Never too old, never too late:
Fitness has always been part of my adult life. In my earlier adult years, it was the goal of strength and symmetry in the weight room. As an older adult in my forties, it was the test of endurance events. Starting with a half-marathon and training up to a series of marathons…making the move to more interesting race settings as a Spartan race and now, in my fifties, it has come full circle. I’m back in the weight-room area of the fitness center sculpting and pushing my body to see what the limits might be at this stage in my life.
The reasons have changed though. In my youth, my motivation was an even mixture of vanity and possibility. I wanted to see how good my body cold look and challenge myself to see what I could do and how far I could take it. While the former has since become less a motivation the latter has always been a part of my personality.
It truly is about fitness and health now, but it is also about inspiration and motivation. I want to inspire and motivate others to a healthier way of living and being as well as encourage older adults to continue to pursue their dreams.
While my generation is redefining what it is to “grow old” there is an undercurrent of thought that confines aging adults to inactivity. This idea of one’s “sunset years” gives permission to sedentary living and relegates adventure and accomplishment to the young.
I’ve never bought into this idea. I’ve embraced the opening words from Dylan Thomas’ poem as a part of my worldview; my paradigm for aging, “Do not go gentle into the good night… Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
It’s not that I fear death. It comes to us all. What I fear is not living. What I fear is the thought of a wasted life.
St Augustine said that “the glory of God is a man fully alive.” I believe that “aliveness” is to be experienced until there is no more breathe left. The only adventure to be had is the unknown of what comes after life has been extinguished by death and not by lethargy and lack of vision.
There’s a commercial in which there are a group of runners participating in a marathon. The commercial focuses on a mature woman as she approaches the finish line. The tag line, “Because not everyone peaks in their twenties.”
That’s it! I haven’t peaked yet. Maybe that should be the mantra of this aging generation.
Join me. Let us “rage against the dying of the light” and forge new adventures, immersed in new experiences and the joy and vitality that comes from doing something for the first time. Be fully alive. As the man said, “Stay thirsty my friend.”