He was in his late 50s when he realised that as a paunchy middle-aged man, he could drop dead at any time.
"I had really got out of shape, got a lot of body fat and was heading down a disastrous course of diabetes and heart disease," he says.
Inspired by a muscle magazine that someone left in his examination room, Life decided to get in shape. He started an intensive regime of working out at the gym and within a year transformed his body.
In 1998 he entered a competition, the Body for Life contest, for people who have made dramatic changes to their physique. To his surprise he won first prize in the section for 55-year-olds and older.
"It changed my life and I felt great," he says.