The Fountain Of Truth
My first book report was in the 3rd grade; it was to be on an explorer in the New World. A learning disabled reader, I sought a book with more pictures and captions than printed text. Only one book in the school library met this criteria; a book on Juan Ponce de Leon who, legend had it, made a quest in searching for the fountain of youth. Historians now believe this quest was more legend than not.
Despite that de Leon’s quest was mostly a fairytale, the selection of this book would be one of the first influences to steer the directionality of my life. Even in the 3rd grade I came to understand de Leon’s, and the world’s quest for youth, made no sense. How could people be so stupid, I reasoned at age 9, as to fight aging…? Even then I understood that aging is one of our primary lots in life.
As a 3rd grader the concept of aging was already front in my psyche. I could not wait to get into 4th grade, into middle school, high school and so-on. I thought about aging a great deal in that sense. Being older offered so much more. I remember once sitting in my bath tub at age 8 or 9, and hoping I could live to be 100 years old, believing that if I could, I would be as wise as God.
The Tipping Point
But there is a tipping point for most – a time when many people quit counting up and begin counting down. For many, I’ll suggest this comes in the 30s or 40s, and the calendar becomes more a mile marker bitch honing in on death, than a view of the plentiful time ahead. I’m just not there yet – to the tipping point and not sure I ever will be. I want to attain – to earn all the traits of being old because I understand that if I live that long, being old is what I’m supposed to be. Age spots, gray hair, wrinkles, no hair, nose hairs, slower steps, aches, pains, etc; these are the mile markers of our existence. I can’t wait for my long gray ponytail.
But worldwide billions of dollars are spent every week by hundreds of millions of people to get an upper hand on the inevitable. Although anti-aging is not even a legitimate subset of western medicine, and the AMA frowns on use of the term, anti-aging, clinics are popping all over the world to help candidates battle the inevitable. Primary to many of these clinics is the use of HGH as a means of living better and longer. That’s an essay for another day.
Conversations Over Crunches
There are but a handful of topics which get discussed in my studio each day. Chief among them are eating, cancer, and aging – in that order. Aging though, is the topic which most frustrates my clients – especially those over 40.
I hear this, or something like it almost daily,
“I refuse to get old.”
It’s often followed up or preceded by,
“I ache everywhere these days.”
My canned response to these statements usually goes like this,
“Be it by designer, or by Designer, we were designed to age. None of us are immune. If we are lucky enough to be born living, we begin aging immediately – and it never ends.”
“Show me somebody over the age of 30 who doesn’t ache somewhere, have a ding, a ping, and crackle a bit here and there, and I’ll show you somebody who wasted 30 years of their life.”
The awkward duality is that they often blame their workouts with me for many of their aches and pains – yet they come back for more…? Kill me.
Being Safe In The Gym; Aches And Pains Notwithstanding
I buy it up to a point; the car with the most and the hardest miles on it will likely go to the junkyard first – but not always. I workout intensely almost every day of my life, and I do have some aches and pains which I can relate directly to my workouts, but these are not injuries. Though I workout hard, I workout safe and intelligently. The reality is that intense exercise can wear a body down to a degree, but when exercise is practiced safely, the body should recover and be better for the wear.
I’m 50 years old. I can jump and land squarely on a picnic table – and I can do so for many repetitions. I can hike fast uphill non-stop for an hour or more. I can touch my palms to the floor, touch my ass to my heels, I can sit down on the ground and stand back up without using my hands. I never need help moving anything – even the refrigerator I placed in my studio the other day. Being strong, fast, and flexible are good problems to have – even if they are accompanied by some occasional aches, pains, and soreness.
When good exercise form is practiced, it is nearly impossible to become injured in the course of strength training. This doesn’t mean there won’t be achiness or soreness subsequent to the workout. It means there should be no injuries. Those associated short-term aches and pains might turn a lot of people away from strength training. I can assure you, the associated strength, flexibility, and command and control of the body are a supreme dividend in exchange for a few dings and pings. Be well. rc
Please check back in 2 weeks for more on the philosophy behind the fitness. Oh, and there is this from 4-string savant, Seasick Steve. Enjoy…