Sum­mit County and the liv­ing is easy

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE -

speak English at home, and their chil­dren of­ten strug­gle in school. Oth­ers are typ­i­cal ski-town tran­sients — young, here for a year or two to snow­board and smoke pot, but other than the free din­ner each Tues­day at the lo­cal Elk’s Lodge, not par­tic­u­larly en­gaged in the com­mu­nity.

I equate those lives with that of poor Dante the fish. In com­par­i­son, re­cently I crossed paths with my old doc­tor, who, at 72, told me he fi­nally was re­tir­ing to travel and live in leisure in his old age. He was on his moun­tain bike, which he rides — fast — and he men­tioned he still en­joys dis­tance run­ning.

So many of our old-timers are phys­i­cally ac­tive that the Sum­mit County Se­nior Cen­ter of­ten seems more of a meet­ing place for head­ing out on hikes than a gath­er­ing spot for canasta and doily-tat­ting.

In fact, peo­ple who spend their lives in Sum­mit County can ex­pect to reach the ripe old age of 87 on av­er­age — as much as 20 years longer than re­gions in the coun­try with the low­est life ex­pectancy, such as the Deep South and Ap­palachia where seden­tary lifestyles, cig­a­rette smok­ing and fried foods are far more preva­lent.

My the­ory is that we live longer here sim­ply be­cause we want to. Steve Lip­sher (slip­sher@ com­cast.net) of Sil­ver­thorne writes a monthly col­umn for The Den­ver Post.

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