In November 2022, we launched Dynamic Aging 4 Life Magazine, an online publication to create a community of people who are challenging the stereotypes of aging, one personal story at a time. Our stories describe what it’s like to age dynamically, explore what’s possible, inspire one another and empower by example.
Pictured: Sylvia Fox, Michael Fitzgerald, Willis Allen, Joan Virginia Allen, and Biscuit.
The "we" is Joan Virginia Allen, 85, co-author of Dynamic Aging: Simple Steps to Whole-Body Mobility, and Dynamic Aging Coach; Willis Allen, 87, a retired technology specialist with Disney; Sylvia Fox, 71, Emeritus Professor of Journalism, Restorative Exercise and wellness coach; and Michael J. Fitzgerald, 75, a journalist and novelist with 50 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. In the seven months since we launched the magazine, we have published a story every other week, written by everyday people modeling an infinite variety of choices – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – as they continue to be genuinely curious about what dynamic aging means to them.
The challenge of success
The response to the magazine - which is free - has been astounding. We have almost 1,000 official subscribers and a larger readership beyond that. Our readership is already beginning to reach an international audience.
Challenged by that success? Absolutely.
Thus this GoFundMe request.
Creating a reader-friendly, dynamic website
As the magazine was in the planning stages, we believed this endeavor could be a simple auxiliary cobbled onto Joan’s existing website for her coaching practice, DynamicAging4 Life. That worked - very briefly. But as reader interest in the stories and the concept of Dynamic Aging boomed, it was obvious we had to create a more reader-friendly and dynamic website pronto to adequately display the increasingly popular stories and photos.
A volunteer editorial staff
Every dollar from this request will be going to tech support of our new website, including managing the website, managing subscribers, the archives, the readability and everything else that goes on behind the scenes of an online magazine. This will help guarantee the existing stories and photos as well as the stories coming in will continue to be published and available free-of-charge to everyone. The rest of what happens –– the publishing, the writing, the editing, the distribution –– the ‘meat’ of the publication, is provided by our volunteer staff and our amazing and generous contributors of stories. We are also exploring ways to make this endeavor self-sustaining.
How it started
Willis hiking Vernal Falls at 86. Read 'Beating the Odds'.
The genesis of this magazine evolved after Joan and her husband Willis successfully hiked the strenuous Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park in 2022. They were 84 and 86, respectively, at the time.
On the trail, another hiker stopped Willis and asked him how old he was. He was surprised when Willis said he was 86.
“Well, I’m 77,” the man said. “I thought this would be the last time I would do this hike. You have inspired me to consider the possibility this may not be my last time.” That and other similar events prompted Joan and Willis to want to share their story of how they got to that trail - the year-long challenges, setbacks, obstacles, disappointments, doubts, injuries, commitment, intention and curiosity it took to make that hike successful. More than that, they wanted to encourage people to be genuinely curious about aging.
But they needed a venue that would reach a wide audience.
Thus the idea of Dynamic Aging 4 Life Magazine.
The stories by contributors are inspiring!
Marie Fitzsimmons returning to the Peace Corps in retirement. Read Full Circle.
Since November, the diverse stories range from doing multiple Peace Corps stints after retiring, adopting a big dog when everyone warns us that older adults need lap warmers, living a dynamically aging life with MS (and other ailments), growing old as a Rolling Stone’s groupie, deciding to divorce at 70, starting a new sport in our 70s and 80s –– and much more.
Your support through this GoFundMe request will help keep the magazine growing and continue to provide the technological support to publish real-life stories of how people are choosing to age dynamically.
If you have any questions about this request, the magazine or if you want to contribute your story, please let us know. We'd love to hear from you!
Joan, Willis, Michael and Sylvia