Life starts at 40: Frank Cilona’s secret to staying active at 50

Frank Cilona is the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Canton/Greater West Virginia. He will celebrate 21 years of marriage with wife Kris this September.

Frank Cilona is the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Canton/Greater West Virginia. He will celebrate 21 years of marriage with wife Kris this September. His kids, Ryan (freshman at Ohio State) and Ashley (junior at Perry High School), help keep him fresh. So does playing music on the weekends as a disc jockey at weddings and high school dances.

Q: What has turning 50 years old meant to you?

A: I never let age bother me. Really, 50 is just a number for me. I started playing baseball again in a 45-and-over Roy Hobbs League. We went to Florida to play in the Roy Hobbs World Series, and there was a T-shirt because the thought on the T-shirt has always been in my mind. The shirt said, “You don’t quit playing because you get old. You get old because you quit playing.” I’ve always believed that. That’s how I approach turning 50. I don’t stop doing what I want. I used to think 40 was old. My dad was 40 when they had me. Here I am an 18-year-old high school senior and my dad was 58. Nowadays that’s not uncommon.

Q: So is there truth in the saying that 50 is the new 40?

A: I think so. When my dad was almost 60, I was graduating from high school and all my friends’ parents were younger. I thought my parents were old. It used to bother me at first. My parents were old enough to be their grandparents. I came along late. There’s 16 years between me and my oldest brother. He’s 66 and he’s still very active. He bowls. He plays golf. He doesn’t look 66.

Q: What’s the difference between 40 and 50?

A:When you pull a muscle or twist an ankle, it takes a lot longer to heal than it used to.

Q: How have your relationships with family changed in the last 10 years?

A: My dad passed away 20 years ago. I’ve become more attentive to my mom and her needs. She’s 85. In the past, I didn’t have to check in on her as much as I do. I have two older brothers who do the same thing, too. You become more of a parent toward your parents; you worry about them more.

Q: At this point in your life, what’s the secret to being happy in your career?

A: The biggest thing is just enjoying what you do. If you don’t love what you do, do something else. I’ve had those jobs along in my career. I can tell you, if you don’t love what you’re doing, it’s time to do something else. Life is too short to be miserable.