• profiles

    Len Psyk

    len psyk, 66, company man

    The Company Man

    Before he stepped onto the StairMaster at the gym, Len Psyk checked the wall chart for the heart rates of people exercising on it. His heart rate was that of a 45-year-old.

    “And I actually think I feel that way,” he says, relaying the story to me a week later. “The kinds of things I do are not the kinds of things 66-year-old people do. Not many people are still surfing at 66. Not many people take up calf-roping at 66. Do you put yourself at some risk? Sure. But I’m not ready to sit on the couch and watch ESPN all day long. I have to do stuff that’s active. I have to do stuff that’s challenging.”

    The father of six (and grandfather of seven) has spent most of his life chasing around a kid or two, and that has something to do with it, sure. But it’s also a question of mental acuity. He stays sharp at the office of the healthcare group he’s been working at for four years. The office is a mix of young and old, he says, and the balance that needs to be struck between those perspectives requires constant calibration.

    “People who have been around longer, what you have to battle a bit is the tendency of people to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way,’ ” he says. “And how do you change that? Very subtly…you need to be listening carefully to what they’re saying.”

    The job requires him to be in Seattle, but he splits time between there and Scottsdale, where he and his wife of 44 years, Linda, moved a few years ago. He flies between the two regularly, a sacrifice he’s happy to make despite the occasional delay. Len likes to keep going, something that can be attributed to two massive trials in his life.

    The two worst things to ever happen to Len were getting cancer at the age of 53, and losing his job five years ago. The first he beat through good healthcare and a bit of divine intervention (the family is devoutly Roman Catholic).

    The second? By the same grit he’s exhibited since he started working at 14: waking up every day and working his contacts until something came up. Len’s an easy conversationalist and a team-builder by nature. “If I had to choose which I’d do again, I’d rather battle cancer again,” he says.

    He felt that he could control his treatment and recovery. In the job market at age 62, he couldn’t control the ageism he faced. Maybe that’s why, after landing in a good place, he’d like to stay there.

    “I can’t tell you how many people in my age group, or younger, ask me, ‘How many more years are you going to work?’ It makes me crazy, because I don’t know,” he says. “I don’t have a number, or a target. I don’t have a limitation. As long as I’m still healthy enough to do it, I plan to keep working. I love playing golf, I love calf-roping, I love surfing, but I don’t want to do those every day. I’m not ready to hang up my spikes and go into, quote, retirement.”


    Previous articlePatrick Clarke
    Next articleJacques Rifkind
    - Advertisement -

    Don't Miss Out!

    Sign up for the AGEIST newsletter! It's FREE and delivered to your inbox weekly.

    Andreas Tzortzis
    Andreas Tzortzis
    He has worked as a journalist for the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Newsweek and Monocle Magazine from Berlin and London before leading Red Bull’s mainstream-facing content platform, The Red Bulletin, from Los Angeles. He recently returned to his hometown of San Francisco with his small family. dre@agei.st
    - Advertisement -


    8 Reasons Why We Love Ritual Multivitamins for Women Over 50

    We are so proud to have been chosen as the launch partner for Ritual’s new Essential for Women 50+ multivitamin. Before making our decision...

    Dr. Bella McCloud, 59: Upward Life Trajectory

    When, two years ago, we last spoke with Bella, she was deep in the long process of getting her Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Then...

    What Happens When Nobody Retires

    By 2035, the number of Americans of retirement age will eclipse the number of people aged 18 and under for the first time in...

    5 Ways for Guys to Look Better. Amy Keller, Our Maverick Fashion Stylist

    How do people like Brad Pitt always look so great? It helps to start out looking like Brad, but people in his line of...

    Words in Progress: Pierluca de Carlo

    Pierluca de Carlo, one of the most impressive artists we have met, is having his first LA show Jan 24-Feb 2, 2020 at The...