The ongoing joke, that to me never gets old, is I’m turning 29…..again! I’m sure you have a similar line or thought when it comes to your birthday. Some people deal with the passing of the years better than others, and admittedly, I do not. On May 25th I turned 46.
Every year since I turned 40, I weigh and measure my body fat percentage at the health club I work at. Each measurement has been in the single digits for body fat, and weight around 163-165 lbs. Yes, I am very thankful for my dedication to a healthy and active lifestyle. Many people from my graduating high school class have not taken care of themselves, and it shows.
We can’t change time and stop aging. All we can do is take care of each day to the best of our ability for the future. In my mind, and I’m sure in yours, I have similar thoughts and rationales like I’m in my late teens to early twenties. Those are the years that still form a big part of my self-image and likely keep me young at heart. Living back in the same town I graduated high school from for the last 6 years, my close friends are the same as 1990-1993. Surrounding myself with them keeps me in that mental and emotional space of 25 plus years ago.
Exercise and fitness have always played a large role in my life. I played organized sports from first grade through college, including two years on the Southern Miss Men’s Club Soccer Team. Working out was something I’ve done since junior high with push-ups and pull-ups in my room. I do not know how to be sedentary, and that choice shows in how I have aged physically and mentally. What you do now at your age plays a major role in your condition twenty years from now. Studies show that active people in their 40’s have less physical and mental health problems in their 60’s compared to sedentary ones.
My grandmother on my mother’s side turned 94 a few days before my birthday. She has moderate dementia and is also physically healthy with no serious issues. My family is constantly amazed she goes for a short walk daily and is adamant about it. From her late 50’s through now, exercise and fitness have been a part of her life. She never did anything extreme or competed in contests. She went to the senior center a few times a week and/or walked a few miles at home. Her diet wasn’t anything special and she ate moderately healthy, drinking whenever she wanted. I made her quit smoking when I was in elementary school and she never looked back. Do I have good genes? A focus on moderation combined with good genes can enable me to live a long life.
Even with science on my side, I am not embracing closing in on 50 in a few years. To me, that is OLD, and I am not old. Peter Pan syndrome is real! I do refuse to “grow up” to an extent with reducing my physical activities and cutting back on the amount of weight I lift in the gym. This month of May I bench pressed 225 lbs and squatted 315 lbs again. Age is not and will not be an excuse for me. I am hitting the golf ball farther than I ever have, yes thanks to some lessons also. Overall, I am not slowing down and do not look to do so any time soon.
Are you exercising regularly and eating in moderation? Do you feel and/or look older than you are? How you age is your choice, not a genetic disability. Being in my mid 40’s was a contributor to why I wrote my book, The Athlete in the Game of Life. You may not feel and look 25 anymore and wonder where the time went. Now is the time for you to take steps for the next 20 years to make sure they are what you want them to be. You are only competing with yourself and can only control what you do. Unfortunately, you cannot truly play defense against Father Time. You can only go on the offensive with healthy habits, and teach those after you to use you as an example of what to do.
Compete, and compete hard in your game of life. It is worth every grueling session now for the enjoyment later. When you need help, I am here for you. My website has great info on my coaching programs, online course, and ordering my book. You can be the best athlete in your game of life, I promise!