Growing Old: The Myth

Just some ramblin’ thoughts and this seems a good place to put them. There’s a pretty diverse group posting to this site and a lot of different theories/philosophies. We’ve got the lifters, for strength, for looks, for health. We’ve got people who are heavy into nutrition, supplements, and those into chemistry. We’ve got the cardio crowd and those worried about their T levels. And,of course, a lot who are a mixture of some or all of the above. On this forum, the over 35 lifter, we’ve got most of these. To some extend I’d say all of us are trying to make growing old(er) a better experience than it would be if we lead a sedentary life style. The crowd I usually post with is mainly into lifting heavy weights. I’m sure on some level, consciously or subconsciously, we’re trying to beat time. There is also a lot of ego involved in still being able to do things others our age can’t. I’m not so sure what some of us are doing is necessarily going to have the effect of improving our more senior years. I’m speaking mainly of the mature heavy lifter. We’re putting a lot of strain on joints/muscles/tendons that have already seen a lot of use. There may be a price to pay on down the line. Like most things in life, anything can be taken to excess. Of course I plan on changing over to a healthier type of workout as I get older (I can quit anytime I want, really I can). The point of all this. Not real sure if I’m slowing down the aging process or hurrying it along. Just some rambling thoughts.

[quote]hel320 wrote:
There is also a lot of ego involved in still being able to do things others our age can’t.
[/quote]

You know, this is what it REALLY boils down to.

I meant for me. You guys can speak for yourselves.

[quote]streamline wrote:
entheogens wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

I truly feel sorry for both of you. You are or are going to miss out on one hell of a good life. I also never said it’s all in the head, but that’s where it all starts. Without the right state of mind (which you do not at the present have) you will be swimming up stream.

I’m fifty and not a week goes by at the gym that some young guy doesn’t compliment me for my physic and cardio endurance. I train and will continue to train in a progessive fashion. I make myself better every single day.

Your attitude is already in give up mode, don’t for one second thing that your mocking me, laughing at me or talk behind my back will in any way discourage me. I have long ago learned to feed off the negative energies that others through at me.

If being a clown and being laughed at means not being a quitter, so be it, I’m a clown laugh your face off. I’m fifty, ripped and my ass will never sag or wrinkle. This is not by design but desire. It is to bad you have such a negative outlook on life, you’re going to miss all the fun.

Growing up means growing old and dieing, no fucking thank you, it’s all yours. I have much better plans thank you all the same, like dancing on your grave. Which I truly hope will not be for some time; however, with your attitude you may wish for it before it comes.

Staying strong in body and mind because the alternative really sucks!! [/quote]

who was it that said ‘as the mind thinks that’s where the body goes’ or words to that effect. the mind is an awfully powerful thing - our bodies do and regenerate - there are stories of medical marvels - spinal disks regenerating, heart muscle regenerating - to wit, pax beale.

age is just a number. what we feel inside is how we act. alive, energetic - or yuckers, i’m too old, what’s the use?

i’m 50 this year. i’ve had 4 heart attacks. i was a fat skinny, not an ounce of strength. people told me you’re too old to be starting weights. you might break something, you might hurt something.

my usual comment is “f#&k you, watch me”. like when the docs told me my heart would only continue to degenerate. when my dentist told me i was going to lose that tooth - as we get older, we lose the bone structure in our jaws.

2 years later, my heart is stronger than it has ever been. that tooth i was supposed to have lost 2 years ago - still there and not even wiggling anymore. my dentist was shocked. (herbs are wonderful things once one gets to studying them!)

i will age. i will die one day. ain’t gonna worry about what is inevitable. it’s the process that’s important - it’s how i’m gonna get there that matters to me.

mr. streamline - i like how your mind thinks!

I’m going to go back to the original post. Specifically, the line:

“It is possible to keep the body in a constant state of improvement.”

I don’t believe this. I believe that there are genetic limits. I believe that as you grow older, your maximum possible abilities start to degrade. You can see it in professional athletes.

With that said, I think that most people never come close to their limits. And because of that, they can continue to improve in a lot of areas for a long, long time. Personally, I’m 46 and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been… but unlike some people on this board, I was never an athlete when I was younger and I started off from a point much further away from my genetic limits. I expect to continue to improve and get stronger until my 60’s or 70’s but at some point, my numbers are going to start to decrease. If I had been an athlete when I was younger who had trained and gotten close to my genetic limits, then that decrease would show up sooner.

Different “elements” of athleticism have different genetic limits and start decreasing at different rates at different times. I think sprinting speed is the first thing to lose and that’s what you see with athletes like wide receivers and defensive backs in the NFL. They start to lose steps off their high-end speed. I think that limit strength is something that you keep for a longer time.

Now, for me, I think all this training and working to keep strong is going to help me “age” slower. I expect to be in much, much better shape than other people my age and the older I get, I expect that gap to widen. But training to your limits isn’t always healthy. Finely trained athletes may be in incredible shape but they’re not necessarily the healthiest people in the world. So there’s a possibility that my approach could be fundamentally flawed. :slight_smile:

But, hey, it keeps me active and I think that’s the main thing. And if thinking that you can improve forever and ever and never age keeps you motivated and moving, rock on!

[quote]streamline wrote:
entheogens wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
A bit of wishful thinking.

I agree. It is one thing to say that I am going to do my best to keep my body strong and healthful; it is quite another to say “it’s all in your head”.

Obviously if you just think that growing old means that you have to accept degradation and do nothing about it, then you are probably going to fall apart sooner rather than later.

If, on the other hand, you think it is all in your head, you are just telling yourself lies and life will serve you up its evidence. Besides that, I suspect you are going to be one of these middle-aged clowns that tries to act like he’s 20; it’s anxiety provoking to have to try to act like your are 20 when you’re 50. You’re putting on an act and if you don’t know it or don’t want to know it, let me tell you something. EVERYBODY ELSE AROUND YOU KNOWS IT AND IS LAUGHING BEHIND YOUR BACK.

I will admit that I question the motivation of any non-gay male to want to put on speedos and pontificate in front of another bunch of (mostly) males. However, when you’re over 45 and do this, you are really in a dream, if you think anybody wants to see your wrinkled ass strut around on a stage like a chicken.

Stay healthy, stay fit, stay strong but GROW THE FUCK UP ALREADY!

I truly feel sorry for both of you. You are or are going to miss out on one hell of a good life. I also never said it’s all in the head, but that’s where it all starts. Without the right state of mind (which you do not at the present have) you will be swimming up stream.

I’m fifty and not a week goes by at the gym that some young guy doesn’t compliment me for my physic and cardio endurance. I train and will continue to train in a progessive fashion. I make myself better every single day.

Your attitude is already in give up mode, don’t for one second thing that your mocking me, laughing at me or talk behind my back will in any way discourage me. I have long ago learned to feed off the negative energies that others through at me.

If being a clown and being laughed at means not being a quitter, so be it, I’m a clown laugh your face off. I’m fifty, ripped and my ass will never sag or wrinkle. This is not by design but desire. It is to bad you have such a negative outlook on life, you’re going to miss all the fun.

Growing up means growing old and dieing, no fucking thank you, it’s all yours. I have much better plans thank you all the same, like dancing on your grave. Which I truly hope will not be for some time; however, with your attitude you may wish for it before it comes.

Staying strong in body and mind because the alternative really sucks!! [/quote]

Right on, you set him straight streamline.

Maybe he has a saggy old man’s ass, but he can speak only for himself.

[quote]sir_tris wrote:
Right on, you set him straight streamline.

Maybe he has a saggy old man’s ass, but he can speak only for himself.

[/quote]

In fact, I don’t have a “saggy old man’s ass”. I am 6’1 210 pounds and quite muscular. I do mostly Olympic lifting with some strong man stuff. As I said before, people can stay fit, strong, etc into old age. However, look at the the Subject, “Growing Old: The Myth”. Implicit in the subject is the idea that we don’t have to grow old. Sorry, but we do. Now, maybe, MAYBE with the genome deciphered, there may come a day when the negative symptoms of old age are defeated, but that day is not today. How many 60 year olds will be competing in the 100 meter dash at the Olympics? Obviously, the positive thinkers have not put their mind to “manifesting” that particular goal.

When I first came on T-Nation, I avoided the Over 35 forum, fearing that I would run into this type of delusional middle-aged type. To my surprize that has mostly not been the case and I have found here people who accept their age but do what they can to stay strong and healthy and help others do the same.

[quote]streamline wrote:
Your attitude is already in give up mode,
[/quote]

No, it is not. I urged people in my reply to stay strong and fit and, in many cases, I don’t see why they can’t do so.

Hate to break it to you, but you are going to grow old and die. You are really in the grips of the Puer Aeternus!

[quote]entheogens wrote:

Hate to break it to you, but you are going to grow old and die. You are really in the grips of the Puer Aeternus!

[/quote]

“And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death”

D

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
entheogens wrote:

Hate to break it to you, but you are going to grow old and die. You are really in the grips of the Puer Aeternus!

“And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death”

D[/quote]

Well, you certainly put a pall on this party. And you always show up uninvited, and way too soon.

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:

Well, you certainly put a pall on this party. And you always show up uninvited, and way too soon.

[/quote]

LOL, didn’t mean to be a buzz kill, but the topic reminded me of that song. Those lyrics always intrigued me even when I was much younger. When I hit thirty and thought about this line,

“And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you”

I thought how true.

D

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
Yo Momma wrote:

Well, you certainly put a pall on this party. And you always show up uninvited, and way too soon.

LOL, didn’t mean to be a buzz kill, but the topic reminded me of that song. Those lyrics always intrigued me even when I was much younger. When I hit thirty and thought about this line,

“And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you”

I thought how true.

D [/quote]

I didn’t mean you showing up, I meant the Reaper. It makes me think of Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” film. There is a segment on a dinner party, and the Grim Reaper shows up. The words were paraphrased, but you get the idea. It must have been the salmon mousse.

And quoting Old Pink is particularly appropriate, too. I always wonder how the hell I got old so fast.

[quote]Yo Momma wrote:
I didn’t mean you showing up, I meant the Reaper. It makes me think of Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” film. There is a segment on a dinner party, and the Grim Reaper shows up. The words were paraphrased, but you get the idea. It must have been the salmon mousse.

And quoting Old Pink is particularly appropriate, too. I always wonder how the hell I got old so fast.
[/quote]

Ah yes, I remember the Monty Python bit now that you pointed that out. Well, we can make that comparison to a fine wine I guess.

Cheers

D

[quote]streamline wrote:

It is possible to keep the body in a constant state of improvement.[/quote]

Objectively, this is not true.

Take Life Extension magazine, for instance. In every issue you can read about gazillions of studies on various aspects of the degeneration that happens in aging. The very best diets, supplements, and exercise strategies at best SLOW this degeneration down.

One time I took a course in mathematical models in the behavioral sciences. The professor had developed a model to rank chess players, much like tennis players are ranked. To my shock, do you know what age chess players’ skills are at their peak? TWENTY-FIVE!!! Even the best in the world see their skills slowly deteriorate after age 25.

Then there’s the whole cognitive aging literature…

And I was pretty shocked at a picture of Arnold published a couple years ago. You could argue that he’s not challenging himself any more, but still! Depressing.

And take Jack LaLanne. This is not a guy sitting around waiting to die. He’s an example of challenging himself at almost superhuman levels for decades. But he ain’t the same now as he was years ago. And he ain’t improved, either. He’s just better off than OTHER PEOPLE HIS AGE.

However, if you ignore all these facts, you’ll probably be happier and more successful overall. Good luck with that constant state of improvement.

I’ll settle for aging like Jack Lalanne.

Okay, couldn’t help myself. Went and checked my derrière in the mirror. Results are secret. I do have one complaint. If aging is a myth and can be stopped, why didn’t someone tell me at 21 instead of at 52?

[quote]The Pencil Neck wrote:
I believe that as you grow older, your maximum possible abilities start to degrade. You can see it in professional athletes.

With that said, I think that most people never come close to their limits. And because of that, they can continue to improve in a lot of areas for a long, long time. Personally, I’m 46 and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been… but unlike some people on this board, I was never an athlete when I was younger and I started off from a point much further away from my genetic limits. I expect to continue to improve and get stronger until my 60’s or 70’s but at some point, my numbers are going to start to decrease. If I had been an athlete when I was younger who had trained and gotten close to my genetic limits, then that decrease would show up sooner.
[/quote]

I am also 46, as of next week, and I have had this same thought - I did not pursue athletics when young, so now I can be in better shape than ever. Except for my joints and sun-damaged skin, and even there my joints may be in better shape than if I had been using them heavily all these years.

But I can run faster and longer than ever now (wasn’t a runner before!), can lift far more weight (never knew how to train before), and am leaner and more muscular. I am loving it. So there is an up-side to not having been an athlete as a youth. Still, I will encourage my boys to be athletic.

To the original poster, I love your attitude. I tend to agree with entheogens and others, especially The Pencil Neck, on the likely facts of the matter, though.

    - MarkT

[quote]entheogens wrote:
However, when you’re over 45 and do this, you are really in a dream, if you think anybody wants to see your wrinkled ass strut around on a stage like a chicken.
[/quote]

I read you say that you don’t have one, but the rest of us do and we are really in a dream.

WTF is that ? And then you tell us to grow the fuck up.

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
entheogens wrote:

“And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death”

D[/quote]

“Dark Side of the Moon”…gotta love it. One good thing about being older is that I can remember when “DSOM” came out. I was 12. It was Summer and upon hearing it I thought, “This is it. There can be no more music after this, because it is perfection.”

The thread is titled Growing old: the Myth, not Ageing: the Myth. We all age and we all die. That doesn’t mean you have to grow old. Ageing is unavoidable. Growing old is a state of mind. If you fall victum to the social concept that you’re over the hill at Thirty, Forty, Fifty or Sixty. then you will be. You will give up trying to improve yourself and your life style. Then fall into the ageing category and plod along until you die.

On the other hand if you don’t believe in the growing old concept and you believe there is no reason why you can’t do base jumping at seventy, then you will. If you believe at seventy you are to old to ride a bike never mind base jumping, then you will be to old. It is a state of mind.

Now there are a few things we will not be doing as we age, for all the nit pickers out there. There most likely will not be any fifty year old olympians running the hundred yard dash or braking any swimming records. But there are going thousands of people over fifty doing things that everyone else thinks only the young can do. And when they reach sixty and seventy don’t expect them to stop because someone thinks they’re getting to old.

I have not started something new. This is and has been happening and it is only going to multiple a hundred fold again and a again. We know more now about how to maintain our bodies than any generation before us. The average person has access to all the information there is on being healthy and strong.

If age should catch up to you and pervent you from doing your favorite activity, well you then have a decision to make. Do I grow old or find something else to do. It’s in your mind you can decide one way or the other. I choose to keep on going, no matter what the ageing process throughs at me. I can over come or adapt to any situation, because the mind is the most powerful weapon we have. So use it or don’t, but stop with the nagging. Life can suck at any age if you let it.

I am blessed with great health but I have met and heard of others that have taken one of lifes curve balls and knocked it out of the park. So I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anything drag me down. They used the power of their minds to adapt and overcome some mighty big hurdles and so will I when the time comes.

I’m not even at the half way mark in my life. I can’t imagine not giving my all for the rest of it. There are still thousands of things I am going to do in this life. And I am prepared to work my ass off day in and day out so that I can. That means working the body, mind and soul everyday until I die. Rock and roll boogy wooh life just keeps on getting better.

[quote]stuward wrote:
I’ll settle for aging like Jack Lalanne. [/quote]

i second that emotion!!!