Eternal youth?

first_img• Photo Gallery: Feeling the burn • Video: Saburo Hori, exercise buffGLENDORA – Saburo Hori is a wiry 89-year-old, slightly stooped with a thin, almost fragile-looking frame. But any sense of fragility evaporates when the octogenarian starts doing 70-pound tricep curls with speed and ease. Hori isn’t the only 80-something working out regularly at Citrus College’s Fitness Center, but at 89 he is the oldest. More unexpectedly, he is also one of the strongest, according to those who have watched him work out. His endurance and age – and undoubtedly, his ever-present grin – have made him a symbol of long-lasting good health, and an inspiration to those who know him. The 40-minute circuit of weight machines and cycling machines that Hori completes three times a week – on top of stretches and more cycling – are daunting even to younger health nuts. “I don’t know how he does it,” said Hori’s friend, David Ponce, 53, as he made his way through the gym’s circuit Friday. “It’s hard for me.” Nadia Bautista, a 19-year-old freshman at Citrus College also doing the circuit Friday, said seeing the older crowd was encouraging, and that she hoped to be as fit as them when she reached her golden years. Physical education professor Marilyn Gunstream, who oversees the fitness center, said she tells her students about the cheerful 89-year-old. “Just the amount of energy and exercise that he puts out at 89,” she said with wonder. “He’s just a tremendous inspiration.” Her 65-year-old husband, Gary, agreed. “He’s someone we can look up to,” he said. “If he can do it, we sure can.” Exercise has always been part of his life, Hori said. The Japanese American joined community baseball and basketball teams when he was growing up in East Los Angeles, the company baseball team when he was an engineer in Michigan, and even joined competitive teams when he was taken to a Japanese internment camp in Utah during World War II. Going to the gym three times a week and playing 18 holes of golf twice a week isn’t a chore, the Glendora resident said. “I enjoy it,” Hori said. “It gives me a reason to get up in the morning … I just enjoy meeting the people, making friendships, and feeling good, too. It’s a good way to start my day.” PE instructor Maury Greer, who sometimes opens the gym in the morning, said the camaraderie is part of the draw. “For many, and for Saburo, definitely, they enjoy the social atmosphere,” Greer said. The “lifetime membership” rates are also enticing – community members pay $5 for an ID card and get into the gym for free, Greer said. He also expressed awe for Hori. “If I did his workout, it would be tough,” the 57-year-old said. “And I’m an ex-track coach.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>