At an age where most adults below 50 are complaining of ill-health and creaking joints, A. Arokiasamy is an exception.
The 72-year-old bodybuilder still lifts weights everyday, to keep up the physique honed through years of bodybuilding, and to generally keep fit.
News wire AFP spoke to the senior sportsman, who runs his own gym in his hometown of Teluk Intan, Perak.
According to Arokiasamy, he took up bodybuilding after leaving school aged just 11, to work and support his poor family.
Having tried various sports, including hockey, badminton and football, Arokiasamy soon found bodybuilding, and fell in love with it.
He won his first gold medal in a competition in Perak in 1968, and went on to participate in many other competitions, both locally and internationally, in the years that followed.
Arokiasamy has also represented Malaysia in several editions of Mr Universe and won the gold in the 1981 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.
"Weightlifting and exercise can slow down ageing and keep you healthy.
"The deadly coronavirus pandemic is threatening us - we can fight it by lifting weights to stay fit," Arokiasamy told AFP.
The gym he runs in Teluk Intan is filled with battered weights and an array of other gear - some of which are made from scrap metal.
It is constantly busy with men pumping iron and getting tips from the veteran bodybuilder, who charges less than RM5 a day for entry.
Arokiasamy juggled his bodybuilding days between the sport and working as a school gardener, and now works as a security guard.
Asked for tips to stay healthy at his age, Arokiasamy said besides constantly working out, he has followed a balanced diet all his life, beginning with consuming vegetables he himself grows.
"I avoid sugar and junk food, and a big NO to drugs and steroids."
As for regrets, Arokiasamy said he has a few, including not getting to meet his idol, former movie star and Mr Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger in person, and failing to make it into the final round of the Mr Universe tournaments after five attempts.
Kudos sir! You are a living testament to the fact that age is no barrier for one to keep fit.
May you be blessed with many more healthy years!
Source & Photo source: Barrons.com via AFP
Mon Jan 24 2022