Don’t Let Ageism Or Any Other Ism Determine Your Peer Group


Hi folks,

Same scene with the room off (left) versus on (right).

Same scene in my hotel room, whilst blogging, with the room lights off (left) and the room lights on (right).

I was sitting in my triathlon camp hotel room in Tucson, Arizona, the other day, thinking about the issue of looking versus seeing. It was getting dark so I turned on the light, and what a difference to my visual field. No amount of looking with the light off would have revealed the details of my ‘extra-computer screen environment’ that were visible with the light on. In the dark my computer screen is everything, turn on the light and set the screen intensity to room intensity and it is just one part of a bigger picture. This took my mind down the road to peer groups. Guess I was peering at the screen, or maybe it is because I wonder how well I fit in at this camp as a chrono-outsider – most of my fellow athletes are the same age as my kids, or younger. But I am clearly accepted by them as one of the group, though I feel like a bit of an outsider or oddity during dinner conversation, so am I one of their peers? This thought naturally led me to Wikipedia for the definition of ‘peer group.

We meet up before the morning run at AIMP Spring Camp, Tucson, Arizona.

We meet up before the morning run at the AIMP Spring Training Camp, in Tucson, Arizona.

“A peer group is a social group consisting of humans. Peer groups are an informal primary group of people who share a similar or equal status and who are usually of roughly the same age, tended to travel around and interact within the social aggregate[1] Members of a particular peer group often have similar interests and backgrounds, bonded by the premise of sameness.[2] However, some peer groups are very diverse, crossing social divides such as socioeconomic status, level of education, race, creed, culture, or religion. [citation needed]

The afternoon swim on day four of camp helps shake out your legs from all that cycling and running, and it feels great.

The afternoon swim on day four of camp helps shake out your legs from all that cycling and running, and it feels great.

This definition indicated that the few older athletes in the group are indeed members of this peer group, at least in certain respects, which was somewhat reassuring. I suspect that the reason for this might be that it gives us a sense of control over our lives as we age, permitting us to work our way into and out of many different peer groups as we see fit. This process is not without boundaries, as older athletes just can’t keep up with the younger skill-matched athletes, but we can give it a damned good try, right?

I have to admit, that it is very satisfying to be accepted as part of this great group of humans. Remember, it doesn’t matter how old you are, what counts is how old you think you are. You can work, and I mean work, your way into all sorts of groups, be it dance, music, philosophy, art, science, or triathlons. You just have to care, make an effort, and become part of the team.

Look at life with the lights on, not through the narrow perspective of ageism, or the lights will go out sooner than you think.

-k @FitOldDog

Today’s workouts:

Workout PLAN: COACH Chris Hauth
move  Run 1:40:00 Tucson
move  Swim 1:15:00 Tucson


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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.