years! But she did not give up her goal. Bourlier was 91 years old when the Université de Franche-Comté awarded her PhD.

Voice 2  

As people age, their bodies and minds are not as strong. But it is possible to stay strong, both mentally and physically. Many people reach goals in sports and physical fitness when they are older. Hidekichi Miyazaki of Japan started racing at age 90. He still runs the 100 metre race. He is now 105 years old! Mieko Nagaoka is also from Japan. She is the world’s first 100-year-old to swim the 1500 metre race.

Voice 1  

Johanna Quaas is from Germany. She is also the oldest gymnast in the world. Many older people who practice sports begin them later in life. But Quaas started gymnastics when she was very young. Gymnasts are usually teenagers! They must be very strong; their bodies must bend easily. Quaas is now 92 years old. She can still lift her whole body up with her arms. She told The Straits Times:

Voice 5  

“My face is old but my heart is young. If you are fit, it is easier to be in control of life. Maybe the day I stop doing gymnastics is the day I die.”

Voice 2  

Do all these people have something in common? Well, they eat different diets. They enjoy doing different things. But all the people in this program do have some things in common. They take care of themselves. They do what they enjoy doing. They are not afraid to try new things. And they do not give up. As actor and model Wang Deshun told the New York Times:

Voice 3  

“One way to know if you are old or not is to ask yourself, ‘Do you dare try something you have never done before?’ Nature decides age, but you decide your state of mind.”

Voice 1  

What is something you want to do when you are older? Are you doing it now? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 2  

The writer of this programme was Rena Dam. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this programme and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This programme is called “Age Is Just a Number”.

Voice 1  

Look for our listening app in the Google Play store and in iTunes. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight programme. Goodbye.

Question:

What do you think you will be like as an older person? Will you have adventures? Or will you stay home?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Dela
said on January 30, 2018

No doubt, age is just a number because many older people being successful in keeping their physical just as mental freshness can live the satisfied, active life. Besides, human age has prolonged notably recently. I think the state of mind appears as the most important factor regarding people’s old age. Overcoming different diseases, suffering seems to be easier considerably with positive, optimistic thinking at all events. If we try to take proper care of health and at the same time ‘‘exercise’’ regularly our brain we may be able to retain independence, contentment and mind brightness until old age in future!

Avatar Spotlight
kenhieuloilam
said on February 01, 2018

We live, work and rest in life. We live our lives well. We live to be a good person. We live a beautiful good life. None of us does not experience difficulty, challenge and suffering in life. Difficulty, challenge and suffering are big. We live to be a good person. We overcome ourselves. We may have big success or we may have small success. Time shows our effort. We live to be a good person. We live a beautiful good life.

Avatar Spotlight
Lan Can
said on January 09, 2019

A lot of old people are living more usefully and joyfully than youngers.
A lot of young people complain their lives everyday.
Why?
They are different because the way they see their problems and their resolutions. Noone can live happily without dreams and effords.
When I was a teenager, I wondered why we were born if one day, we would die. Now I have an answer.
We live not to reach one goal. We live to see we of today is better than we of yesterday.

Avatar Spotlight
Honneur
said on January 09, 2019

This was a very good program. We men and women can not forget that our bodies are capable of doing things that we have trained them to do. That simple. Day by day, without fear of our (in) ability to endure pain, we must train our bodies and our minds to live more and better ...

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on January 18, 2019

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: answer the questions below
Date: Friday 18, January 2019
Location: São Paulo city, São Paulo Brazil
Avenida Líder 1150 bloco 2 ap 42 cidade líder São Paulo 03586-000
Telephone number: 55 11 22545124 0r 55 11 999594913

Dear Rena Dam, Michio Ozaki,  Liz Waid, and Colin Lowther:

Firstly, I want to thank you for bringing us more one great article, thank you.
Questions:
Question 1 - What is something you want to do when you are older? When I am older I want to do several things such as walking, going to the gym, reading several books, watching TV and films, traveling, and sleeping so much.
Question 2 - Are you doing it now? Yes, I am. I go to the gym from Monday to Friday and I start my exercises at the gym around at 09:00 p.m and I finish it around at 11:00 p.m. Also, I like reading some books, walking, studying English, and sleeping. Besides, my job that I do it everyday at the hospital.
Question 3 - What do you think you will be like as an older person? I will continue quiet like I am now.
Question 4 - Will you have adventures? Yes, I will. I will go to the beach, to travel, go to the gym, and to walk.
Question 5 - Or Will you stay home? I will stay home, too. Because I will become an older person, so I will need much more rest than a young person. Do you agree?
Your regards,
Severino Ramos