I am so excited to introduce Dr. Zeev Gilkis on my blog today. He is a very inspiring person who shows us how to age with resilience and stamina and to never give up.
Welcome to my blog Dr. Gilkis!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Originally I was a mathematician. Nobody is perfect…
But the stars were with me and LIFE offered me several opportunities.
I took them all; serving in the mythological 8200 Unit of the Israeli Intelligence, senior positions in high-tech and Venture Capital, and the last, most surprising – establishing and leading an Institute for Biomedical Development. In parallel, discovering the “inner world”, by practicing yoga and meditation.
My message: LIFE offers us some opportunities, usually not too many.
It’s up to us whether we take them, or prefer to stay in our comfort zone.
2. When you’re not preparing for marathons, writing, and training, what are your interests and hobbies?
My primary interest is neuroscience. I’m fascinated with the processes in the brain. My PhD thesis was about the learning process and now I’m building models for other processes. But it’s probably a topic for another interview.😊
To keep my brain in a reasonable shape I also play bridge and chess. Once, in the far past, I played in tournaments, but nowadays everything is online…
3. What was your inspiration for writing Running Back in Time?
On my 68th birthday I set for myself the goal to run a full marathon on my 70th birthday, and took the courage to announce it (!) so now I have to do it…
I strongly believed that I’ll make it, despite I was just recovering from my second serious knee injury, and was told by two orthopedists to stop running. But it was also very clear to me, that it will not be straightforward and I’ll have to overcome many obstacles.
I thought that sharing these experiences may inspire others to set ambitious goals and go for it. Setting a goal is motivating and causes us to take out from ourselves the best!
4. How long did it take you to write the book?
I write one book per year. It would be too difficult for me to do it in a shorter time, as I want to enjoy life and to do many other things in parallel. But on the other hand, more that that seems too long for me. So, I set to myself the one-year-deadline.😊
5. What propels you to focus on your health as much as you do?
This is a great and so important question. Many times we appreciate the health only when something goes wrong. It also happened to me, when I was diagnosed with an advanced stage cancer.
Since then, I believe that the best medicine is the preventive medicine: the right nutrition, physical activity, positive approach and more. I write about it in all my books.
It’s not only for me. It’s also for the family. I had to take care of my parents were they became very sick in their last years. I don’t want to be a burden on my family.
And of course being perfectly healthy is a great feeling and enables me to do many things and realize my dreams. Like taking free diving course three months ago😊
I was the oldest free-diving student they ever had😊😊
6. What kinds of books do you read?
I don’t read much. Still don’t have enough free time😊
I usually read only books, which I believe can teach me something.
I believe we all are in an ongoing process of a personal evolution. We can continue improve in all aspects (“get better each day”…), but for that we need to learn and implement what we learned.
It’s worth the investment.
When I read, it’s more like studying. I love to learn; neuroscience, physiology, psychology and more. Learning a new thing causes me joy and elation.
I would mention a few books, which made a major influence on me & my life:
BORN TO RUN, Christopher McDougall
HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING, Dale Carnegie
ZEN & THE ART OF MOTOCYCLE MAINTENANCE, Robert Pirsig
SIDDHARTHA, Herman Hesse
THE PILGRIMAGE, Paulo Coelho. I loved it even more than “The Alchemist”. In this book he demonstrates beautifully that the journey toward a goal is much more important than achieving the goal!
7. Tell us about your current writing projects?
I’m in the middle of my fourth book, a continuation of running Back in Time, and plan to submit it for editing in March next year, so it takes a significant chunk of my time.
My observations and conclusions about what happens in our brain will be the subject of my fifth book. It will be in a “popular science” language.
BTW, I touch some of these issues in Unlock Bliss.
And I maintain a diary, so much happens in my life… recommend very much to everybody. Not necessary on a daily basis. I usually summarize a week or so. Including photos.
8. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes. Sometimes writing may be frustrating. But it’s worth the effort!
9. Do you have any advice for people who are middle aged and sedentary?
The message is that physical activity is for everyone at any age. It can be almost effortless, becoming a source of joy and satisfaction, while dramatically improving the quality of life and physical health.
It’s also the best remedy to prevent any mental health issues in the future.
The activity doesn’t have to be intensive and the motto is that “even a little is a lot!” The idea is, that it is much easier to persist when we do a little, and what is important is to be physically active in the long run. Actually, as long as we live.
The beginning can be 10 min/day.
Sport activities are strengthening the immune system, therefore are the best preventive medicine for the COVID-19.
All in all, the best investment in health, in our quality of life and in our future – to grow old with health and vitality.
10. What would you like readers to take away from Running Back in Time?
Age doesn’t matter!
The beautiful quote below is attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
11. How can potential readers get in touch with you?
I always reply to e-mails (email@example.com) . Sometime it may take me a few days, but I don’t leave anyone w/o a reply.
12. Where can they buy your book?
All my books are available on Amazon. The simplest is to type the name of the series: Younger Than Ever and all three will show.
Thank you for being on my blog today Dr. Gilkis! I look forward to reading and reviewing your next book. You are a very interesting and inspiring person!