While most men his age are having to decide whether they will use their wheelchair, walker or a cane to get around, the 92-year-old Cook also has decisions to make, specifically how much weight to load onto one of the many weight training machines he uses at least three times a week at the Conley Recreation Center in College Park.
The 50-year College Park resident believes that God gave him a good body to begin with but it is up to him to keep that body in shape, “whether you are two, 22, 52 or 92,” he said.
A widower, Cook, who is on no special, doctor-ordered medication, doesn’t take any type of vitamins and doesn’t have to watch what he eats, said he has always been active, “and I have read nothing that says you have to slow down and be less active because of age,” he added.
His workouts at the Conley Recreation Center focus on three elements of what Cook calls “my being,” walking and running for his heart and breathing and weights to tone his arms, shoulders and legs.
“If the weather is nice, I try to use the track surrounding the football field across the street to walk and run but, if not, I use the running equipment at Conley Recreation Center as part of my workout routine,” Cook said.
Born in Smyrna in 1920, Cook grew up around the old Lucky Street Y.M.C.A. in Atlanta and could be found there doing weight training and other strength and conditioning workouts even before he was a teenager.
When asked where he gets his motivation to get up early and come to the Conley Center to work out and lift weights, Cook simply pointed skyward and said, “the master.”
“I have always felt that our bodies are the master’s temple,” he said.
“God gives you the body and within that body is the heart, the driving force of the body where God lives in each of us,” he said.
If God’s temple is within one’s body, Cook believes that temple should be kept in the best shape possible.
Although he is not on any strict diet, Cook does limit his red meat intake but admits to one weakness, the vegetables served as his favorite College Park restaurant, Lunch on Main.
“If it doesn’t bite me, I will bite into it,” he said with a smile.