Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Where was the, "old" line? Did I cross it yet?
A lot of my readers come from Facebook. If you're one of them, then you know that I just turned 30 a month and a half ago. Most people tend to divide time into eras that don't really seem to exist except in retrospect. How much did music really change from December 1989 to February 1990? How different was bodybuilding from 1960 to 1965? The reason I bring this all up is that somehow, in the span of one, simple day, to most people, I became OLD! Now, many of my FB updates talking about some of my screw-ups or down days are lumped into the, "you're getting old," category.
I can't imagine what 40 will be like.
Out of curiosity, I've asked random people (that I know and don't know, usually around my age) at what age do we become old. I was kind of surprised by the results of my wandering, informal poll. I've heard ages as low as 21 as the drop-off point of old age. It almost seems like we've backpeddled to the 1800's where you were married in your teens because you'd probably be dead by 45. I don't see or fell any difference from my 20's to my 30's, even if I'm just a month into it. I barely have any wrinkles, I can't really grow facial hair, I get carded for alcohol, and most people still guess that I'm 23 when I ask.
Physically, I don't feel that that much different. Were I to think about it, I'd say that my best year, so far, was 2007 (26 years old). I managed to successfully bulk up over 157 lbs and stay above (going as high as 187) and I brought my pull-up numbers comfortably above 20 (depending on what kind I do). That was followed by possibly my worst two, 27 and 28. 2010 was an awesome year and so far, I see no reason to think that 30 will be any different. In other words, I don't see any age-induced drop-off of strength.
Generally, inanimate objects' strength is defined as their ability to resist more than something alive. Getting old implies that a sense of degeneration and decay set in. So, as we get old we become more aware that we're starting to break down and weaken. That might be the defining line to getting old. I'm sure that seeing newer, younger model of humans only help to drive the point of that dagger into the chest and twist it a few times, for good measure.
If that's all true, then I take issue with the notion that numerical age is the indication of old age. Believing that we're old just because we've racked up a certain amount of years implies that we have no control over the loss of ability and toughness. Yes, we can't control the fact that the body declines with age but that doesn't mean that it can't be slowed down considerably. Maybe, just maybe, it can be slowed down far more than a lot of us even think possible. Dave Draper, age sixty...what difference does it make? He's over 60 and he's got that much muscle!
When told yet again that thirty is old on Facebook I quipped that everyone else can get old but I choose not to. Yes, a certain amount of aging inevitable but it's a hell of a lot less than most people think and I'm not going to sit back and let time do it's damage.