You go through life thinking you have a time limit. That there’s a set clock to get everything you want done and when “you’re not getting any younger,” is a common statement from people older than you. Of course, there’s pressure to do everything now while you can.
And this guy, well, he did all that.
He was a football scholar in college, lived and was diving in Palawan for two years, owned and managed a record label, and was even a bodyguard for a former Philippine president. And to tell you truthfully, that was just half of it.
Meet Gerardo “Gerry” Kaimo, a 61-year old who’s inspired us over the past few years with his practice and drastic lifestyle change. We first became aware of his triumphs in his Men’s Health article a few years ago where they spoke of how he lost a ton of weight from juicing for six months. So, we decided to ask him a bit more about how he’s been and where he was today.
His answer? Taking a yoga teacher training, that’s what.
His background was that he took his first yoga class when he was about 17 years old but never fully got into it until much later in life. Always active, doing football, martial arts, and working out he started doing yoga not just for the physical health benefits that yoga gave but the lessons that came after asana. “Asana is only one aspect of yoga.” And here he was trying to learn all the others.
Of all his jobs the one that showed the most impact on his life was his work as a former president’s bodyguard. He recalled how stressful and tense that job was that it took a toll on his overall well being. He gained weight and developed a fear of crowds. It wasn’t healthy for him and is what caused him to revert to juicing and yoga.
There were two things Gerry said that struck a chord and the first one which he answered when we were discussing work and how yoga has helped him he said, “It gives you a certain level of awareness and calm that you don’t get from anywhere else. And you think you know how to take care of people because you’re protecting them. But you really don’t know how to take care of someone unless you take care of yourself.” Which is something he prioritizes now, he’s found such comfort and joy in his practice that he wants to help others take care of themselves too. Hence, the teacher training he’s taking along with all the other online courses and books he’s been reading on philosophy.
He points out that now, he gets another opportunity to do things differently; to be able to take care of people better, to explore the world better, and indulge in new activities. Just a few months ago, he mentioned a trip he took to Siargao and tried surfing for the first time. And guess what he said about it? It was easy!! “It was yoga. It was just a series of poses strung together to be able to get up.”
He said that his ability to do things now is very different to when he was younger, but he still gets to do them all. May it be slower, more careful, more aware of your environment and your thought patterns the fact that he was still doing it meant a lot. “You become more accepting of yourself.” And that is important. And the second thing he said that stuck, he says with such a huge smile on his face, “Life is fun. And it’s just starting for me.”
Yoga gave this man another chance to approach things differently, that even in his sixties, he can see things differently and handle life through a new set of beliefs and practices. He got a chance to have another life to live.
Life IS fun, Gerry.