Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein
There is no doubt whatsoever that spending time chatting with 84-year old Norwich residents, Dottie S. Dorion, and her 89-year old husband George, will give you an entire new perspective on aging.
Over those 84 years Dottie has gained international fame and worldwide acclaim as a Humanitarian, Athlete, Educator and most lately, renowned Artist. The key element in that last statement is that Dottie is a long way from resting on her laurels. Slowing down to enjoy conventional retirement is not even an option and it never was.
Dottie in front of her artwork prior to a show
When pressed to choose of those categories to describe herself, Dottie only paused for a moment before answering with a warm smile. “Humanitarian!” she exclaimed. “I have always wanted to take part in projects that make the world a better place. Always giving back because when you give, you receive in return.”
Running a close second as her choice was that of an amazing athlete that carried right into her 80s. She has traveled all over the world to compete in swimming and triathlon events representing USA Triathlon and the International Triathlon. Dottie also disclosed she was a fierce and talented competitor in tennis, as well. Bear in mind, after her recovery from recent knee replacement, she will continue with her athletic endeavors as soon as possible.
Dottie and her husband George
“I have always wanted to be a role model. I really love it when young people come up to me in the gymnasium and state that when they grow up they want to be just like me! I stay in shape and feel better at my age than I ever had. These days I worry a little bit about these new millennials. They have a whole different lifestyle. I feel that often they don’t have time to stay in shape. I believe in listening to your body. If you are having a bad day, simply go do something else!”
As a humanitarian, Dottie has excelled on par with her athletics and then some. Her career choice was nursing and she graduated from Columbia University School of Nursing and earned her Masters in Special Education at Southern Connecticut State with Certification in Teaching at the University of North Florida. It was in the Sunshine State that Dottie made a huge impact.
The Dottie Dorion Fitness Center, University of North Florida
“Back in 1978 when they started developing the Hospice Program, I really became intrigued with the concept. It was just what I had been looking for – a program that could offer a better way to die. I dove into that concept and ended up helping with establishing the Hospice Program in the State of Florida.”
These days, Dottie is receiving rave reviews from the artistic world for her skill as a photographer and painter. She is a member of the National Museum of Women in The Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens and the Museum of Contemporary Art - Jacksonville, FL. Her early works concentrated on still life, trees and landscapes painting with acrylic and oil. These days, the talented lady is enjoying an “Abstract Phase” and they have been displayed literally all over the entire world. She often sells her artwork to benefit charitable causes.
Dottie as an Olympic Torchbearer when the Torch was en route to Atlanta
Dottie and George have lived in their Norwich home, with a scenic view that will take your breath away, for 30 years alternating with their home in Florida. Dottie has her roots in the Green Mountain State, however. Her parents were Vermonters and she indicated that she spent her summers at her Grandfather’s farm in Lyndonville, Vermont.
The future outlook for Dottie? Full speed ahead!
“I always keep a positive outlook, always! I constantly look for ways to improve the betterment of mankind. That will never change regardless of age.”
Dottie cycling at Clermont (FL) triathlon