Power pensioner Roy Miller: “It’s important to never stop learning!”

Kick boxing; tick, Water-skiing; tick. Kite boarding; tick. Flying; tick. Chauffeuring the royals; tick. Expert calligrapher; tick. Marathon runner; tick. Saxophonist; tick. Advanced biker; tick. Feet up; Not a chance. Britain’s most dynamic pensioner Roy Miller shares the secrets behind his adrenaline fuelled lifestyle.

Born in Highbury in 1947, self-confessed sexagenarian adrenaline junkie Roy Miller continues to defy his age with a life so active it puts people half his age to shame.

Roy Miller Power pensioner

Roy Miller is a self-confessed adrenaline junkie

I’ll turn 67 on my next birthday and I still can’t quite believe it. 

Being that age seems surreal to me because I have the mental attitude of a 20 to 25-year-old and I honestly don’t see myself past that age.

I don’t measure myself in years. My attitude is that you’re a child, then you’re a teenager, then you’re an adult, and that’s you. Then it’s just maintenance.

I’ve always had this energy and I put it down to my headmaster at Highbury Grove School in North London, Doctor Rhodes Boyson, who later became Housing Minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government.

He was Yorkshireman, but he was also like a character from a Dickens novel, and every assembly he told us a little story, and the moral would always be, ‘however bad things are, there is always a positive to be taken from a negative situation. You can always learn something.’

Riding at high speed, Roy is a qualified advanced motorcycle rider

Riding at high speed, Roy is a qualified advanced motorcycle rider

I’ve never stopped learning, and I’ve always taken that with me and what drives me is the knowledge that you can grow from any situation, and I’ve always made the most of life.

I’m crazy for adrenaline and challenging myself, but I’ve learnt that it’s important to learn the basics and take baby steps and then grow into a trot, and then a sprint and I’m still learning now.

I’m a qualified advanced motorcycle rider – I’ve ridden my 1200 BMW Adventurer at speeds of up to 115mph – and a I’m member of the National Escort Group, which means I critique the route for the Tour de France and Britain before the Peloton riders.

I’m also a Spin Trainer, I do kick boxing twice a week, I’ve run the London Marathon three times, the Paris one once and I love kite surfing, wake boarding and paddle boarding in the summer.

I’m also a qualified swimming coach too, so it does seem bonkers that I got my free bus pass last year.

Roy has a diploma for the British Chauffeurs Guild

Roy has a diploma for the British Chauffeurs Guild

I’m like a square peg in a round hole and my age doesn’t quite make sense, because I’ve got no joint pain, nothing wrong with my knees. My kick boxing trainer calls me The Beast and says I’m a Machine and even though I’m twice the age of everyone on the class he awarded me the Fitness Freak of the Year award.

I’ve also got a diploma for the British Chauffeurs Guild, which means I have a permit which lets me into Parliament and Buckingham Palace without being challenged.

I’ve had Prince Harry in the back. I’ve driven him and had breakfast with him round the back at Buckingham Palace.

He said, ‘come in and have breakfast with me,” It was surreal. He was a lot younger, and he wasn’t married yet and was still finding his way around. 

He was a bit of a lad and found himself in the gutter sometimes after having too much sauce, but he was only a teenager. If teenagers didn’t do things like that, they wouldn’t be normal.

At Kick Boxing class he's known as The Beast

At Kick Boxing class he's known as The Beast

I accept that most people my age don’t have my drive but when people see what I’m doing, it does inspire them and they say to me, ‘you make me feel like I need to get my arse off the chair and do something.’

And they do. 100%.

For me, it’s all about maintaining positivity and I do that by not keeping things inside too long. I dismiss negativity like passing wind to be crude.

Dwelling on what you can’t change isn’t going to change anything. 

My mantra is just move on and embrace fear. Fear is the same emotion as joy, elation and happiness. It uses the same adrenaline glands. It’s like having your arms up in the air on a rollercoaster. You just have to accept that it’s your body’s flight or fight mechanism and lean into the fear and that’s why I’m continually taking up new hobbies.

Need a ride? Roy flying his 2 seater Cessna

Need a ride? Roy flying his 2 seater Cessna

I’m learning the saxophone and the piano, I’m doing calligraphy, and a big aim of mine is to complete my Private Pilot’s License.  

I fly a two-seater Cessna and I need 10,000 hours flying time to get a commercial license and I’ve only done 1000 hours so there’s a way to go but patience is the key.

Luckily, I’ve got oodles of patience, and I don’t rush things and I know that to enjoy something fully and find it really satisfying, you need to learn the ropes first, so that’s what I do and that’s what I’d advise people who are struggling to kick start themselves to do.

Pick one thing that you want to do and do it to the best of your ability. Do it to the best standard you can get to, then it will give you so much joy. 

Take your time and believe in the process, which is exactly what I’ll continue to do.

When I’m 80, I fully hope to be as active as I am now. 

I’m not thinking in my brain that I’m getting older, but I know the clock is ticking, and there are a lot of things I want to cram in.

You’ve just got to believe in yourself.