Harrison County YMCA Lifeguard Still Fit at 80 Years Old - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Harrison County YMCA Lifeguard Still Fit at 80 Years Old

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David Rathbun walks eight to 12 miles a day, and is a lifeguard at the Harrison County YMCA, now that might not sound like much, but it will when I tell you he's 80 years old.

Rathbun has been a lifeguard at the Y for the past eight years, he started after retiring from an interesting first career.

"Before I retired and moved up here I was working at the Kennedy Space Center as a systems engineer on the space shuttle," Rathbun said.

He moved to Clarksburg with his wife and he started working at the Y as a lifeguard shortly after that.

He opens the pool every day of the week at 5:30 a.m. and said his favorite part of the job is teaching swimming lessons.

"The part I like most about this is working with little kids and teaching them to swim. I think it helps them a great deal to make swimmers out of them," explained Rathbun.

Being a lifeguard isn't the only thing that makes Rathbun stand out. He's also pretty fit for a man who's 80 years old.

"I walk around this pool anywhere from eight to 12 miles while I watch people swim. Then I go in the fitness room and work out on fitness equipment. My one claim to fame in my age is I can do about a dozen pull-ups," Rathbun said.

Rathbun said he has the Y to thank for being in such good shape for his age, and he wants to encourage others to be healthy.

"When I turned 40 and got to feeling a little bad, achy and so forth. I thought this is not good. My next thought was I'm not going to let my age control how I live my life. That's when I got into my exercise program and maintained it for the next 40 years," said Rathbun.

Rathbun said he hopes to continue being a lifeguard for at least the next five years.

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