Victory Lap Retirement: Live Your Best Life Now!

“It’s my life

It’s now or never

I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive”

-It’s My Life by Bon Jovi (fellow boomer)

I’m thinking about using the above song as our Victory Lap Retirement (VLR) rallying cry, it’s simple, gets the point across and who doesn’t like Bon Jovi? Please note the absence of the word “retirement” in the lyrics. The song reminds us that now, not tomorrow, is the time to take back control of our life and start living the way that we always wanted to but going through “The Big Dip”  never had the time or chance.

Pulling A Rocky

I’m a big believer in the power of visualization. I am using the movie “Rocky” and it’s theme song as the back drop to motivate me through “VLR boot camp”. No I won’t be drinking raw eggs at four in the morning and thankfully there is no Apollo Creed in my version.  Really I’m fighting against myself to get back into shape and shed old habits. This which will be one of the biggest and most important fights of my life. Changing habits is tough but I know I can win if I’m disciplined, focused and train properly.

My start last week was interesting, it started well but I have to admit I gave into temptation on Wednesday. I knew I shouldn’t have bought those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups while at the drug store, but they were calling out my name and I was weak. After realizing my wrong, I asked myself “What would Rocky do?”. I refocused and didn’t go down, I realized I’m still in the early rounds.

Introducing The Four Me(s)

For our boot camp I’ve created a framework which I have called the “Four Me(s); OldMe, RealMe, NewMe, and FutureMe.


Oldme Is who I have been, the person I was before I decided to change. I will do a full inventory, by listing the attributes of OldMe. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The objective is to retain the good attributes and discard those attributes that do not bring joy or create positive feelings. Shedding negative attributes is what I am trying to achieve in this lifestyle redesign.

I’ve taken a current picture of me at the pool and tucked it into a folder to serve as my before picture. The Contessa made me promise not to show it to anyone until I have a good after picture to show as well!!


This is the person I am, but its buried deep inside me. Some of me got lost while I was trying to survive The Big Dip. I want to bring the RealMe back to life and incorporate those with all the positive attributes of OldMe. I will take some time to soul search and learn about who I am. There are various personality tests and strength finders out there, I will take some of these tests to see what makes me tick, and I will share my results with you in future blogs.  I am trying to discover who I really am. The ultimate goal is to align RealMe with NewMe. That is when authentic living starts  and true happiness begins.


With the good attributes from OldMe, mixed in with those from RealMe and I will become the best possible version of me. NewMe was, if I had a do over, the me I wanted to be all my life but was unable or afraid to be until now.


The future me is aspirational, it is the payoff for all the planning and hard work. It is the person who is healthy and positive. The person that finds joy in the little things, the joy of family, and the joy in helping others. It’s the fun part of this ride called life, where we get to spend time making great memories. Spending time mapping out adventures for me and my family. I will tuck away pictures of what I want to do in my folder. I currently have a picture of a lion representing our planned family trip to Africa later this year.

So that is my framework and I will expand on each piece as we go along. It should be quite the ride!

VLR Boot camp Week #1

Current Weight: 237

Starting Weight: 237

Last week was brutal for me as the weather in Toronto was terrible and I had a large number of family/business events to attend. I know that’s not a good excuse but I’m giving myself some latitude on this one. A “Rocky” start… no that was too easy… a slow start for sure but I still made it into the ring and started to a focus on my goals.

I’ve started a regular walking schedule and I will track results based on time rather than distance, increasing duration once I build an adequate base. My other goals are:

  • Swim three times a week
  • Add  a weight training program
  • Finally, as the weather improves I will get my bike out and use it as much as possible. Nothing too strenuous at the moment but rather get into some sort of routine for now as I adapt to my new healthy lifestyle. This will also help me avoid injuries which occur when you start too fast with any training program.

I will start tracking and posting work out times next week. This is going to be fun!

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6 thoughts on “Victory Lap Retirement: Live Your Best Life Now!

  1. LindA Reply

    Good luck going forward. Great tine of year to be on this trajectory!

    • Mike Drak Post authorReply

      Thanks and your right about the timing it’s perfect for what i want to accomplish.

  2. Maggie Reply

    Mike, thanks for doing this blog!! I’m on the same track as you are….left full time work in December (note I did not use ‘retired’…thanks to you). I worked in the banking industry for 36 years and worked long hours neglecting myself in the process. Having had no sickness or signs of that neglect until my last physical in April I thought I was in good health. Alas the first signs of issues are now evident so I am now on a path to lose weight (20 lbs at minimum) and incorporate strength training & cardio on a regular schedule. I want to live my life as a healthy person!! Also, coming to a full stop in December was not right for me so I have taken on a small contract in the banking field to keep my mind engaged. Love your blog, read your book but just wish I had read it sooner. Keep up the good work.

    • Mike Drak Post authorReply

      Thanks Maggie for your comments you made my day and yes we are definitely on the same path. When you leave a high stress busy environment by hitting the brakes you will many times find physical problems that were kept in check by the stress start to surface along with a feeling of deep fatigue at least that has been my experience.
      I find that if I start moving walking/riding increasing duration as I get stronger to be the ticket for me. Getting stronger, losing weight and feeling better about yourself is a great esteem booster and sets you up for a wonderful Victory Lap. Let’s see who loses those 20lbs first!

  3. Cheryl Coleman Reply

    Greetings! Great post as always – really enjoy reading up on your retirement adventures and lifestyle. This physical fitness journey is very inspiring and it really shows that it’s never too late to embark on a new journey!

    I was wondering if you ever considered Housesitting as a means for income. It is a low-maintenance job and has the benefit of free accommodation. Housesitters have the chance to earn some money on the side while still having time to work and relax – on the job! It’s the perfect job for retirees – it keeps you busy but not overly so. I recommend visiting a website like to view opportunities for you!

    • Mike Drak Post authorReply

      Thanks Cheryl for your kind remarks and your suggestion about Housesitting. Whatever helps generate some active income and also provides the flexibility that a person requires is a great match.

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