Don’t Stay Stuck In Your Dead End – Become An Athlete Again Whatever Your Age


Hi folks,

Each day is a new day. The old day is gone, except in your mind.

The dawn is the ultimate new beginning, which becomes increasingly precious as you age. This is the kind of view I had in the morning from my condo on the fourth floor, where I lived with five furry friends. From:

Quite often I’m drawn into conversations with overweight older guys (40+) who ask me if I’m going for a run – I wear running gear all the time, except when I’m in bed or swimming or biking, so the question is understandable. I’ll say, “Well, no, I’m running tomorrow and biking today, [or doing weight work at the gym, or whatever].” They then follow a predictable ‘testosterone-driven’ course, asking about which races I’ve done, and finally they come to how fast I run. I say how fast (well, slow), and then they start to tell me how much faster than that they were in high school or college. I suspect that they feel bad about being out of shape, and somehow their previous athletic state is used as a justification for their hanging onto their current poor physical condition. I’ll invite them along on a ride or a run, but they are always too busy. These guys are stuck, living in the dead end of memories of times gone by. It really doesn’t matter to me how fast I was when I was twenty, the real question is “What can I do today?” For instance, I could sprint 50 yards in the pool in 27 seconds when I was 19 years old, 29 seconds at the age of 46, and today, however hard I try, I just can’t break 38 seconds. Should I feel bad about my 38-second sprint time? No! Most guys my age can’t swim 50 yards in less than a minute or two. So that’s OK!

The view from my bedroom window,whence I am greeted by the dawn each day. Notice the road sign at the bottom of my window.

I am, however, stuck in my own dead end. I’m still mourning my cat, Alobar. It happens each morning when I sit and have my daily two cups of tea and a long think/not-think session. Alobar sat on my lap each day for at least an hour for over 18 yrs. So naturally his absence is like a hole in my heart each morning. This feeling is slowly fading, which is the natural order of things as the memories of things dead fade into the past, cat, human or the day itself for that matter. I can only really finally fix this problem by inviting another kitten into my life, which will happen when the time is ripe. This is also true of working out, in that people have to let go of their younger athlete, and embrace being older. The decision to change a sedentary lifestyle is often precipitated by a heart attack or diabetes, and even then many people stay stuck in their dead end of behavior patterns long inculcated. Change is difficult as long as we believe that it is difficult. But, in fact, starting to exercise is a simple process when pursued wisely and gently.

I prefer to retire to bed early and rise early so as not to miss the dawn. Prior to moving to my little blue house, I lived in a condo on the fourth floor where I could see clearly to the horizon, without any obstructions from trees or other buildings. My bed faced east through a large picture window, giving me some wonderful views of the dawn much like the one at the head of this post. You know that dawn is on the way when the stars and the planets (yes, I could see the planets, too, because my window faced in the direction of the planetary ‘ecliptic planes!’ Note: all astronomical semantic corrections would be very welcome) gently begin to fade. Then when things the dawn is well underway a light appears on the eastern horizon with an amazing display of colors over the next 10 to 20 minutes, and another day begins, whilst Alobar purrs in my lap. That is when I wished that I could move my bed (vantage point), like ‘The Little Prince‘ (which was published in the same year that I was born, 1943). No more can I experience this joy with Alobar, alas, as our long and happy relationship finally reached its true ‘dead end.’

My little blue house.

In my current house the view is subtly different, as you can see in the picture above. When I sit on the bed, leaning against the wall with a couple of pillows supporting my lower back, drinking my tea (love tea, especially PG Tips), I am greeted by the dawn and the simultaneous appearance of a street sign. ‘DEAD END.” Each time I see that sign I am reminded of that life is brief. In fact everything is brief, including your workout plans. Each race comes and goes in the blink of an eye, and this has relevance to training as an older athlete where you notice that you are slower every year, however hard you train, if you are near your optimal fitness level. How does one learn to accept the inevitable and enjoy your sport as you slow down, when accept it you must?

Live in the moment. That’s it!

-k Your Medical Mind


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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.