Don’t get old

I just finished a week of triathlon training here in Arizona and fly home Monday.

I just finished a week of triathlon training here in Arizona and fly home Monday.

It was so wonderful to be back doing what I love. In the past 15 months since the crash I have only really swam laps once and I only managed 500m. This past week during the six days of camp, we swam over 10,000m. Thankfully, I have been running since a month after the surgery in December 2015, but even with that, I sure felt the speed and hill training that came along with 36kms of running in less than a week.

It was during the 240kms of cycling that I heard someone say the title for this article. On the second last day of camp, we cycled 108km, including a portion that took us uphill for two hours, then ripping fast downhill to a mountain lake, Bartlett Lake/Reservoir. Obviously, a big downhill is followed by turning around and heading up hill. Being out of shape and a lot heavier than my camp mates, I was slower heading back up and was riding along alone. Eventually I passed a gentleman that I would have guessed to be in his late 60’s, or maybe older. He had white hair but was right there on the same road as me, riding his bike up that mountain. I made a comment that it ‘sure was easier coming down the other way’. He half smiled and said to me, “Don’t get old son.” We were only in ear shot for a brief moment, but I said back, “It beats the alternative though, have a great day!”

I feel like I know what he meant though. Seeing me ride much faster and seem to zip by him, I probably seemed pretty young. He wouldn’t know that I’m a lot closer to 50 than 45. He was probably thinking back to his younger years, when he likely could have taught me a thing or two about riding a bike fast up a hill. He also wouldn’t know that, having nearly died just over a year ago, I was serious. I’m pretty happy to be alive and growing old. To me, being 25lbs over my usual weight and a lot slower climbing my bicycle out of a mountain lake area is still a lot better than not being alive. I’m actually pretty happy about getting older in that respect. Yes, my eyes are not as great as they were before the crash and my hearing is a bit off on one side now. Add in a shoulder that isn’t right along with a dodgy knee and I’m still happy to be alive and getting older.

We seem to be at war in our society with getting older and I certainly feel that now more than ever. I would rather my body stayed 30 something while my mind kept learning stuff, but that isn’t how it works. There is still something we can do about it and that fellow was in the midst of it. He was exercising. He was pushing his muscles, heart and lungs to stay fit, healthy and young. That’s what we can control. If we’re lucky getting older will happen no matter what we wish for.

Eating great food and exercising is the only fountain of youth that is real and under our control. I know that my time here is limited and the odds of me getting faster are going to come to a close some day although I’m not totally ready to admit that one yet.

The body is still a machine and it still works the same way no matter our age. Resistance training coupled with good food, water and adequate rest create adaptation and change. We as humans can still grow new muscle tissue at any age. Yes, as we grow older the recovery takes longer and the speed slows, but the fact remains; we can still adapt.

Exercising with intensity causes the release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and that makes us younger and healthier. The worst thing we can do as we age is stop those three things: training, eating well and recovering. So that man riding his bike up a mountain was creating the same changes I was, and although he seemed sad at the memory of years gone by; the fact of the matter is, he was doing what he could to stay young. I hope you get the chance to grow old.

Happy Training!



Just Posted

Toque Toss brings in warm clothing for communities

Bantam AA Tigers asked attendees at their Dec. 10 game to toss hats, mitts, socks and more on the ice

Senior girls win gold at home tournament

The H.J. Cody Lakers hosted a basketball tournament Dec. 8-9

Christmas classics and more at the House of Music Christmas Recital

The Christmas recital was held at the Alliance Church on Dec. 9

Photo: Visit with Santa Claus

Old St. Nick stopped for a special visit at Canadian Tire on Dec. 9

Sylvan Lake participates in Canada-wide Skate Day

Free Skating was offered at the NexSource Centre, Dec. 10

WATCH: Red Deer’s Outreach Centre begins construction with a smash

Dragon Fly Centre, a location dedicated to healing for children and youth

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Putin declares victory on visit to air base in Syria

Declaring a victory in Syria, Putin on Monday visited a Russian military air base in the country and announced a partial pullout of Russian forces from the Mideast nation.

Pipe bomb explodes in NYC subway

Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in NYC subway, injuring 4

Toronto FC to hold victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Toronto FC to hold downtown victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Canada’s only commercial spaceport hopes to launch 12 rockets per year

Nova Scotia’s rocket launch site hopes to eventually host 12 launches per year

‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

The nominees were announced from Beverly Hills after still-burning fires ravaged Southern California for the past week.

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read