Is age a state of mind?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Rock Creek Rider, May 31, 2018.

  1. Rock Creek Rider

    Rock Creek Rider New Member

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    You hear it all the time, in ads for beauty products. Age is a state of mind. I even heard a 27 year old Olympic athlete say it. But is it?
    I used to ride with a club on Saturday mornings. Even though I was in my late fifties, I was always one of the first back to the parking lot. Then things started to change. One year I noticed that I was having a harder time staying at the front. Guys I use to beat to the top of hills were now beating me. Did they get faster or did I get slower? I wasn't sure. I started joking about my age and not being able to keep up with the young guys. One day, on a training ride, I couldn't make it up a hill that I used to blast up, doing hill repeats. Turns out my problem was more than age, but that is for another thread.
    I was surprised and insulted to find out that some of the younger riders thought I was just making up excuses for either being out of shape or, worse, not being athletic to begin with. They said that they thought age didn't matter. Their "proof" was that they new guys as old as me (then in my early sixties) that were stronger than they were. That's no proof! Around here, there are ex pros and former elite riders all over the place.
    Guys, let me tell you, age does matter. That old guy you see shuffling behind a walker, in the grocery store, didn't get that way overnight. It was a slow progression, starting at about age 30. People age differently and at different rates. Some people are in a wheelchair by the time they are my age (now 64). Some are running marathons in their eighties. Some had a better starting point than others. If you were an elite racer at 30, you are more likely to be fast when you are 60. But everyone, without exception, sees a decline in their potential to perform athletically, as they get older.
    If you are 30, over weight and out of shape, I have good new for you. You can be in better shape at 60.
    If you are 30 and in great shape, I have bad news for you, you aren't going to be able to perform as well at 60.
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I think some age is a state of mind but also some is genetics, and some is to what degree of exercising are they doing. I knew a guy, and his brother, who when just at the age 60 both looked more like they were in their 90's, and that external aging process was also going on inside because both of the them died at 73 and 75. There was a French cyclist who did an hour speed of 14 mph and broke the record for his age bracket...103! That's genetics because most people at 103 are in nursing care facilities awaiting the death angle to come. My mom is 87, never exercised but never smoked either, and still doing alright for her age, not doing real well with arthritis going on but otherwise not doing bad, goes to the store everyday, walks up and down stairs at the house, so I expect that I should live to be at least that old and probably be in better shape than her since I ride a bike now at 65 and she never did anything called exercise.
     
  3. DenisP

    DenisP Member

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    I'm into the hippie, spiritualist view on aging as much as the next guy, but there is a biological aspect to aging that simply cannot be denied. Aging is a completely physical, biological process that happens quite literally at a molecular level. Over time our cells start to degrade because they don't replicate properly, and that results in what we know as physical aging.

    Do people age on a psychological/spiritual level? I don't think so. It's why a lot of the time people who are going into their 70's say that their body looks old and is getting physically weaker, but they don't feel any older.

    Consciousness has no limit, but the physical body is very limited.
     
  4. treecko142

    treecko142 Member

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    There's always a limit, so it's best if you know yourself better rather than having a mindset of age being only a state of mind, because you might overestimate what your body can handle and injure yourself in the process. Even athletes decline in performance as they age, which is a testament to how age can really affect people physically.
     
  5. Henrywrites

    Henrywrites Member

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    Age matters especially when we looking at it from the biological angle as most of the things that we used to do can become pretty difficult for us with time. One way that the mind can make things easier is when we push ourselves to getting to the top of our game despite being advanced in age.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Problem with "knowing yourself best" is that a lot of people have the mindset that they're old and can't do anything which is more times than not is their mind telling them they can't, they've told themselves over and over and over that they can't because they're old, so they believe the self lie.

    The first time I went bike camping was last summer when I was 64, I had people tell me, including my wife, that I was too old, I have an injured back and won't be able to sleep on the ground, it will get to cold, and what if rains my back will get stiff and hurt, blah, blah, blah! I can't believe after all the things my wife saw me go through over the 38 years we've been married she that she doesn't realize I'm a survivor. I survived some schit in the military I wasn't suppose to survive, I survived a 148 mph car crash I wasn't supposed to survive, I survived a failed business only to rebound and start another which didn't fail, I survived selling that business and moving across the country only to start a new business which didn't fail, I survived bike crashes, survived another car crash that killed the other driver and injured my back, survived a severely mentally ill daughter, survived some street stuff, and one street situation had to protect my wife and she got to see first hand what I could do if I wanted her and I to survive, this survival stuff just goes on and on, yet my wife tells me I can't do it? Geez, camping was child's play compared to a lot other schit I had to survive. Maybe her out loud thinking and her age and her inabilities to do much in the way of physical activity is her way of saying she wishes she could still do this stuff? I don't know, I'm not a counselor. But I did that first camping trip alone and others have followed.

    I think most people who get old and don't think they can do anything are not survivors, some may have even gone through some of their own crap in the military and survived but their psychological makeup changed after that and now they are mentally handicapping themselves. I couldn't allow myself to let what happened in the military to affect me for the rest of my life, I had a whole life in front of me and wanted to do things and accomplish things and not let crap stop me. I know everyone is different, I've always been able to compartmentalize stuff so the bad stuff is in a room off by itself with the door closed. I have a very close military buddy who is a lot like me, but we both have buddies that just were not the same afterwards, a few actually killed themselves. I have never had any intentions on killing myself, or quitting life in some other way like being drunk all the time like some of other buddies I have, because I want to see what's around the next corner in life, and I want to see it and enjoy it in the best physical and mental condition I can be in, so I'm not going to let age stop that.

    So yes, for a lot of people age is a state of mind. However I also know that genetics plays a role in the aging process, I knew two brothers who in the late 60's looked to be in their 90's! and they both died in their mid 70's, they just got crappy genes, one in particular was a fun loving type of guy and his mental state was fine even though his body was prematurely aged, so his body wouldn't let him go on for a long time. And I know my grandparents and grandparent in laws lived into their 90's and did very little in physical exercise for most of their lives and they lived a long time. So there is a battle against genes that no one wins, but you can battle against the mind and continue doing the things you want to do by keeping the power on until it's time for the genes to shut the power off. I think too that if a person is active they can extend their lives a bit longer but in the end the genes will have their say whether or not you die young or old from some sort of illness or whatever, accidents not included.
     
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