So You Want to Live For­ever...

We run, we cleanse, we freeze our brains—and then what?

Vancouver Magazine - - News - Anicka Quin ed­i­to­rial di­rec­tor anicka.quin@van­mag.com

these days my runs seem to peak out at about 10K, but there was a pe­riod in my life when I ran half marathons. Part of the early mo­ti­va­tion then was a new­found de­light in dis­cov­er­ing I could ever be ar un­ner—while my sis­ter had been a com­pet­i­tive marathon er (our fam­ily cheered her over the fin­ish line at Bos­ton back in 2007), child­hood asthma had al­ways held me back. One learn-to-run group in Van­cou­ver later, and I had my sights set on the dis­tance.

(An aside: The worst part of rac­ing, I dis­cov­ered, were those last couple of kilo­me­tres. In­evitably, some well-mean­ing spec­ta­tor would shout out, “The fin­ish line is just around cor­ner!”—giv­ing me hope that I re­ally would see that arch­ing ban­ner around the next bend. A note to fu­ture spec­ta­tors: the death of that hope when you re­al­ize that you still have two more kilo­me­tres to go is just a lit­tle bit crush­ing af­ter you’ve al­ready pushed your­self through 20.)

But of course the other, more important mo­ti­va­tion was per­sonal health and well­ness. Our only slightly tongue-in-cheek story, “25 Ways to Live For­ever” (page 39), ex­plores all the tricks Van­cou­verites are us­ing in their at­tempts to turn back the clock: some tested-and-true (walk­ing to ward off cog­ni­tive de­cline), oth­ers less so (though it turns out Walt Dis­ney never re­ally had his head frozen, cry­on­ics con­tin­ues to be a thing). Our cover model, B.J. Hughes, is proof pos­i­tive that marathon run­ning keeps you young: the record-set­ting 89-yearold North Van­cou­verite was prac­ti­cally run­ning cir­cles around our photo crew.

Like any 40-some­thing, I’ve tested my own share of re­ju­ve­nat­ing prod­ucts, from reg­u­lar doses of high-EPA fish oil (suc­cess! my brain re­ally does work bet­ter with it) to a hy­dro­colonic (don’t ask). But I’ve also come to ap­pre­ci­ate that liv­ing for­ever is just one part of the equa­tion. We need to con­tinue to in­vest our­selves into cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity that we want to live for­ever in.

As I write this, I’m days away from head­ing to Seat­tle to join the Women’s March and add my voice to those of our friends south of the bor­der. Part of want­ing to live for­ever means liv­ing in a place where our hard-won rights stay pro­tected and where we all work to cre­ate a bet­ter place than the one we en­tered into. As much as I’ve had sleep­less nights since the most re­cent U.S. elec­tion, I’ve also grown hope­ful about be­ing a part of a chrysalis mo­ment, when we all stand up for what’s important—for many more decades to come.

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