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"It's never too late to become what you might have been" Articles Database Articles by Writer Articles Written by "It's never too late to become what you might have been"

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"It's never too late to become what you might have been"
- John Pasco

The Extraordinary Story of John Pasco, Who Started BodyBuilding at the Ripe "Old" Age of 72....

The following are highlights of the remarkable bodybuilding career of an even more remarkable man - Mr. John Pasco - proud member of John, now 75, surely has the most awe-inspiring physique of any gentleman his age, and let's get real - he looks a hell of a site better than most 30 tear old guys !!!

Below you can read some revealing insights into this amazing "Grandfather".

"I came late into bodybuilding, at 72 years of age, when I found myself to look old, think old and act old. I found that bodybuilding not only improved my physique, but it also gave me a healthy perspective on people and the world. I found that it rejuvenated me, made me feel some 40 years younger than my years. It also enabled me to deal with my cancer (now in remission) so that it is no force in my life.

I bodybuild and compete now because it keeps me rejuvenated. I also bodybuild and compete so that my accomplishments may motivate others of advancing years or some poor medical condition to take charge of their lives and banish fear of years and illness.
- John Pasco

John Pasco, 75 years "old" - a truly outstanding example of what can be achieved


"In my career I have trained MANY guys in their sixties and have been impressed by their drive and determination and the will to win - which never wanes. However, I must say that in all of my career I have never seen anyone in the condition that you have achieved, especially at 75! - you are to be commended.

An excellent physique - well done sir!"

- Mick Hart
Bodybuilding Author, Trainer and Publisher of the
Rebel Bodybuilding and Steroid Mag - the "No Bull Collection"

Interview with John...

- Why Do I Bodybuild?

I came late into bodybuilding, at 72 years of age, when I found myself to look old, think old and act old. I found that bodybuilding not only improved my physique, but it also gave me a healthy perspective on people and the world. I found that it rejuvenated me, made me feel some 40 years younger than my years. It also enabled me to deal with my cancer (now in remission) so that it is no force in my life.

I bodybuild and compete now because it keeps me rejuvenated. I also bodybuild and compete so that my accomplishments may motivate others of advancing years or some poor medical condition to take charge of their lives and banish fear of years and illness.

John "pre-bodybuilding" aged 72

- Think You Can't Be Muscular?

I am convinced, no, I know it for sure: Out there where you are reading these words there are folks who never have thought they could work out and get a muscular physique. They have allowed this belief to keep them from even trying workouts. They are not content to see the years passing and their weak physiques growing even more frail, but they resign themselves to it, believing "this is what happens when you get old." I am here to tell you to tell you that it does not need to happen.

I know this to be true from my own life experience. I had the excuse, "I can never become muscular" and I allowed it to keep me from even trying. My military service, however, compelled physical development and the self-esteem which came with it. My civilian pursuits after leaving the military brought back poor physique and lack of self-esteem which persisted for decades until I finally, at age 72, began regularly working out.

- My Regrets

My only regret is that I waited so many years in the darkness of physical weakness before setting my mind and body to work at improving. After just a couple of months working out again, I had vigor and will to play strenuously with my grand nephew, then six years old.

I found him looking at me and then at my hands when he said to me, "Why are your hands old?" He could not understand why I had hands wrinkled with age while I had the endurance of a younger man. His words told me that I was again on the right path, although with a long way to go.

There is nothing on earth that cannot be improved with the abilities with which we humans have been granted. To resign yourself to having a poor physique at any age is to refuse to use the ability that lies within you to improve that which can be improved. The first step is to desire improvement, and I maintain that every mentally intact person has that desire. You have it already or you would not be reading this article.

- Stimulate Your Mind

Stimulate your mind to work on your body, your muscles. Remember the half-time invigorating talk the coach gives his team to motivate them toward victory in the second half? Well, if you have reached the age when your physique is faltering, then you are at your 'half-time'. So, talk to yourself. Remind yourself that you really want a physique you can show in pride. Tell yourself that you can do it. Tell yourself that you will do it.

Let the understanding sink in that it is humiliating to be in poor condition and that you can and will make huge improvements. Think of the pleasure you will have when others stare at you in disbelief when you tell them how old you really are. Know that you can defeat the years for they are the opposition you will conquer in the second half. Know these things and believe them and the victory will be yours. I have not taken as my screen name Mindrulesmuscle for no reason at all. Mind can and does rule muscle when you require it to do so.

No time to go to the gym? Oh yes there is! Surely no one is active 24 hours each day of the week. We all find or make time for what we really need to do. Rejuvenation through bodybuilding is what you have a real need to do. You will have the time. You will make the time.

9 months later and the signs of progress and there

- But I...

You don't have the strength to lift weights? Unless you are really physically handicapped you can lift light weights. That is all that is required until you develop strength for greater weights. In bodybuilding it is not the amount of weight lifted. It is the use of any weight which can be lifted for as many time as you can lift it that develops muscle. Lifting only five pounds and having to really work to do it will insure that you will move to lifting other heavier weights. Your body will respond to the demands you put upon it and develop, over time, the required muscle strength.

You have an old injury that inhibits exercise? Here I go again using myself as an example. When I began at the gym I had arthritis aching in all my joints. I had continual pain in my lower back as a result of a rodeo injury in my youth. Within four months of working out, the arthritis was completely gone and the old back injury pain was not felt again.

There is ample medical proof that supervised exercise not only eases or erases old aches and pains, but also strengthens the muscular and nervous systems so that they can avoid new deterioration. Note that I say "supervised exercise". I stress that no one, young or old, should undertake starting bodybuilding without the supervision of a competent trainer and should first consult with his physician so that he may advise the trainer of any possible problem areas.

- I Can't Afford It

You can't afford the expense of training? If you are really desirous of developing your physique, you will look at your limited income and find ways to cut out some things which you now do to make the funds available. Which is more important, your new car, TV, computer or your development of a good physique? If you are really going to be a good physical specimen, you will quit smoking and/or alcohol if you use them now, and that will provide extra cash.

Then, too, most gyms have less expensive programs if you choose specific days and hours. Check out what you now spend on various things and weigh their importance against your developing a great physique. We are justly most interested in bodybuilders who began the sport early in life and still have youthful physiques to show the results of their dedication and hard work.

However, there are other bodybuilders who have passed the years when they could be considered young. Some of these began working out at an early age and have continued on to their present vibrant seniority.

- What Can Bodybuilding Accomplish?

Then, there are others who, like me, began rather late in life, but whose minds and spirits as well as their physiques, now testify to what bodybuilding can accomplish. The rejuvenation that I have experienced from bodybuilding has given me the motto: "It is never too late to become what you might have been."

The regular entries on this site will be a verbal and pictorial record of what I have and am accomplishing through bodybuilding and reflections on the program that I follow.

It is my intent that this site may serve to motivate others who think their age or condition precludes them from bodybuilding to become rejuvenated through bodybuilding. As a background for what this site's succeeding entries shall contain, let me now give you a sketch of my life which has led me to my rejuvenation through bodybuilding. Perhaps then you will understand why I place such importance on the sport. Perhaps you will find some parallel of it in your own life.

- This Is To You Out There, by John Pasco

Just the other day, my son, Hans, was looking at some old photos in his collection of pictures taken as he was growing up. He came upon a picture of me taken about 15 years ago and showed it to his eight-year-old daughter, my grand daughter Lauren. It showed me standing with him. She asked who that was in the picture with him and he said, "That is your grandfather."

She said, "Oh, Dad, that's not my grandfather that man is an old man!" You see, my grand daughter has only seen me since I have been rejuvenated through bodybuilding. I cannot fully express to you how much that child's eye view rewards me for the time and focus I have dedicated to the sport in these recent years.

I believe that there are many "out there" who would like to merit such comments by their children, grand children and friends

- Growing Up

I was born in 1928, the last of my parents' six children. It was the days of the "Great Depression", and my father worked hard to supply all necessities for his family. Our food were simple and sparse, but contained all the required food groups, vitamins and minerals. Still I was a very scrawny youngster and so I was given such supplements as were available at the time, such items as cod liver oil and something called "Cocoa Quinine".

Still, I did not gain weight or musculature. I looked in silent admiration at the ads of Charles Atlas and just knew I would never be anything more than the boy in the ads who wished he could look like Atlas. I was shunned by the youths of my age in their sandlot games, withdrew into my own self and my secret, then unfulfilled, desires to be big and muscular.

- Benefits Of The GI Bill

Upon graduation from high school at the ending of World War II, I enlisted in the army primarily to benefit from the benefits of the GI Bill, but more importantly to see if military training could produce in me the long hoped for physical development. There was some early development, but it was not enough.

When I attempted to be accepted for paratrooper training, I was rejected on physical grounds. I continued in the service and rapidly rose to be Sergeant Major for the Japanese island of Kyushu in the occupation army days. In that duty the authorities recorded me as a soldier with extreme patriotism, and that notice was to earn me future duty, which duty was to develop my physique.

I did not know that at the time, however. I was discharged from the Regular Army, but immediately enlisted in the Army Reserve and returned to active duty. During that duty, the same authorities that had noted my patriotism indicated that I should enter the army's cryptographic school to learn that skill, and I did. After finishing the cryptographic training, it was further indicated to me that I should leave active duty and pursue my own announced desire to graduate from college and seminary to become an ordained clergyman. I did so.

John in a more recent competition looking awesome

- College

While in college, the Korean War began and the authorities insured that I was not recalled to duty in that conflict. Upon graduating from Penn State University with a BA in English and graduation from General Theological Seminary with an STM, I went on to serve the church-required two years in a civilian parish. My being recalled to Regular Army service as a chaplain marked the completion of those years.

A brief period of 'testing' as chaplain to a special Infantry battalion preceded my assignment to the 101st Airborne Division where I qualified as a paratrooper, became a member of the Army's elite STRAC Force, and received specialized training in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor of the Special Forces.
The needs of my future assignment for a greatly improved physique were met in those assignments. At last I had begun to move toward the physique wanted all my life.

I then learned that the special work for which I had been selected as long ago as my early days in the army was to be of the clandestine nature required in our Cold War day needs. I was assigned to our forces serving in Germany where my specific duty required me to spend much time in Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland, my clergy status and garb serving as a cloak for my real work.
Duty required and enabled me to become proficient in downhill skiing. Additionally, I became a member of a German fencing club to condition me in the off-skiing months. This further enhanced my physique. By the end of this duty in 1964, I was in excellent physical shape.

- Civilian Ministry

With my release from active duty as a Regular Army officer that year, I returned to the civilian ministry. The end of the military duty, sadly, was also the end of keeping in good physical condition for almost 30 years. I entered into the sedentary life of a rural clergyman, more devoted to books and philosophical/theological concerns than physical condition. The 30 years saw a rapid and continued decline in my physique. In 1992, I retired from the active ministry and moved to Dallas from Oklahoma.

I was aware that my nature still called me to edge play and I tried such, but my now-deteriorated physique did not measure up to those extremes. I also was then diagnosed with cancer of the prostate and underwent a radical prostatectomy.

That surgery was then thought to have removed all the cancer. While still longing, as I had in my youth, to have a good physique, I believed that I was now "too old" and should just take it easy until "the end".

- Physical Training

Then, my nephew, Robert Crosby, moved to Dallas and encouraged me to begin physical training in a local gym. I heeded his advice and began light workouts at a local sports club. After just a couple of months, I began to see my former good physique trying to come back to me. This so encouraged me that I began daily workouts. What might have been a set back then occurred. My cancer came out of remission and required 12 weeks of radiation therapy.

I told the oncology radiologist, himself a black belt in karate, that I would undergo the radiation only if it would not interfere with my workouts and he agreed to this. For the 12 weeks I went daily in the mornings to the gym for workouts and then to the hospital in the afternoons for the radiology.
Toward the end of the therapy, I asked the doctor why it was that all the others undergoing the same treatment at the hospital had bad side effects while I had none of them. He replied that I should give the credit to my working out regularly. With the end of the period of radiation, the cancer was again in remission and continues to be so now.

- My First Contest

I now returned with a vengeance to working out. A trainer at the gym asked me, in jest, "Why are you here so often? Are you going to enter a bodybuilding contest or something?" I found the answer springing to my tongue spontaneously from deep within me, "Yes, I am!" I knew absolutely nothing at all about bodybuilding and certainly nothing about bodybuilding competition.

I wrote to the Chairman of the National Physique Committee for advice on how to proceed, and he was kind enough to put me in touch with qualified bodybuilding trainers in this area. Thus I met and engaged as my trainer/manager, Dror Erez, Mr. Israel '95, and he remains my trainer to this day. I am indebted to him for the progress I have made in the past two years and my accomplishments in contests.


"Congratulations. Everyone who works out knows the desire, commitment and determination it takes to achieve results. What you have achieved is one of the most outstanding physiques that any 75 year old man who has ever walked the face of the planet has produced. You have definitively taken away every single excuse that anyone could ever have for not achieving their own goals. In a word - Inspirational"

- The Team


A Final Special Note: Many thanks to John for allowing us to reproduce the above. All the Members and Web Team at SE wish you the very best of success in your bodybuilding career, and may you continue to serve as such an inspirational example of human achievement.

As John himself told me " is my desire that whatever I have or do achieve in bodybuilding at my age and with my health history may serve to motivate others who are threatened by the passing of years or some poor diagnosis..."

I don't think there's much doubt about that John.


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