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94-Year-Old Workout Talent
Post Time: 30/07/2018

 

In Shuangyong Park of Dongyang, you’ll see a group of more than 100 citizens dancing to music in the square every day when night falls. In the back of that crowd, an old man wearing a checkered shirt is exceptionally eye-catching. The way he does the exercise is nice, and his every movement is in perfect rhythm.   

The man is Lu Shiyong, 94 years old, living in Chaoyang Community, Wuning Street, Dongyang. He is a well-known workout talent in the park. His frame is not bent, nor does he have any problems with his ears or eyes as most men at his age have. The whole set of aerobic dance in the square is a piece of cake to him. “I am the oldest among our group,” said Lu. “It takes over an hour to finish the 12-part dance, which is quite a bit of exercise. Some people in their sixties or seventies have difficulty doing the complete workout and need rest in the middle of it. I can keep doing the exercise all the way to the end.”

In addition to being a workout talent, Lu is a retired soldier. On July 7, the day to commemorate the Second Sino-Japanese War, he told war stories to the kids in the square before the workout.

Lu was born in Pingyuan Ziran Village, Huashui Town, Dongyang, and spent his childhood there. In 1943, he was studying at Ganzhou Public High School in Jiangxi Province. After Ganzhou was taken by the Japanese, he continued his studies at Changtian High School in Fujian Province. In 1944, when he was a sophomore in high school, the country recruited soldiers to fight against the Japanese. Lu answered the country’s call and joined the Teenagers’ Army. He was assigned to the 1st Gunfire Company of the Independent Regiment in Division 209 and worked as a heavy machine gunman in Mawei, Fuzhou City.

He said, “Back then, Zhejiang and Jiangxi Provinces were both invaded by the Japanese, but they didn’t take Fujian Province because there were no railways for them to travel by. The Japanese tried to attack from the sea, but they were fought off every time they came. The Japanese armies never managed to land their feet on Fujian Province. The second year, they surrendered.”

After 1949, the year when the People’s Republic of China was founded, Lu took up the profession of education and taught in primary schools in Nanshanghu, and later at Huangtianfan Middle School as a Chinese and English teacher. He also taught music, physical exercise, and art, and retired in 1982.

Since his retirement, he attaches great importance to exercising his body and often works out in the surrounding parks. Rain or shine, Lu insists on exercising every day. When it doesn’t rain, he works out in Shuangyong Park; when it does, he exercises in his living room with his 85-year-old wife. 

Apart from aerobic dance, Lu often does other two exercises. One is leg stretches, and the other is goose-stepping. “Goose-stepping is like my secret weapon. I walk 300 goose steps every morning.” He said that goose-stepping has a higher requirement for the body than ordinary exercises, and most senior citizens cannot do it. He was professionally trained in the army, which makes goose-stepping easier for him. “Goose-stepping requires you to raise your thighs high and stick out your chest. You use both your hands and legs while doing goose steps, which greatly helps the circulation of blood.” After saying this, he demonstrated goose-stepping confidently. 

Lu Shiyong still cares about what is happening in the world. He watches Across the Strait and Focus Today every night, which are two news programs on CCTV. He said that our life today is not easily obtained, and every one of us should cherish it, remain true to our original aspirations, and work hard to press ahead. (By Zhang Haibin, translated by Sun Yin, edited by Kendra Fiddler)

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