Sunday, 12 January 2014

You're never too old...

Not all of us in the Hartland Aikido Club (myself included!) are in the 'springtime of our youth'. But that doesn't stop us setting a pace that challenges the younger members.

Some people, as they grow older, slow down, do less exercise, tell themselves they should 'take it easy' at their time of life. I tend to go to the other extreme: the older I get, the less time I have to do all the stuff I want to do, so I accelerate the pace rather than slow it down.

I was interested to read this piece in The Washington Post recently, about a 70 year-old athlete and coach who seems to share my views. Joel Friel cycles for about two hours a day and also does weightlifting and plays golf. His activities are significantly different from mine. My exercise principally takes the form of aikido a few times a week and long walks with my dogs a few times a day. But the principle is the same: don't give give up, don't slow down. You may need to change your activities if your body can no longer cope or if you have specific health problems, but stopping them is simply not an option.

This is what Friel says about staying active in his 70s...
"I’m highly motivated. I always enjoy going for ride, but sometimes younger athletes, although they want to, they can’t. They have so many things in their lives that interfere [such as] trying to start a career and raise a family. I’ve been through that. Now I can do things as I want to do them. That’s one of the beauties of getting older: You have much more freedom in your life. I’m taking advantage of that in every way that I can."
Good advice, I think!

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