Back in 2017, I wrote about flying into my 40s (see here). The entry came a few weeks after my 40th birthday. The gist of the post was quite simple. In short, I wasn’t going to slow down because I hit 40. Naturally though, it was easy to make that statement only a few weeks into my new age bracket. Thus, here’s a follow up that comes two years after the original post. I now have some legitimate experience in my 40s so I’m more qualified to speak on the subject.
2018 Training Recap
For starters, I am happy to say that I have fulfilled my vow. I haven’t slowed down one bit. I honestly can’t say that I feel any different today vs. how I felt five, ten, or fifteen years ago. I don’t sit around and analyze what may or may not have changed. Instead, I just continue to wake up each day and move. That’s my only secret.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, consistency remains my greatest weapon. Or, as an old saying suggests, first we make our habits, and then our habits make us. I am a testament to those words. There’s nothing fancy or flashy about how I train, but you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who is more consistent.
A day rarely passes without me training or moving in some fashion. And it’s that type of consistency that has allowed me to feel no different today than I did many years ago. I’ve always felt that when you consistently do something, you never notice much of a difference from day to day, even as the weeks and months pass. Conversely, perhaps the fastest way to notice your age is to take an extended break from action and then be forced to start again.
When you keep moving forward each day, you don’t have time to think about whether you’ve regressed. Your focus is positive instead of negative. The only proof I have of my age is what’s listed on my driver’s license. It’s not as if I remember the day my mother gave birth. And as crazy as that might sound, I live with that mentality. I don’t wake up each day worrying about age. I’m too busy living to take notice.
In fact, the only time I mention age is when I’m writing on this blog in hopes of possibly inspiring someone who’s reading. And while that may seem insignificant, I’ve never understood those who constantly remind us that they’re getting old. Yes, we all technically age with each second that passes, but to harp on it only speeds the process. Your age is irrelevant to enjoying the moment.
Training Without Ego
Another important piece of the aging puzzle is to put your ego aside. When I train, I’m not worried about doing better or worse than anyone else. I’m also not concerned about constantly smashing personal bests. Instead, I’m happy to include lighter days when needed. I’ve actually come to enjoy such work.
In many ways, that mentality is new to me. When I was younger, my competitiveness often got the best of me. Whatever I did was never enough. I always wanted more. I craved the rush of smashing through a goal. Now that I’m older and wiser, I appreciate more that I’m able to move freely without pain, injury, or illness. That doesn’t mean I still don’t push myself. I’m just focused more on the process rather than the result. I’m happy doing my thing and I won’t lose sleep if a keyboard warrior doesn’t approve.
In summary, I certainly don’t view myself as an aging expert, as I still consider myself young. All I can do is share my own experience, which in my eyes is nothing special. There’s nothing glorious about waking up and grinding each day. It’s a lifestyle. It just so happens that such a lifestyle has helped to keep my body and mind strong and sharp as the years have passed.
Use it or lose it.
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” – Satchel Paige