June 1, 2023 - 9:29 am
“I told you I’d be back,” Arnold Schwarzenegger says.
OK, he meant from lunch, but it felt good for the muscle man to speak that line in his trademark tough-guy baritone.
At age 75, he’s having the best time being Arnold: mega-motivator, high-profile action star and former governator who insists that he will never quit.
“I don’t retire — I reload,” he says from Los Angeles on a warm spring afternoon. “Why retire when there is still so much more to do?”
That includes Schwarzenegger’s first TV series.
In the high-octane “Fubar,” now streaming on Netflix, he plays Luke, a CIA operative on the verge of retirement who discovers a family secret and is forced to go back into the field for one last job to help/protect/advise his daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro). Turns out, she isn’t some soft-spoken desk jockey but also a CIA agent in the thick of danger, much to her father’s dismay.
Schwarzenegger is also the subject of a three-part limited documentary series called “Arnold,” debuting June 7 on Netflix, which delves into his five decades as a household name.
Why TV? Why work so hard at 75? Why not just sit on the couch and eat the strudel?
“Just do it. Keep doing it,” Schwarzenegger insists. “Whatever it is. Do it now. No one is promised tomorrow.”
His other good life tips:
Be your own action star
How does he pull off “Fubar’s” high-flying stunts at age 75? “I’m very fortunate that I stayed in shape my entire life,” Schwarzenegger says. “I’ve been working out regularly since I was a teenage boy, and it never stopped, including now.”
His advice to get yourself moving? “Find the fun in it. I do what I love, including ride my bike and hike. I’m always moving and figuring out ways to be on my feet in addition to a regularly daily workout,” he adds. “The key is to do it now. Move at least once a day. Don’t put off moving for later. Go for that walk or hit the gym. Do it with friends as motivation. Then put it in your calendar as if it’s a meeting each day.
“Life is not about waiting. It’s about taking action.”
Good start, great finish
Schwarzenegger firmly believes that a good start to the day results in a great finish. His wake-up routine includes a three-minute cold shower the moment he wakes up for “a huge energy boost.” Next: He squeezes half a lemon into 8 ounces of water and does a guided 12-minute breath-work meditation. “I’ll do 10 minutes then in my journal, writing down whatever I’m thinking,” he says. “All of this makes a great 30-minute routine that I do every single morning to start my day out on a positive note.”
Keep at it
“I’m like a plumber or a bricklayer: I get up in the morning and I work,” the Hollywood icon says. “I’m very passionate about what I’m doing that day, so it doesn’t feel like work. In the end, I feel amazing because I can entertain people and it creates a very satisfying feeling.
“Chase that feeling of being satisfied with what happened in the day. What will make you feel satisfied? Forget age. You can work your (expletive) off happily at any age, especially if it doesn’t feel like work.”
Compete with yourself
“You can only compete with yourself,” Schwarzenegger says. “We live in an age of social media where we compare ourselves to other people. It can even cause a crisis of confidence because people lose their sense of purpose scrolling feeds all day.
“You will never win trying to be like everyone else. You compete against you every single day. So, turn off social media, go outside and talk to real people.”
Don’t be satisfied
“You must stay hungry in life,” he advises. “If you’re always hungry, you’re never really satisfied and you push harder.”
Find your support system
“It’s so helpful in life to gravitate toward the people who truly support you,” Schwarzenegger says. “I love people who say, ‘You can do it!’ ”
Write it down
“I like to give people a gratitude challenge,” he says. “Each day, write down one thing you’re grateful for, and contact one person you’re thankful for who is in your life. This is important because you’re not just being grateful, but you’re building a positive mindset.”
Avoid negative people
“First, you try to ignore the naysayers in life,” Schwarzenegger says. “Or you can just forget them. Tune them out. Walk away. Because there are so many pressures we encounter in our everyday lives, I make a major effort to fill my brain with positivity. I don’t always succeed, but I try.
“Create your own clear vision of your world, and do not let others bring you down. Life is a beautiful thing.”