Stay Connected
August 26 2019

Retired, Reborn and Pursuing My Passion

By Mark Sisson
24 Comments

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here. Enjoy, everybody!

This week’s return to success stories features a contemporary of mine. (Yup, those of us in our 60s want to show what’s possible.) I hope you enjoy this follow-up story from reader Bob Connor. You’ll find his original success story reprinted below along with an inspiring update on where he is (and what he’s up to) now. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Dear Mark,

I am an Athletic Director at an international school in Santiago, Chile; having arrived here this past July, from another school in Bangkok, Thailand. I am 57 years old (like you!), and I have been endeavoring to follow a Primal lifestyle for just over two years now. I had previously tried being a vegetarian, and then added some fish, but I did not feel much different or better. So, I started eating Primally and after the first few weeks (a tough adjustment with deleting all the grains and starchy carbs I had been eating), I began to notice some changes. I no longer would get any bloated/gassy discomfort, and I always felt “lean.” Additionally, my energy level increased and I honestly now feel like I have more energy these days than I did 5-10 years ago!

I have recently started the Primal Fitness routines and exercise suggestions, and the overall flexibility of the program has helped greatly—it is easy to adapt and modify depending on your schedule, and your overall motivation levels. Plus, I feel that I have gained a great deal of “functional fitness,” which is crucial. I also continue to use my TRX suspension trainer, and usually try to work out in my Vibram FiveFingers, along with doing various other bodyweight/core training workouts. Overall, I am feeling great as I enter my 7th decade on this planet!

My real story though, is more about helping others, which you have made your “mission,” Mark. When I started living Primally and feeling/looking better, people started noticing, and would ask me questions. I then began to spread the many benefits of this awesome lifestyle. In the past two years, I have purchased around 15 copies of THE PRIMAL BLUEPRINT, and given the book as a gift to friends whom I felt were truly interested, and would “give it a try.” I have also bought some Grok On t-shirts for some good friends who have “gone primal,” and I continue to regularly purchase some of your supplements, and recently some new Primal Fuel and the Primal Leap Kit. Reading your website daily and feeling the great effects of being Primal has really made me want to share as much info as possible with friends and colleagues. When I receive positive feedback from people, it is a great feeling—one which you experience every day, Mark!

For me—this is one of my favorites from a good friend still teaching in Thailand, as he had just returned from a summer trip to the U.S.—

Just wanted to say thanks again for changing my life. Had a great summer. Bought the FiveFinger KSOs, and working out is even more fun than before! Big difference.

Being in the states was challenging for me in terms of eating Primal. Stayed with my mom and dad, and they eat like typical Americans. Been back in Bangkok for a month now and have regained all the strength, explosiveness, and stamina that I lost in the US. Amazing how one month of eating junk can change the body’s performance.

I now feel and look great again. I have lots of energy and feel totally rejuvenated in life. I owe you so much.

Take care,
Andrew

I have several other affirmations from friends and even some high school students also, but I have gone on long enough already. I often get funny looks and comments when people see my FiveFingers shoes on my feet, and many others wonder why I refuse to eat the typical “conventional-Western” diet. I try to explain the many reasons, all based on research and evidence (thank you again!), but most just shrug me off and think I am nuts—including some of my own family members. Yet, this only encourages me, as I am definitely committed to staying on this Primal journey, and I will continue to spread your message to whomever I think will listen. I am convinced that this is the ONLY way to go, and I now think that my next job will be in the health-fitness profession. I agree with my friend Andrew—I owe you so much, Mark!

Thanks for listening, and as always – GROK ON!

UPDATE:

I started my personal primal journey back in 2009 with my first success story featured on Mark’s Daily Apple in 2010.

Five years later, I became one of the original “Legacy” Primal Blueprint Certified Experts completing the first iteration of the Primal Health Coach Institute course—recently passing the recertification exam and studying all of the extensive information in the amazing Business Resource Center. It feels great to stay up-to-date on the latest Primal Health Coach education!

After a long career as an educator in numerous international schools, I retired from my last full-time position at the International School Bangkok in Thailand in June 2018. Following my retirement from education, I started my new small business venture as a Primal Health Coach here in Bangkok with a good number of clients ready to sign up for my services. I have been a coach for most of my 35+ years in education, almost entirely with student-athletes on various sports teams, so moving into Primal Health Coaching has been a smooth transition.

For the previous few years, I had been teaching free large group fitness classes for the teachers and staff at the school. Attendance was always quite good, with anywhere from 15-30+ people showing up each week for my Fitness Fun sessions. I am now paid by the school to lead two classes a week (people still attend free of charge), now known Primal Power Fitness Fun sessions.

Additionally, a number of teachers, parents, staff and downtown Bangkok residents have become Primal Power clients. I work with 25-30 people on a weekly basis as their health coach and/or fitness trainer.

This new venture has been incredibly gratifying with wonderful client results. It feels so great to be pursuing my true passion in life—passing on my knowledge and expertise of all things PRIMAL!!

Besides coaching and teaching, I have been partnering with a paleo-friendly grocery company in Bangkok, offering seminars, workshops and presentations on various health and wellness topics to a variety of audiences in the city. My presentations always include a number of concepts from the Primal Blueprint lifestyle, which inevitably bring up both typical questions and surprising comments from conventional wisdom viewpoints.

For all of this, I am incredibly grateful to Mark Sisson himself (I believe we are both the same age), and to the entire Primal Health Coach Institute community: program administrators, graduates and current students. I continue to learn so much on a daily basis from the facebook posts, webinars and PHCI blog posts. And of course, from the Mark’s Daily Apple posts where it all started!

At 66 years young, I can honestly say that I have more consistent energy on a daily basis, and I believe that I am physically stronger than I was 20 years ago! Following a primal lifestyle has been incredibly effective, and I genuinely believe that others will benefit similarly if they adopt the basic primal rules of living awesomely!

Read more about Bob’s journey and his passion for Primal living. Have YOU had success with Primal living and/or keto eating? Share your success story by emailing me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

24 thoughts on “Retired, Reborn and Pursuing My Passion”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Awesome Bob, you look really fit my man! We are the same age. I like to think I’m in decent shape, but I’m definitely not stronger than I was 20 years ago LOL … I could push around a lot heavier weights back then and do a lot more pullups, chinups and pushups. But I do think in terms of flexibility and balance I may be better off. In any case, gotta keep moving at any age. It’s nice to read success stories from young folks in their 20’s and 30’s … but also good for us grey panthers to get a shout out also. 😉

  2. You look fabulous and have a great story; it’s always so rewarding when someone else benefits from your knowledge.
    I personally like the 1st photo best … older, fit and a fondness for “smooth tops” 😉
    Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks very much! I also like the first photo quite a lot – taken in the Adirondacks in upstate NY about ten years ago. May return to the “smooth top” eventually. 🙂

  3. What you’re doing is so amazing and inspiring! I’ve always dreamed of taking this lifestyle abroad and teaching it in a school setting! Woohoo, way to go! ?

  4. You look so happy and fit. I feel good energy. Also, awesome the way you spread the word.
    It seems like you call the world your home. Peace from N.C.

  5. Great story, Bob, you look great and sounds like a very rewarding 2nd career. Thailand sounds pretty good too. And thanks for bringing the success stories back!

    1. Much appreciated, Donna! Yes, being a Primal health & fitness coach is truly very rewarding in my “working retirement!”

  6. Yay, I have so missed success stories! Your story is inspiring, Bob. Thanks for sharing with us!

  7. Wow, Bob – you don’t look like you’ve aged at all! It’s an age-arresting way of life! Kudos for takin’ it to the streets! If my 50’s look like your 60’s I’ll be fine!

    1. Appreciate your comments, Jeb! For sure – just trying to slow down the inevitable ageing process!

  8. Congratulations! You look fantastic and you sound truly happy! Grok on!

  9. If truth be told, primal food is the food I like best, so I’ve always been a bit taken aback by people being upset by my diet now. I used to be a vegetarian too, and I did it because I thought it was more moral. However, I never thought it was healthy, I always knew there were risks.

    And my health shows those risks. I went on too long being often vegan, sometimes vegetarian, usually low fat. It hurt me.

    Why would I eat anything other than a Primal or Paleo diet now? It makes so little sense. I have some holdovers from those times, I still enjoy the “not really grains” grains (quinoa and buckwheat), and I like lentils and won’t give them up entirely. But my diet now is much more nutritious.

    Don’t let anyone spook you with funny looks. You’re doing what you know is right. What more can anyone expect?

    Thank you for sharing your story, and thanks, Mark for bringing the success stories back!

    1. Wonderfully stated, Angelica and fully agree with your insights! I try to focus on nutrient-density with my food-drink intake, and staying primal surely helps with that goal.

  10. I’m turning 65 in Oct and started Primal and resistance training at age 57. I hear you, I am stronger and easily more muscular now than I have ever been.

    I retired at age 54 and decided to make fitness my number one hobby. At age 61 I took up mountain biking and kite boarding. We sold everything we owned 3 years ago and moved into our RV full time. We now spend our time traveling all year biking in UT and AZ, kite boarding in CA and Baja MX. This is my dream life, I envisioned it years ago but I could never have really believed it would work out this well!

    You are def giving me a run for the money in the awesome life category. Congrats! We will be joining you in Thailand once our elderly dog passes away, our plan is to go international full time after that sad event and Thailand is at the top of our list.

    1. Dave – really enjoyed your remarks! Awesome that you and your wife are now living your own dream life, traveling and having fun with your biking-kite boarding adventures in various locales! And yes – Thailand is an amazing place to visit and/or to live – so much to offer. When you do make it here, please look me up!