Aging Ironman Faces Challenge Of Maintaining A Program Of Safe Exercise For Better Health


Countdown to the Los Cabos Ironman 2013, as FitOldDog writes this post and wonders what the hell he is thinking?

Countdown to the Los Cabos Ironman 2013, as FitOldDog writes this post and wonders what the hell he is thinking?

Hi folks! Thanks for stopping by!

In the middle of the night I awoke in a funk! I thought, “What on earth are you doing? You’ve signed up for the Los Cabos Ironman, in the 70-74 year age group, the gun goes off in about five weeks, and you’re just not adequately trained. But you’re going to do it anyway! I repeat, are you crazy?”

FitOldDog's competition at the Los Cabos Ironman 2013

FitOldDog’s competition at the 2013 Los Cabos Ironman, but they are not really my competition; they are my fellow athletes who encourage me to keep playing the game of life, as we continue our battle against the toe-tag.

MRI images of thigh region to show effect of exercise on muscle mass.

Just look closely and read the article; THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO LOSE – FREEDOM.

The next morning I said to Deb, “What am I, and what do I think I’m doing?” She immediately replied, “You’re an athlete, and you set an example for others to follow.” But some days I just feel like an ‘Old fart’ playing games.

As you age, you’ll notice that you get to be stiffer in the mornings, doesn’t matter how much you stretch or loosen your body. When you compete in sports you slow down, no matter how hard you train. When you are injured, it takes a little more time to recover. When the weather is cold, it is harder to keep going on the bike, and after a long cold windy ride your body feels beaten up for days.

I never say these things to my friends anymore, because they just reply, “It’s all in your mind,” or “It’s aging, stupid.” Not very constructive, but what can one say?

I say, “You’re not dead yet, and get out there you old bugger, and show them what can be done. You don’t have to break any records, just finish and you’ll be way ahead of the crowd.”

Let’s face it, what have you got to lose? Everything! If you don’t engage in a program of safe exercise for better health throughout your life, you stand to lose your sense of well-being, freedom to move around and do things, to live your life to the full, to keep your mind alive through improved body awareness, and just to continue to experience a general appreciation for how lucky you are to continue to enjoy your brief visit to Planet Earth.

After hundreds of miles of riding, swim workouts, and runs, at the Spring Training Camp, FitOldDog was ready for a beer. Photo by Kara Teklinski (fellow athlete)

Photo by Kara Teklinski (fellow athlete)

Just get on with it, and remember what my great coach, Chris Hauth, said to me when I was decrying my tiredness a couple of years ago in one of his grueling Ironman training camps, “Kevin, this is training camp, not complaining camp.”

That statement is true of life in general. What good does it do to complain, and let’s face it, after a hard workout the beer sure tastes great, as it’s well earned.

OK old farts! Show them youngsters what you can do! You’d be surprised how many you can go by in an endurance race.

Gotta go! Off for a short run.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.