George has figured out the secret to living life without regrets!
George Thomas, 94-year-old sailmaker, wasn’t thinking about living life without regrets. He was simply following his passion and joy.
As a young mechanical engineer, George felt somewhat dissatisfied but he knew his true passion was sailing. Sailing brought him joy as he raced his sailboat every weekend possible. He sailed the same type of boat for many years, eventually traveled to compete in regattas, and often won!
George took a giant leap of faith when he left the safety of his career to follow his passion. Little did he know that it would become his lifetime job.
Even when George “retired” and sold the business to his employees, he continued to work there as a sailmaker. At 94 years old, George stays connected to his passion working three days a week.
George enjoys knowing that he created a legacy
He says, “Now it’s my turn to let them be MY boss.”
Things have changed considerably over the years George has been in the sailmaking industry. Fabrics have gone from Egyptian cotton to synthetics, and they’ve experimented with sails made of everything from nylons, Dacron, and acrylics to Kevlar, carbon fibers, and mylar films.
“Everything’s been tried,” George said, but today racers prefer the carbon fiber sails and the regular day sailing person has sails of Dacron polyester
It’s considerably more high-tech than it used to be before computers. George used to design sails on paper, then laid out the drawings on the floor, using a chalk outline. Today sails are computer-designed, then cut on a plotter cutter which rolls out the material and cuts the panels out. After that George puts them together with double-stick tape. It’s much less labor-intensive as it used to be.
George’s agility is astounding – for any age!
In the video, he shows off his grapevine step with ease. He still gets on his knees to work at times but he can work standing up with large tables for a greater part of the day than he did when he was younger. Nonetheless, George can get up and down from the floor as well as any youngster.
George gave us a tour around the facility, casually stepping over tools and fabrics as he talked with us. When asked if he thought that these years of sail making kept him so spry, he said he also ice skated for many years and he believes that helped him, too. Additionally, he participates in a 45-minute Strength & Balance class twice a week, which keeps him active, quick-thinking, and responsive.
George is a poster child for aging gracefully, as he keeps up with technology, exercises his mind and body, and surrounds himself in positive communities.
Please share your thoughts in the comment box below…
Do you believe that retirement is a time to reinvest yourself into things that really matter to you?
Do you see post-retirement years as a fun time in life, filled with freedom to live fully?
Are you committed to continuing your growth after retirement?
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