May 11, 2021

Ninety-Four Years Young


Ninety-Four Years Young
Especially after a year of being stuck inside our homes all the time, exercise is so important for our health.  Photo by Anna Shvets via pexels.com

Every year, Stephan Kolesnichenko completes the governmental Ready for Labor and Defense exam, and this year, just before his ninety-fifth birthday, he has earned himself a gold badge. 

For those unfamiliar, the exam (simply called GTO in Russian) was started during the Soviet era as a way to encourage physical fitness among youth (oh, and also to ensure that there would be able-bodied soldiers for battle once they turned of age). As years passed, different events, age groups, and requirements were added to the roster to meet the demands of a changing world. 

These days, there are levels for school children as well as a range of categories for adults, even those over the age of sixty-five, like Kolesnichenko. A military veteran, Kolesnichenko is convinced that physical fitness is the key to a healthy life. He goes for jogs and does exercises at the park in the summer and skis in the winter. 

For the GTO exam, he had to complete trials in Nordic walking, swimming, flexibility, and strength, and he performed exceptionally well. Despite being the oldest person to complete the exam this year, he still earned its highest honor, a gold badge.

Perhaps we should all be practicing our pushups more often... 

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