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After nearly 101 years, John Cochran is still going strong

John Cochran, 101 Years Old (Feb. 2021)

by JAY SHATARA | KHGI ShataraThursday, February 4th 2021

KEARNEY, Neb. (KHGI) — Next time you’re lacking the motivation for the gym I want you to think about John Cochran, who will be 101 years old later this week.

He’s here at the Kearney YMCA three to five times a week. He said that he has never felt better.

“I try to do about 18 different exercises. Pull downs, I pull this way, I lift, I push, bands, leg exercises,” said Cochran.

You don’t live as long as John Cochran has without keeping a healthy workout routine like he has.

He said he doesn’t do as many sit ups as he used to.

“Back about 30 years ago, I could do 90 incline sit ups. Now I can do about 16. Once I passed the age of 100, I could tell the difference,” said Cochran.

But give him a break, he’s going to be a century and a year old. While most people his age wouldn’t be working out, you won’t hear any excuses from him.

“Well shame on those people my age,” Cochran said.

John’s daughter Tamara Long has been taking him to the Kearney Y for several years now. She admits, he’d go everyday if he could, because of his up bringing.

She said he lived through the Great Depression and did what he could to put food on his family’s table.

“Going through hard times always strengthens you and makes you a better person. Because it shows you can do it. You can make it, you can get through,” said Long.

His granddaughter Melissa Mathis, who is only a quarter of his age said he is somewhat of a celebrity around the gym, and also, an inspiration to most gym goers.

“They end up saying, when I get to be your age I hope that I’m in half as good of shape that you are and he always says no, you want to aim to be in better shape than I am,” said Mathis.

John loves to offer his wisdom to those who want to stop by and talk to him.

“I encourage all you young fellas, stay with it. The longer you stay with it, the more you put off some of the aging that naturally takes place,” said Cochran.