Athletic Lab is made up of a diverse group of goal-oriented and hard-working individuals. That’s why we take a moment each month to highlight one (or more) of our members in our member of the month feature. For the month of May, we’ve chosen Jim Klopovic. Jim is a member of our Performance Fitness Program and frequents our Senza (Bootcamp) class in the mornings and Yoga on Sundays. In his 70th year, Jim has an incredible outlook on life as you will get a glimpse of in the answers to his interview below. You can check out our previous members of the month here.

Name:  James (Jim) Klopovic

Age: 69 and living in my 70th year.

Where were you born? Euclid, Ohio.

What do you do when you’re not working out at Athletic Lab (occupation, hobbies, etc)?
I am fully retired from careers with the Air Force and the NC Governor’s Crime Commission (45 years total). And I am gainfully employed. I have the rare good fortune to be working for a company called the International Academy for Public Safety. We do on-line leadership education and development for law enforcement. Simply put, we are an answer to Ferguson and all the tragedies we see in the media. My main hobbies are shooting skeet and letters. I read – So many books, so little time.

And I do a bit of writing. My latest book is The Honest Backpacker ( The book is many motivations, not the least of which is to get into Nature as a Gateway to so much more, health, wellbeing and, yes, happiness. I fill in the spaces with a little travel and some hunting and fishing when I am invited. I am entertained by sampling all the great shows that are in and come to town. While I have seen much of the world, including living a bit in the Far East, the Philippines, and the Near East, Iran, it has only whet the appetite to see so much more. How about biking Holland with my daughter in May?

How did you first hear about Athletic Lab?
Well, I’ve been driving past AL since it opened. I always wondered what kind of chemistry was practiced there. Since I have known the Hoina family for nearly 30 years, I asked Chris Hoina to train me. Chris is the epitome of the conditioning coach as are all the other staff who guide me and keep a watchful eye that my mind doesn’t remember being 20 something and I throw my 7 decades into something not so smart. Chris’ introduction to basic weight training was just what I needed as I could clearly see that what we do at AL is not the usual trainer in a box chain gym fare. They are adequate but not AL.

One must know the difference between activity, being in shape and conditioning and work on conditioning for a lifetime especially as we grow older. AND getting old is a very good thing! One must be conditioned, appropriately and especially as we age. I see it as an essential part of holistic living and the fountain of youth. I never thought I could deadlift my weight and nearly bench the same and make it through a senza, even though directly afterward stairs seem somehow steeper.

Favorite class/time to workout?
0700 Senza. Senza is yet another revelation to me in that I was convinced I could not do an early morning workout. It is a great way to meet the day. I have been doing this for nearly two years; I’m not counting. and I believe I have never had the same workout twice. Plus, I never knew how many ways there are to do a full body stretch (MoMo). I am really looking forward to the ‘new and improved’ gym as I can walk to it.

What’s your favorite exercise? Least favorite?
Favorite – post-workout cooldown. Least favorite – the stuff between warmup and cooldown. I hope you see the humor there. Now speaking of favorites . . . It would have to be how expertly qualified the coaches are, pick anyone, all Stirling. Equally so are my ‘classmates.’ They are determined, disciplined and devoted to health. It is a bare fact that I simply would not be conditioned without expert guidance and a group of ‘buddies’ who add camaraderie, competition and a bit of commiseration.

What motivates you?
Living holistically: There is a reason the Greats described the human condition first body, then mind and spirit. I know for a fact that I am in best years of my life. And they would be greatly diminished without health, well-being, and happiness. This is when one can give back and have fun. BUT one must be vertical, vital and viable to do so. In fact, as more and more of us reach these years and we reflect on what has meaning, we are motivated to pass on the lessons we have learned and see what lies over the horizon. Health means I can still plan on hiking the villages below Mt. Everest, take a walkabout in Australia, Kayak the Dalmatian Coast and do a Triathlon (sprint – most gentile) to mark my 70th birthday. What a remarkable thing if I were able to do the sprint with my daughter! I consider myself a grandfather in training.

Experiencing Life: I am struck by the fact that boomers will live well into their 90’s and be vital and vigorous. That means we can live a full 1/3rd of our lives in retirement where we can do what makes a life worthwhile and rewarding. Gadzooks! I will take a hike with a grandchild (yet to arrive on the scene) 50’ from the car to a campsite to roast weenies. I will take a ride to Pittsboro to the 1904 soda shop for a banana split as big as a football in a driverless car.

The future: The future is so bright I gotta wear shades, skeet shades that it. I can hardly wait to experience what happens next and at least for the next 30 years.