Following a presidency which encompassed such disasters as the September 11 Terrorist Attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the Great Recession (2007-2009), one would think that former president George W. Bush would slow things down now that he’s out of the Oval Office.
In some ways, this does seem to be the case. He has thrown himself into the arts. In literature, he has written two books Decision Points, a memoir published in 2010, and 41: A Portrait of My Father, a biography about his father, 41st US president George H. W. Bush.
Known to enjoy painting as a hobby, he has continued to paint still lifes and has even collected his oil paintings of war veterans into a book entitled Portraits of Courage. Even more reason to slow down, the former president developed a coronary artery blockage. Thankfully, this was successfully treated in 2013 through use of a stent.
Former First Lady Laura Bush revealed in an interview with People that her husband may seem to have slowed down but his famous impatience and wise-cracking has not disappeared entirely. She shared that the Bush family like to winter in Florida, where she takes yoga classes at a local gym, while her husband and the former Commerce Secretary Don Evans work out. Occasionally, the two men would join her.
“George and Donny will go work out so they’re really sweaty – warmed up so they can stretch – and then come to yoga in the back row,” she said.
While he has shown himself capable of curbing his impatience and wise-cracking enough to participate in the quiet meditation of yoga, there was at least one instance when this was not the case.
“Donny, George and Charlie, our other friend – one time,” she recalled with a small chuckle, “they had to be asked to leave because they were behaving badly.”
Though she did not elaborate (as befits a former First Lady), one can’t help but wonder what “behaving badly” meant in that instance.
After the inauguration of Pres. Bush’s second term on January 10, 2001, the media commented on Mrs. Bush’s visible weight loss and healthy glow. She attributed these effects to yoga, among other fitness activities. She has continued to practice yoga through the years, particularly a form she calls “laughing yoga“.