Here's Zeev Gilkis! "Running Back In Time" 🔥-- The Now Legacy
Name: Zeev Gilkis, PHD
1. When and why did you begin writing?
Some 19 years ago I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, stage three out of four, probability to survive 30%.
Suddenly, my self-image changed dramatically, from a healthy person to one having an advanced stage cancer.
These were times of struggle, ups and downs, one day optimistic and another day pessimistic, not knowing how it will end.
These extremely intensive times are forever imprinted on my mind and have had a major influence on my approach to life: always seeing the half-full glass, better understanding of what really counts in life and my attitude towards everything.
All these understandings, which began then and have developed during the years through self-search, introspection, studying and thinking, have led to many conclusions about various aspects of life and inspired me to write the first book – Unlock Bliss, a memoir of getting happier.
During the following years I underwent a complete metamorphosis; from being a “couch potato” geek, whose only workouts were playing chess and bridge, to becoming a surfer and triathlete, who competed in a triathlon, for the first time, at the age of 66 and the first half marathon at the age of almost 69.
I see sharing these understandings, conclusions, and practical solutions throughout my books as my mission in life.
2. Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, I try to keep a direct contact with the reader. I see him or her as a friend.
Some people call it a conversational style.
The reader is my companion on my challenging path and I share with him/her everything; the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the happiness and the disappointments.
I believe we both learn from it.
BTW, I appreciate very much readers’ reviews and would like to encourage every reader to leave a review, either critical or positive.
I read each review several times and try to learn from every word. I enjoy it and appreciate very much.
I received over 150 reviews, for the three books, with an average of 4.5 stars and value very much each one.
3. How did you come up with the title?
The key motive of this book is running. But it is not just running. It is a whole process of learning myself, feeling my body and a lot of psychology.
During this process something happened to me.
When I run, especially the medium and long distances I forget myself, enter a kind of trance and feel an extreme joy and elation.
With each run I feel younger, but this is not only my subjective feeling. In my recent physical examination, I received MET score of 16, meaning “outstanding for a 20 years old man”.
And I’m almost 70…
So, running makes me younger, like running back in time…
There are chapters about reversing age in both The Secret of Life, a memoir of getting younger and Unlock Bliss.
I was playing with the words seeking the best combination to make the title, but the final phrase was proposed by my dear friend Tehilla, and I owe her huge thanks for that.
4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
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.
So, each and every one – at any age and physical state, can be encouraged to start!
Sport activities are strengthening the immune system, therefore are the best preventive medicine for the COVID-19.
Evolution didn’t envision the great advancements of medicine, drugs, hospitals and medical doctors.
Therefore, it equipped us with an army of 20 billion personal doctors.
This is in peace times. When the body is attacked by intruders; viruses, bacteria and other foreign bodies, there is a virtual mobilization and the body’s army can double and even triple.
What I am referring to are the white cells of the immune system, which are the best defenders protecting us from diseases and illnesses.
But the white cells are most of the time in the lymph, which doesn’t have a pump (like the heart for the red blood cells) to move them around.
The sport activities are the key mean to accomplish this mission!
A major chapter in The Secret of Life is devoted to this amazing system.
Of course, sport activities are also contributing greatly to the functioning and performance of the cardiovascular and cardio-respiratory systems, protecting our brain from neuro-degenerative diseases and mental illness, improved self-esteem and satisfaction, and establishing good understanding and communication with our body.
All in all, the best investment in health, in our quality of life and in our future – to grow old with health and vitality.
5. How much of the book is realistic?
My books are very realistic and practical. I believe that books shall not only be enjoyable, but each book shall teach us something.
Therefore, in my books you can find many very useful conclusions, ideas and practical tips.
The books are based on my life story and also things I learned from others.
6. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All three books are memoirs combining my personal experiences with the general concepts.
I have a quite unusual life story, so it is a good source for demonstrating the ideas in real life.
But they also reflect experiences of others.
During my careers in the 8200 Unit of the Israeli Intelligence, in high-tech, bio-tech and Venture Capital I managed many people and met many more. Every person is unique and I learned a lot from many.
Since I have begun my sport career, I had several great coaches and learned from everyone.
7. What books have most influenced your life most?
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!
8. What are your current projects?
I’m in the middle of my fourth book, work on my research in neuroscience and train for my first marathon.
9. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I hope to publish my fourth book in March next year, so it takes a significant chunk of my time.
I’m developing a model of the learning process in the brain as a continuation to my PhD thesis. Also, a model for the processes of storage and retrieval of memories.
It will be the subject of my fifth book.
BTW, I touch some issues about what is happening in our brain in Unlock Bliss.
And I devote about two hours daily to sport activities.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Age doesn't matter.
Actually, we do not have to age.
I want to claim that biologically the body doesn't have to age, IF WE LIVE CORRECTLY.
If we live right, get the right exercise, eat the right food and honor “the four pillars”, we don't age and can even reverse aging to some degree! I write about it in both Unlock Bliss and in The Secret of Life.
Our well-being is built on the four pillars: physical activity, the right nutrition, social life (friends, family, community) and the mental or spiritual attitude.
Shimon Peres the ninth President of Israel, said once at the age of 91: “The bigger the dreams and aspirations a person has, the younger he is!”
I have many plans and dreams, but the biggest goal-challenge I’m setting for myself for the near future, is to run my first marathon on my 70th birthday.
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.”