Somebody I follow on Twitter posted earlier this summer,
Sometimes I forget I am not in my 20’s anymore.”
Me too. And I’m not in my 30’s or even my 40’s. I forget that sometimes as I look around for role models and mentors at the track and in the gym. It is much more common to see Master runners at the track crushing it than it is to see Master lifters at my gym. I have the advantage of being a relative new comer to both sports, which means I am still learning-always learning.
Regardless of age, when learning and progressing a skill it is helpful to have role models and mentors. The best role models and mentors are those that are similar enough in skill level, experience and age that the learner can actually imagine herself accomplishing similar feats. That is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
So, I run and I lift and I have no context. Many days I feel slow and tired and sore, but there are the days I forget I am not even in my 40’s anymore. I am in better overall physical shape now than I was in my 20’s, and 30’s and 40’s. As I continue to try things I have never done before and things I have not done in 40 years, and I continue to get stronger, I know I have to keep going. Every time I feel like I just can’t run another minute or lift another barbell over my head, I think about the alternative, which is getting slow and weak. Even though it may take me longer to get there and longer to recover, as long as I am making forward progress or maintaining fitness I will show up.