On Aging, Athleticism, and Quality of Life

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So I’ve been thinking a lot about getting old lately. And slow. Then I saw a quote from cycling guru Joe Friel saying that you are only old when you start using that as your excuse. I Realized I do that a lot. So I picked up his book, “Fast After 50”, and what I am learning in there is pretty eye opening. From researching the subject deeply, Friel reports that the notion of slowing down as you age is the opposite of what you should do and, in fact, that doing more intense exercise and changing some dietary and recovery habits can stall or even reverse the aging process. If you think you are too old to be an athlete, I suggest you too pick up this book. Also, if you are young, you should seriously think about athletics as a way to extend your life-and more importantly, add life to your years! But I digress-As I said at the beginning I have been thinking about aging and life habits and come to the conclusion that I can make some adjustments and greatly enrich the quality of my life!

Good News and Bad News

So first the good news-I actually have been keeping fairly active and over the past 5 years or so been a eating a relatively healthy diet. So I’m in okay shape. The bad news? I have a variety of bad habits including working too much, not sleeping enough and, although I eat a lot of good stuff, I have been eating my share of junk as well. So I’m not really in great shape. Part of what got me thinking about all this is although I have been doing a fair amount more riding of late, I am feeling like I could be going faster and feeling stronger. My buddy Igor who is only a couple of years younger than I am rides away from me at will. The difference? He trains and races with a bunch of folks who can regularly ride a 60 miler with an average speed over 20 miles per hour. So what’s the deal? It really all comes down to choices.

So why am I telling you all this?

Well, it’s a little convoluted but let me try and unwind it. As bike store owners my wife Cat and I are committed to connecting our customers with the power of cycling as a positive and healthy lifestyle choice. That is our mission statement. Together we have changed many lives for the better through our mentorship of people who accepted our help in changing their lives. It is in fact our “why” if you will. So here I am, in a position to take advantage of the best equipment, the best fitting, and the best coaching available and I’m not! How can I really recommend that you make better lifestyle choices when I am not practicing what I preach in exemplary fashion?

So I have decided that I will make some better choices. I realize that pursuing athletics is not so much an external pursuit of winning races, or conquering mountains just for the reason that they are there but because a strong and healthy body supports a strong and healthy mind and supports an existence in harmony with the natural world around us. We are not meant to merely sit in chairs in cubicles, or to toil endlessly at meaningless tasks in pursuit of material comfort that has no intrinsic value only to have our lives slip away from us too early with our potential unfulfilled and our dreams unrealized.

I invite you to join me on my journey. My hope is that I will inspire you to do the same. Challenge yourself and don’t accept the the status quo. Seize your power and discover the athlete within yourself. Let’s share what we learn and celebrate with each other our accomplishments. I will post here on this blog regularly with stories about my progress but would love for you to share your stories with me as well. Let’s do this!

5 Comments on On Aging, Athleticism, and Quality of Life

  1. Believe me when I tell you that you and Cat have changed lives for the better. I am proof of at least one life on which you have both had a very positive influence.

    It is all about choices, isn’t it. Deciding where to place the priorities.

    Thank you both for the inspiration you have been to me.

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing these ideas and your own journey.

  3. My doctor told me from this point on, if I take excellent care of myself, I’ll get very sick and die. – Rodney Dangerfield

  4. Great message for all of us. I’m striving to get better and learn new skills. 👍🏼

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