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When swing music had a revival in the mid-'90s, Blair Hebert carved a niche for himself in the bar scene in Vancouver, British Columbia. He founded a group called The Swinging Detectives, and quickly became known as a bandleader who had a knack for filling the dance floor.
“World War II veterans would show up to dance alongside college kids who were first discovering swing music,” Hebert recalled. “Everybody was just so happy when we were playing these old tunes.”
At 60, Hebert continues to be a skilled musician and singer. Back in those days, he oversaw an eight-piece band. These days, he plays lap steel guitar, dobro, bass, mandolin, and ukulele for fun.
The years of living like a musician started to catch up with Hebert as he neared his 60th birthday. By his own estimation, he had put on about 12 pounds per decade since he was 20, leaving him about 50 pounds overweight.
“I ate or drank and did whatever I wanted to do, when I wanted to, usually late at night,” Hebert said. “I allowed myself to become an obese, old, rock-and-roll guy.”
While he spent his swing years ignoring red flags surrounding his health, he had a wake-up call after a doctor’s visit in the summer of 2018.
“My doctor had been warning me forever,” Hebert said. “Finally, he said, ‘You're now diabetic. You've become insulin resistant and you're heading for a nasty decade.’”
Hebert left the office and decided the time was right for a lifestyle change. He went home and started researching. Eventually, he came across an ad for Rad Power Bikes.
He read up on the company and got excited. Like, really excited. By the next morning, he was at the newly-opened showroom in Vancouver and was “practically banging at the door.”
He took a RadMini out for a test ride. By the time he rolled back to the showroom, he knew he had found what he was looking for.
“It all worked so seamlessly,” Hebert said. “I immediately became a huge fan.”
Within 12 months, he had dropped 10 pant sizes, recovered from fatty liver disease, reversed the advancement of Type 2 diabetes, reversed asthma, and essentially reinvented himself — all at the age of 60.
Today Hebert is living a much different life. He works at a prominent film studio in Vancouver. On breaks, he rides his RadMini on the backlot and surrounding local trails to unwind and get his blood pumping. In total, between work, errands, and daily rides through Burnaby's Central Park, he logs about 120 kilometers a week. He fills up his car with gas once in a blue moon but otherwise goes everywhere on his ebike.
Threes times per week, he rides 7 kilometers to a local pool for a dip in the hot tub and to freestyle swim. He even found a way to channel his new love of swimming by getting certified as an aqua-fit instructor.
Within six months, he had quit drinking alcohol, changed his eating habits and logged in his first 1,500 km on his RadMini, losing over 40 pounds in the process and stunning his physician.
“My doctor called me at nine o'clock one morning — something he never does — when my blood tests came in and excitedly asked ‘What the hell have you been doing?'” Hebert laughed.
Hebert can't imagine what his life would look like today if he hadn't taken that first test ride on the RadMini.
“I use it as a stress relief tool, a fitness tool, and a personal development tool,” He said. “It's much more than a recreational vehicle.”
“I’m involved in all kinds of active living now, with an energy level I thought was unattainable at 60” Hebert said. “I’m playing music more than I ever did before. I thought it was over. Now I feel it is just beginning.”
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