Phil Anton

Phil Anton, right, works with Lisa Brown, of Carterville, a participant in the Strong Survivors program. Photos by Christi Mathis.  

November 07, 2012

Ten Questions With ... Phil Anton

Job on campus and department you work in:  Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology, Department of Kinesiology, and exercise program director, Strong Survivors Exercise and Nutrition Program for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers.

How long at SIU Carbondale:  Since fall 2004

Hometown:  Hastings, Mich.

When you were a youngster, what did you want to be when you grew up?  It’s a tie:  A defensive end for the Detroit Lions or an auto mechanic. I have the height to be a defensive end (6 feet, 5 inches) but I don’t have quite the necessary muscle mass and I also possess little mechanical inclination, so I pursued my next choice, teaching.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be and why?  I think I would like to be an actor.  There is an element of performance when you lecture and that seems to fit me pretty well.  I also like the idea of pretending to be someone else for a while. 

What is one random fact about you?  I can sustain entire conversations by using only Seinfeld quotes. 

What three things are at the top of your bucket list?  1. Go to Alaska, 2. Go to New Zealand. 3. At some point, see the Detroit Lions hoist the Lombardi Trophy as NFL Super Bowl Champions. 

What is your favorite way to spend a day?  Go for a walk with my wife Julie and our two beagles, Buddy and Beesley.  Come home and sit in the living room with my wife and dogs and watch an exciting sporting event and maybe finish it off by watching a funny movie like Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” “MST3000 Track of the Moon Beat,” or perhaps a more dramatic movie like “Apollo 13,” or “Dead Poet’s Society.”

What is the best advice you ever received?  Don’t burn any bridges. Treat even difficult people cordially and respectfully.  You never know how a person that seems reasonably insignificant to you at the time might impact your life in some positive way. 

Are you a collector?  If so, what do you collect and how did you get started?  I collect music of all types, but particularly rock, jazz and movie soundtracks.  My parents were both really into music and got me hooked.  Other friends of mine had parents who would come home from a hard day’s work and say, “Turn that down.”  My folks were more likely to come into the room and start dancing to whatever we were listening to.

What was your first car?  Would you like to have it again?  Why or why not?  A rust-colored station wagon that was a hand-me-down from my parents.  (We always had a station wagon in the family.  It was nicknamed “The Beast.”  I would love to have that wagon again.  The Beast always had everything you needed.  I believe it had magical properties -- except the ability to resist Michigan rust.  The frame rusted through and that’s what killed it.

If you could meet an historical person, who would it be and what would you talk about?  Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  He was president for 12 years during some of the most challenging and heady times our country has experienced.  It would be amazing to get his perspective on all the events he witnessed and what it was like to be a symbol of hope for so many. 

What is your pet peeve?  When people take the attitude of  “Someone else will take care of that.”  There are many examples, including when perfectly able people leave shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot when the car corral is literally 10 feet away, and when people miss the trash can and just leave the garbage laying on the floor/ground.