How to Live to 100 - Grandad, Denis Read's Top 5 Tips

coach coaching grandad lifestyle living onehundred Dec 04, 2023

We share a very special bond - my Grandad and I were born on the same day, the 18th of October. He lived to three weeks shy of turning 101 and received a letter from the Queen. He passed away, waiting for my Mum to return home from the UK after he had a stroke. Holding her hand, he found peace and left this world. He is none other than my Grandad (GD), Denis Read (1911 - 2012). 

In 1985, he emigrated from Manchester to Melbourne to live the remainder of his years with our family. He and I spent a lot of time together, and there is no doubt that we had a special connection. So, what's the secret to living to 100 anyway? This is my take on how he would have answered this question because it is how he lived his life. 

1) Be Passionate About Something 

My GD was passionate about gardening, dogs, golf, tennis, and life. He and my Mum cared for over 200 roses year in and year out. He had many dogs throughout his lifetime and walked them religiously twice a day. I got my love of golf from him, and we often played together. He played up until 95 years of age. As his eyesight began failing, we still played together, and he would often walk the course refusing to go in a ride-on cart. In golf, he would frequently bring home the 'Turkey' for winning the comp that day, and he was well-liked at all the clubs he played at around the world. 

He would hit his tee shot and ask me - "Where did the ball go?" I got pretty sick of saying "down the middle of the fairway," and by the 5th hole, it was a little annoying (especially when my ball was often not on the fairway)! But gee did he play to pace, and without any hesitation, he would walk up to his ball, pick his target, and just hit it! 

2) Be Resilient 

"Not everything is going to go your way," he once said to me. "If you are going to live beyond 100 like I have, you better get used to your friends dying around you." So make sure you never take your mates for granted. When one door closes, you need to believe that another one will open because everything happens for a reason. Having lived through two world wars, you have to just keep moving forward despite loss and tragedy. He didn't look back on life; he didn't waste time on regrets but lived for the present. 

3) Eat Full-Fat Milk, Butter, and Sugar! 

"Don't get caught out buying 'low-fat' products because you will miss out on the goodness of what life has to offer. It's all just a marketing campaign anyway." While GD rarely drank alcohol, he did enjoy a glass of Riccadonna Champagne, a light, fruity, and naturally sweet sparkling wine every Christmas lunch. One of my favorite memories was when he and I would go and have a Sunday evening pub dinner together. He would order steak and chips without fail and a glass of coke! Wherever we would go, our server would always be shocked when I would show him off and share his age, which I think he secretly loved. Oh, and he liked two heaped teaspoons of sugar in his coffee every day! 

4) Be Smart and Generous with Your Money 

Another wonderful Christmas memory was when we got to open GD's present last. It was always the one that we had told Mum we really wanted but was too expensive for 'Santa'. He was always very kind with his gift-giving. Whenever he would come home from an overseas trip, he would bring back perfume and jewelry. He also used to walk from his Granny flat to the kitchen table while jingling the coins in his pockets, which used to drive my Mum crazy, but I loved it. He had a very successful career, and when World War II came around, GD was spared from having to fight because of his family's factory that made steel products. He was a wonderful manager at the young age of 27 years because of his kind nature. He paid the phone bill so that he could talk to his family back in the UK for as long as he liked, a way of helping to pay his share of living with us. 

5) Travel the World and Keep Your Brain Sharp 

GD traveled around the world many times over. He used to love doing the daily crossword puzzles, listening to Jazz music, and traveling back to the UK to spend time with his other children, their families, and grandkids. He used to say that travel helps you to appreciate coming home and being grateful for what you have in your backyard! Travel afforded him to have conversations with strangers, keeping his brain active and always learning new things about yourself and others. 

What's not to love about my GD! Fiercely loyal to his family and always smiling - I miss you GD, but your memory will live on for many generations to come. I only hope that I can live to 100 one day too! 

Finish the year strong and enjoy your coaching.

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