California's Pax Beale rehabilitated himself from a documented heart cripple to a bodybuilding champion while in his sixties. Although this was obviously an extremely significant and life-changing segment of his life, it is just a small portion of a truly extraordinary life. Pax has managed to squeeze several lifetimes' worth of achievements and living into his 79 years.

In his youth, Pax had much success as an athlete -- boxing and playing basketball and football. As a businessman, he made himself into a multi-millionaire, founding and owning several hospitals, same-day surgery clinics and a wholesale pharmaceutical company among other business ventures and creating a number of patented products along the way. In his thirties he transformed the stout pugilist's body of his earlier years into the lithe, streamlined body of a runner and endurance/adventure athlete. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Pax completed more than 30 26.2-mile marathons; an 80-mile run from Death Valley (below sea level) to the top of Mt. Whitney (14,505 feet) in August heat; and raced (on a bike) an oceanliner up the west coast from San Francisco to Alaska -- and won!

A bad back, with which Pax had suffered since adolescence, worsened through the years, finally making running no longer an option in his late forties. Hearing that swimming was good therapy for an ailing back, he picked up a book on the how-to's of swimming and taught himself to swim at age 50. He must have been an excellent teacher and an equally proficient student, because in short order he was ready to take on the ultra-challenging swim from San Francisco to Alcatraz. Astonishingly, Pax successfully undertook this swim at night in 47-degree waters without the aid of swimming fins or a protective wet suit. He also completed a round-trip swim to Alcatraz Island and back in 2 hours 48 minutes and 10 seconds. All this swimming, however, did not fix his back.

While waiting for his scheduled quadruple fusion of the spine and triple laminectomy back surgery, Pax decided to give strength training a try for the first time in his life. He researched and then designed some special exercises and equipment that he hoped would strengthen his back and relieve his pain. It worked. He canceled the surgery and hasn't looked back. Side note: His exercises and patented equipment are now being successfully used in a medical back clinic with a 95% success rate.

With his back healed, Pax, at age 53, decided to trade in his runner's/swimmer's body for that of a bodybuilder. Driven by his lifelong philosophy of "total commitment," he became quite successful in the world of bodybuilding, culminating with his winning the Mr. USA title at age 60.

All, however, was not well in his world. In 1991, plagued by continuing chest pains, a 61-year-old Pax Beale submitted to a quintuple heart bypass procedure. This didn't completely solve the problem and two weeks later he needed further emergency heart surgery. The usual short hospital stay for bypass surgery turned in a 3-week medical ordeal. Despite his best attempts to rehabilitate his heart through specially-designed exercises, two years later his heart was only able to function at 25% of maximum capacity -- Pax was a heart cripple. Not willing to give up, loving a challenge, he researched nutritional supplements and medicines that might help. As a result, he created and patented a nutritional supplement (creatine pyruvate) designed to build heart muscle. That supplement, plus a special protein powder and a unique exercise routine designed to strengthen the heart, in addition to his philosophy of total commitment, worked. Two years after being diagnosed as a heart cripple, his doctor, after extensive tests, declared that Pax had no signs of heart disease and took him off all his medications. With his heart disease completely reversed, Pax went back to bodybuilding! He became a National BodyBuilding Champion again at age 65!

Pax is now in his late seventies and going strong. He lectures far and wide on heart-healthy practices and how to reverse heart disease. He shares his message of hope through his book, Body For The Ages, and through clinics and websites. If you'd like to know more about this amazing entrepreneur, athlete and fitness expert and his program and products for a healthy heart, visit him at the Body For The Ages webisite. You can also see him in action in a series of very informative and interesting videos on YouTube..

If Pax Beale can heal a bad back he'd had since his teen years, turn his runner's lithe body into the 6-foot 2-inch, 222-pound body of a champion bodybuilder, and reverse heart disease, then maybe he has something to teach us. Maybe through his life's story, he's letting us know that we don't have to settle for the life we're currently living -- if it's not all we want it to be. Perhaps there's something much better waiting for us if we'll just let go of what we have and reach for something better. Pax Beale, more than once, was willing to release his grasp on what he didn't want anymore and grab onto his dreams. What if, WHAT IF, we could, too?

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From Ed Mayhew, author of Fitter After 50 and other books, CDs, articles ... on how you can make falling apart as you age merely an option -- not a mandate.