HIGHLAND, UT (KSL-TV) – Most folks don’t want to be asked how old they are but one woman in Utah loves to brag about how she’s 106-years-old.
She is well above the average life expectancy of 80-years-old.
This is how Mary Kawakami always starts her morning.
“Relentless,” said Mary Kawakami.
She knows how to give her 75-year-old son, Paul a hard time.
“He’s a taskmaster,” said Kawakami.
But at her age? She can do whatever she wants.
“‘How old am I?’ 106. Be 107 in two weeks,” said Mary.
Without fail, Paul comes over every morning to help his mom exercise. He’s done it for more than 20 years.
“That’s why I’ve lived so long,” said Mary Kawakami.
“No, the reason mother lives so long is because she’s mean,” said Paul Kawakami.
And he knows how to dish it back, but deep down inside, Mary is grateful.
“He’s an angel. God sent him to help with this,” said Mary Kawakami.
“Something that I’ve done for a long time. So it just becomes second nature,” said Paul Kawakami.
Paul teaches Tai-Chi at Utah Valley University.
“He does Chinese stuff,” said Mary Kawakami.
In his eyes, age is only a number.
“He said you can be 120 and still be 100. That’s his philosophy,” said Mary.
“I’ve checked her lungs. I’ve checked her heart rate,” said Paul.
“I have nothing wrong with me,” said Mary Kawakawi.
Intermountain Healthcare’s Dr. John Lassere says the rate at which people age varies.
“Chronological age is just the clock, but physiological age is how healthy they are,” said Dr. John Lassere, Geriatrician.
He says lifestyle plays a role.
“We tend to lose 10% of our muscle mass, every decade after 60,” said Dr. Lassere.
And Mary is determined to not lose it.
“Anything that I can conjure up, she gives it a try,” said Paul Kawakami.
So Paul puts her to the challenge.
“He’s good at what he does,” said Mary Kawakami.
“She’s getting lazy,” said Paul.
Mary says she didn’t think she’d live this long.
“I ask myself every day if today is the day and God says no!” said Mary.
But she keeps on going!
“Walking or doing anything I can to help myself realistically. I’m old!” said Mary.