Sabbatical Goals: Health & Fun

In Journal by Steve Sliwa

In November 2021 I stepped away from my role as the CEO of Seeq, the business I founded with Brian Parsonnet, Mark Derbecker, and Jon Peterson; and, entered a semi-retirement state.  At that time I was about to turn 67 and was recovering from a bad cold combined with COVID.  It occurred to me that my parents passed away at the ages of 62 and 72, which helped me to focus on the fact that I might not be invincible.  In fact, it occurred to me that:

  1. Perhaps a long retirement might not be in the cards for me due to genetics.  So putting off retirement and fun projects I might have in mind could put them out of range.  For example, flying will probably be a key part of post-retirement fun.  However, airline pilots are required to retire at 65 and it gets difficult to maintain insurance for high-performance aircraft past the age of 70.  Knock, knock, hello, time is wasting.
  2. I confess that as a workaholic I have tended to neglect my fitness and health.  Perhaps there are things I could do to get healthier and extend my life.  So I think a key focus as a result of having more time is to spend it getting healthier and perhaps getting more time.

As a result, I picked the goals of Health and Fun (in that order).


I didn’t have primary care physician and really hadn’t done a thorough check-up since I left Insitu in 2011.  So it was time to rejoin the medical system and get on top of things.

Well, immediately, I ran into problems.  As reported in an earlier post I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  It was serious.  But I have completed a TULSA Procedure and am now in the clear.

My parents and grandparents all died early due to coronary problems. So I have dug into these issues and discovered that I do have early stages of heart disease.  Basically, I scored in the 45th percentile of men my age.  So that doesn’t seem bad.  However, my cardiologist points out to me that 60% of the men who pass the age of 70 will ultimately die from coronary failure.  So guess what group I’m lining up to be in.  🙂

I don’t want to be one of those old guys that spend all of their time talking about their medical issues.  But I plan on focusing more on health and plan on reporting on what I learn as I go in this blog.  I just want to give some background motivation.


Of course, I will be reporting on fun as well.  We are in the early stage of building a new home in Genoa NV, close to the Minden Tahoe Airport, one of the best soaring sites in the country.  I am about to break ground on new hangar at the airport to hold my new sailplane and Malcolm, and perhaps other flying toys.  Plan on updates.


Finally, the title refers to a sabbatical.  Well, I don’t think I will ever sign up for a full-time job again.  But I will be looking for ways to “Make a Difference” in the world as I get organized.  Currently, I am advising some start-ups, I expect to do some mentoring and coaching, and my philanthropy programs are expanding.  So we shall see how my schedule shakes out going forward.

Thanks to my friends and colleagues for the support, encouragement, and advice during my transition.

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