‘I came here to live’: Ex-Navy boxer helps senior citizen roommates get active

Neighborhood All-Stars

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – A 70-year-old former boxing instructor who survived both coronavirus and cancer now wants to motivate his senior citizen roommates to punch through adversity.

Steve Tarde, a 70-year-old former boxing instructor who survived both coronavirus and cancer, now wants to motivate his senior citizen roommates in National City to punch through adversity.

At first glance, it’s easy to see boxing is in Steve Tarde’s blood.

“Mostly, I teach about five basic punches that anybody can watch in a boxing match,” Tarde said. ““I’m giving them back confidence and confidence isn’t easy to get and boxing will help them get it”.

Tarde, who has taught boxing in the Navy and at the YMCA, spent years understanding the sport.

Now a resident at the Plaza Village Senior Living facility in National City, he said he wanted to teach skills to fellow residents amid a global pandemic.

“Becoming a senior citizen myself, I’ve been realizing so few people exercise,” he said. “They don’t do anything.”

Nearly 80% of the residents at Plaza Village are not mobile, but that’s not stopping them from enjoying a lesson from Tarde out in the sun.

“Yes, I like the exercises,” one woman said. “It’s more than what we do. We’re just as motivated to get out here and be around the people.”

“It’s something different” another resident said. “It’s good, you know, something to get the adrenaline flowing.”

Tarde credits his healthy lifestyle for his ability to beat back diseases and remain healthy.

“I didn’t come to this facility to die,” he said. “I’m 70-years-old and I might only live another five to 10 years, but I didn’t come here to die; I came here to live.”

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