How Do You Feel?

There are certain things that one learns when he or she has been doing the same thing for many, many years: things that most people are not aware of and will likely go through their entire lives unaware. The specific thing that I’m talking about and the reason for the title of this article, is the way a human being should feel, the level of functionality, strength, endurance that one should have at any given age. How strong, functional, limber, flexible, enduring one should be at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and even 90 years old differs all over the world. Why? Automation. I’ve written an article regarding automation and how it is causing us to age prematurely, but for this article, I’ll focus on what a human being in good health should, in my humble opinion, be able to do at any given age.

There are many examples all over the world of people who are physically fit all of their lives and can do in their senior years what most can’t do in their thirties. I don’t know of anyone personally that I can tell stories about and use as an example in this regard, so, I guess I’ll have to use someone I know very well…..myself.

As I trod along though my day, I see many, many people, especially in their sixties and seventies that are so debilitated, can hardly walk, grossly overweight, and most need some sort of mechanical assistance like a walker or cane. Granted, some of these people may have been in an accident of some sort, had a serious disease that caused their issues, but I’m not talking about them, I’m talking about the people that go through life allowing themselves to age quickly and prematurely simply because they don’t look after themselves properly. So here we go with those stories.

At 38 years of age, I started, yes started, competing in body building. I did nine total contests over 14 years and at the age of 52, I was still training like a madman and competed in my last body building contest, which I won. I’ll be 60 in May. Will I compete one last time? I don’t know for sure, but what I do know for sure is that I’m quite capable and if I do, I will likely win that one too. Two months ago, I cut down three gigantic Maple trees on my property measuring approximately thirty five feet high. How? Me, my ladder, my hand saw, my chain saw, and my climbing ability. Yes, I cut the top three quarters of those trees down by climbing them and cutting the branches with the hand saw. While I’m doing stuff like that, I can’t help but wonder how many 59 year olds have the ability to do the same. A few months ago, I dismantled a retaining wall on my property that was constructed of four and a half inches thick natural stone curbing that ranged from twelve inches long up to four feet long. The shortest ones were 35lbs. and the longest were 140 lbs. There were a total of 140 linear feet of these natural stone curbs. I lifted each piece off the ground, on to the back of my truck and then off my truck on to the skids all by myself. Was I sore that night? No. Was I sore the next day? No. I felt like a million bucks. Why? It’s because I’ve kept myself in great physical condition most of my adult life. A few weeks ago, I loaded approximately 2500 lbs. of flagstone on to my trailer by hand, one piece at a time, and delivered them to Niagara Falls. Piece ‘a cake.

When I took my wife to Italy ten years ago, I was amazed that the elderly (in their 80’s and 90’s) were still able to go for walks up and down the steep hills of my parent’s home town. Why are they capable of doing that? It’s because they always have, all of their lives. Why am I telling you all this? It’s because I believe, that if someone takes care of themselves by keeping fit for as much of their adult life as they can, they will reap the benefit of quality living far past their 60’s and 70’s….and so they should.

So, if you are in your 20’s and 30’s and limber and energetic, and you want to stay that way, make sure you take on some preventative measures like regular exercise….especially strength training. If you are in your 40’s and 50’s and feel that you are losing some ability and function, don’t blame your age, blame yourself. If you are in your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or even 90’s and you feel great…’re probably a regular at our club. Congratulations, and keep doing what you are doing.