The Ugly Truth About Aging as an Athlete

This article is an installment of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior series, which options recommendation, key interviews, and suggestions for dwelling a lifetime of constant affect, steady development, and continuous studying.

When you’ve your youth; it’s onerous to think about another existence as a result of it’s all you’ve identified. But the day inevitably comes while you look within the mirror and understand simply how improper you’ve been. Strength, stamina, and energy wane as we age. I wrestle with the idea: getting old as an athlete.

At 44, I nonetheless think about myself younger, however I’m starting to grasp what French author Victor Hugo meant when he mentioned, “40 is the old age of youth; 50 is the youth of old age.” A lifetime of aggressive exercise has lastly caught up within the type of arthritis in my shoulders, thumbs, and toes. Yup, I mentioned toes…getting old sucks!

How we deal with the transition into our new actuality dramatically impacts our high quality of life going ahead. While I’m nowhere close to retirement, I’ve already began narrowing down how I’ll fill my time when that day ultimately arrives. It’s a part of a pledge I made to myself to by no means be and not using a mission that permits me to contribute to the world and add worth to the lives of these round me. I’ve reached some extent in life the place I want glasses to drive and longer warmups to work out, however I nonetheless seek for methods to remain on the continuum of self-improvement.

Accepting these adjustments hasn’t been simple, however I’ve discovered two issues that I imagine each energetic one who’s beginning to age will discover useful:

1. Train Smarter, Not Harder

At 38 years outdated, I used to be in peak bodily situation. I educated 20 hours per week, weighed my meals, and meticulously tracked every little thing to determine inefficiencies in my schedule, weight loss program, and life. After many years of pushing my physique to extremes, it’s been difficult to let go of the “more is better” mentality. While this hardcore method yielded outcomes up to now, now coaching 1.5 hours within the morning and 45 minutes within the afternoon solely hinders my development. So, I made a decision to start out coaching smarter, not more durable. The outcomes converse for themselves: I recorded my second quickest two-mile run throughout a current Army Physical Fitness Test. I did it with out rising my coaching quantity or depth. Instead, I analyzed the state of affairs, developed a wiser coaching plan, and labored to beat any limiting elements.

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