FitOldDog’s Advice On Retirement Is DON’T GO THERE, Run (Or Walk) For Your Life!


“Old man pushing seventy, 
In truth he acts like a little boy, 
Whooping with delight when he spies some mountain fruits, 
Laughing with joy, tagging after village mummers; 
With the others having fun stacking tiles to make a pagoda, 
Standing alone staring at his image in the jardinière pool. 
Tucked under his arm, a battered book to read, 
Just like the time he first set out to school.”

From ‘Written in a Carefree Mood’ by Lu Yu 12th Century, via

Hi folks,

Senior Magazine Raleigh North Carolina

For Seniors (55+) to help you find a retirement community, nursing facility, and a hospice, or a range of devices for physically handicapped people – what about a real life?

My feet are really sore today as a result of walking about 16 miles on hard hot roads yesterday whilst watching my son, Nigel, in the Louisville Ironman race. I also included some running as part of my training for an upcoming marathon. A great day it was too! Couldn’t do it if I wasn’t in good shape. This brings to mind the Seniors Guide magazine published in our area. Am I a Senior, I wonder, because I don’t feel like one? I picked up a copy of The Senior’s Guide the other day, and to me it was a kind of horror story, all about going to a retirement community to live with your peers at the age of 55+, buying a chair lift to get up the stairs, dealing with medical insurance, finding nursing care and finally a hospice. I was surprised that funeral homes weren’t highlighted too. If you believed this publication you would think that the most active thing that can be done by Seniors (60-65+ according to WikiPedia) is sitting on a swing or playing cards. Don’t fall for it, have an active life for heavens sake. Until you’re seriously ill, which will happen eventually, maybe, I guess, LIVE!

Activities for Seniors

Looks like great fun, but I think I’ll stick to Ironman training, long walks, working out at the gym, and keeping this body going for as long as I can – playing cards in a Senior Center doesn’t sound like fun to me, but more like a nightmare.

Life is a series of choices, and the effects of these choices quite often don’t come ‘home to roost’ until many years later. For instance, consider the impact of following choices on later life:

  1. Learning a musical instrument as a child.
  2. Mastering mathematics and other interesting intellectual pursuits before your brain starts to lockup sometime in your teens (though this is debatable – see, ‘The Brain That Changes It Self,’ and keep on changing).
  3. Opening your mind to ideas other than those of your parents and your local community, which seems to occur most frequently during late teens early 20s, if it occurs at all.
  4. Finding a career instead of a job, which involves some risks and many of us aren’t fortunate enough to know that we might have this choice and to embrace it.
  5. Staying physically (and mentally) fit, which is easy in one’s 20s and 30s, but often falls apart in the 40s and 50s, taking people down the road to inactivity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and the limited life of ‘a retirement community.’ And ‘No!’ I don’t care if these people get mad at me when I say this.
  6. Pre-race swim at the Louisville Ironman 2012

    This is the pre-race swim before the Louisville Ironman 2012, and there are quite a few of ‘Seniors’ here, and no, this is not gentle water aerobics.

    Hanging out with your aging peers only, which is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as older people and younger people are good for each other.

  7. Deciding to retire, which I think is the error of a lifetime, as everyone needs a purpose in life, irrespective of their age.
  8. Giving in to the fact that most people don’t listen to you or care about your opinion once they label you as old (yes, this really happens), which can be caused by things as simple as having white hair. Ignore this fact of life, and fix it by making your impact known through your actions.

You have control over many of these choices, so think before you leap into working on the creation of an infirm body for yourself. From my observations people make this decision in their 40s and 50s, apparently for no good reason, and it is extremely difficult to reverse in your 60s, 70s and beyond.

Take up a program of safe exercise for better health before it’s too late, or you’ll be doing gentle water aerobics in the pool with a bunch of other frail 70 and 80-year olds before you know it.

The very thought of aging before my time gives me the willies as I approach seventy, and yes, I am signed up for the Lake Placid Ironman 2013 – being in a new age group will give me a better chance of going down the Road to Kona.

If you’re in your 40s or 50s and physically inactive, get moving before it’s too late.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. I find Mozart string quartets etc. played at a low level as “audio wallpaper” work for me on lots of things. It seems to get me focused on what i am doing. It can also be calming…

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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.