How Paul May stays fit for adventure

by Vicki Heisser  |   

Living on a boat isn’t for everyone, but Paul May wouldn’t have it any other way. Recently we caught up with him to talk to him about his life and staying active at the PWSC Health and Fitness Center.

Since the mid 1980s, Paul has been living on a sailboat. An adventurer for much of his life, Paul has always enjoyed, as he puts it, “an elevated view.” High ridges, mountains, and even volcanoes have always captured his interest.

In the early 1990s, he found himself sailing from Hawaii to Alaska, and since 1991, he’s spent five months out of every year docked at the Valdez Harbor in Prince William Sound. He loves his spot in Valdez with views of the mountains all around him. The other seven months of the year he spends sailing to new adventures, anchoring in places where he can enjoy the mountains. Paul explains that he likes to spend his time “climbing coastal Alaska from the Dixon entrance to Katmai. I’ve been atop over 300 summits along the way and am credited with more than 80 first ascents in Alaska.”

For the months that he is docked in Valdez the weather prevents him from ascending too many mountains, so over the past decade he started a gym routine to stay active. Working out at the PWSC gym: “Two hours, four or five days a week from November to March,” Paul shares. “I use a lot of the machines equipment on the 1st floor. Upstairs, it’s 30 minutes on the elliptical strider and 30 minutes on the stair stepper for legs and lungs.” Now aged 70, he sees the value of staying active in the gym to help him stay active outside. “I credit the gym work with allowing me to continue playing in our mountains in my 7th decade. No end in sight, yet.”

Paul’s also taken up new winter activities while he’s docked in Valdez. In the last few years, he has found a new way to enjoy the beautiful snow-covered mountains of Thompson Pass – snowshoeing.

When it comes to being active, to being able to take advantage of the outdoors, he says, “Use it, or lose.” And he has no plans to “lose it” any time soon.