Joyful Aging: Don Attix |

Joyful Aging: Don Attix

Don and Karen, his wife of 52 years, have always been on the move. They served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela from 1968-1970. Dan worked for United Airlines while Karen, a professional dancer, performed worldwide. The two have traveled to more than 50 countries.

Dan also moves on the slopes. He ski-raced for 40 years and is the oldest active ski patroller at Sugar Bowl. He also rides a bike, does cardio rehab twice a week, hikes, walks and works outdoors on his home near Nevada City.

Now 74, Dan’s life came to an abrupt stop when he suffered a heart attack in 2017. Flat-lined for 10 minutes, he spent the next 16 days in ICU. His recovery was remarkable, thanks in part to the support he received from the Heart Support Group at Sierra Nevada Hospital, a group he now co-facilitates.

Louise Aronson, in her book “Elderhood,” tells us that “Life offers just two possibilities: die young or grow old.”

Clearly, Dan has embraced the latter. “The most difficult part about aging,” he says, “is remaining conscious and aware of the process our brain and bodies are undergoing while savoring lifelong memories.”

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