I have recently been trying to lose weight and get fit with an eye on the next 40 years of my life (currently 53). I wanted to bring down my BSL and my weight and raise my fitness so I could resume running after some decades of virtual inactivity.
I have been going OK with some weight loss and pretty regular running with my dog Bonnie. Today I was inspired to lose whatever age related negativity I had remaining when I read in The Age (Melbourne daily) of two 87 year old men who are riding in this year’s Great Victorian Bike Ride. This ride (Nov 27-Dec5 2010) is 9 days of cycling over 590 kms. These two guys have ridden in this gruelling ride for the past few years and still find the determination and endurance to get ready for it and then do it each year.
If they can do it so can I. I can at least get out of bed more regularly and make a significant effort to get fit again. Maybe even run in a 5 or 10 km run next year. Or even get back in the saddle and ride in the Great Victorian Bike Ride again as I did once in my 30s.
They are an inspiration. Age is no longer relevant in limiting our thinking about what is possible. We know about greater fitness but we also know about brain plasticity. So as we age our brains are still able to produce new neurons and to make new connections between existing neurons. I can learn a new language. I can learn a new skill. I can get fit again.
Nothing is limited by my age. In fact my life experience makes me even better at knowing how to do these things in a more wise manner so I don’t go out and train too hard and tear muscles or injure myself at I might have once.
“I’m too old for that” is no longer a reasonable argument against taking up something new. If we don’t want to take up a new activity we should not blame it on age.
The Mind your Mind or Mind your Brain promotions of the Alzheimers associations in Australia UK and the US have all promoted brain health by eating well, exercising, keeping yourself mentally engaged with life and socialising well.
So I must get out there and take Bonnie for a walk. For her sake as well mine.
What are you doing for yourself to enjoy your life to the full for as long as possible? Tell us about it.