Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Performance of the year: Lew Hollander - Full Article

By Matthew Dale,

In another of our "Performance of the year" stories, Matthew Dale catches up with a man who provided one of the year's highlights with his amazing race in Kona. Keep those e-mails coming to - we'll be posting some of those here on the site tomorrow.

Memo to journalists contemplating writing a story about Bend, Oregon’s ageless wonder, 80-year-old Lew Hollander -- do not begin your line of questioning as follows:

“What type of work did you do before retiring?”

“I resent you using the past tense,” said Hollander, a physicist who still works in his chosen field. “I think I’m still functioning.”

Still functioning? Uh, yeah. In October, Hollander finished the Ford Ironman World Championship for the 21st time (out of 21 starts), jogging down Alii Drive well ahead of the midnight deadline, coming home in 15 hours, 48 minutes. Four weeks later he completed the 70.3 world champs in Clearwater.

When Hollander checked out of his Clearwater hotel, a person at the front desk made a big deal about his feat at 80. A gentleman apparently in his 50s looked at Hollander and asked, “What do you take?”

Warning. Warning. Another foolish question.
“Do you want to spend a day with me?” Hollander told the man.
The guy thought for some time, then said, “No.”

“It’s like (the guy’s asking), ‘Is there a magic pill? I don’t want to do any of the training crap. I just want to take a prescription,’” says Hollander. “There isn’t any pill. It’s (and here he spells out the word) W-O-R-K.”

Work. Move. Explore. Be active. Be involved. Be curious. Splice them all together and you’ve got a peek into what makes Hollander tick...

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