To Age Successfully Don’t Go Down The Road Taken By Winston Churchill, Follow Dylan Thomas Instead, But With A Little More Skipping

Winston Churchill didn't believe in exercise, and died unhappy.

“Sir Winston Churchill was an inveterate enemy to all physical exertion that went by the name of exercise. He attributed his productivity in life to his physical indolence and once gave the advice that you should never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lie. He did much of his work in bed.” PJ Lifestyle.

Hi folks! Welcome.

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Winston Churchill, though revered, never struck me as a very happy person, but I’m sure he had his reasons. I suspect, however, that lack of exercise and poor diet may have contributed to his general lack of lightness of spirit, though he was a great humorist. Very much alive, but not very alive, in my opinion.

He ‘hated’ exercise!!!

I know other people like that, but I’ve noticed that they pay a terrible price for their physical indolence later in life – their bodies, and with it their joie de vivre, go down the tubes. Not for me the road taken by Winston, even though this guy contributed in a major way to my survival of World War II as an infant.

Here is a relevant story from my younger brother, Trevor (aka PoetMorgan), though none of us are so younger now. He placed this fascinating vignette on one of the comment streams of this blog, which I very much appreciate:

“IN early 1960s I visited Janet [our elder sister] in North London. I walked a long way back and near Finsbury Park I stopped and waited for the lights to change so I could cross a main road. Minolta DSCA limo stopped in front of me and there was Churchill. As I was in uniform I saluted. He looked through me like I was not there. The traffic was heavy and very slow and he looked really bored then. Even when bored he had very penetrating eyes. He died not so very long after that.”

Trevor informed me that the last words of Winston Churchill were, “I am bored of it all.” Do you want to end up like that? I’d rather follow the advice of Dylan Thomas:

Photo of Dylan Thomas poetDo not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom RobbinsBut then again, instead of raging, why not follow the dying words of the Tibetan monk in Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins, Erleichda. Which loosely translated means “Lighten up!” Rather than raging, try skipping, instead.

One last thought on dying words, which is nowhere near as interesting as living words, quoted from Jitterbug Perfume, via Hamilcar’s Books:

“One last thing about death, ” said Wiggs.
“What’s that?” Pris asked rather morosely. She was still staring at the spot where his teardrop had hit the water.
“After you die, your hair and your nails continue to grow.”
“I’ve heard that.”
“Yes. But your phone calls taper off.” (pg. 285)

So! Don’t forget to skip, even if you just skip in your mind like , author of “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death

It’s hard to be bored or unhappy when you skip.

But then again, don’t skip if you have an abdominal aortic aneurysm – bad idea! Low impact only.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Oh, so you don’t skip any more?

  2. Strange you should not like a heavy drinker who lived long and you like a heavy drinker who died tragically too soon. One fought and helped defeat the scourge of the swastika whilst the other wrote “Under Milk Wood”. The one a rational strategist the other a poet. And yet you say you do not get poetry!
    Oops my left brain did that!

    • I didn’t say I didn’t like Winston Churchill. I actually didn’t say anything about liking or disliking anyone, which would be a feeling, right? It was the ideas espoused that interested me. In fact, exercise is not guaranteed to have a positive influence on life’s duration, but I do find that it enhances the quality of my life. Stick to right brain, and I’ll stick to left, and then we can tackle anything between us. I did like your story!

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.