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Archive for January, 2012

What’s all about 90 @ 90?

Where it all began

A number of us in leadership positions at the University of Kansas Medical Center back in the mid 1990’s had a retreat at Deer Creek in Overland Park, KS.  One of the assignments given to each of us was to craft a personal mission statement.  

It just so happened that the year before one of my Japanese patients said that I needed to join a club and play golf if I was going to be the physician for the Japanese Counsulate still located in Kanas City, MO at the time.  I joined Deer Creek which was near to my house and found my soul in the process.  So many life lessons were learned that first year of seriously playing golf. In addition I observed and admired the physical and mental fitness of those 70 and 80 year old members who were playing most days.  Many of them were shooting their ages (something all golfers aspire to) and were living engaged and vibrant lives in their retirements.

Reflecting back on the task at hand; “your mission statement.”  The moderator emphasized this statement should be short, clear and be able to guide. I played around with a few inane, wonkish phrases that all seemed good but didn’t really reflect me. Then suddenly it came to me as my gaze drifted down on the 9th and 18th holes that flowed up to the clubhouse.  What about shooting my age?  At the time it was a long shot as my good scores were barely breaking 90.  Hmmmm.  Ninety.  That’s a good age to live to and even though it’s not a good score in your 40’s it’s a great score in your 90’s.  The doodling stopped an I scratched out “90 at 90” and then changed it to “90 @ 90” with conviction.

That became my mission statement.  For the last 16 years virtually every little decision has been aided by answering, “Will this help or hurt my chances of shooting 90 at 90?”  Now I’m at my high-school sophomore weight, fitter and enjoying life more than I ever thought possible thanks to a crazy little mission statement.

That’s what 90@90 is all about.