I brought back a lot of good from the races in Traverse City this past weekend. There were a couple nice awards, some new motivations, lots of laughs, a wonderful compliment, but as I look back on it all nothing compares to being made aware of the gentleman who won the special award for being the oldest competitor at the TC Waterman Challenge. He was 85 years old.
Yes...85 YEARS OLD...and still a competitor. That is frigging fantastic.
This morning the chapter I am working on in my textbook for the Certified Personal Trainer exam talks about Exercise and Older Adults. I paid a lot of attention to what was written because I was able to take the information that I learned and process it in a way that hits very close to home. I compare what is recommended for aging adults according to the ISSA and look back on what went on in the lives of a few family members then compare all that to the 85 year old gentlemen who sat back in his chair like a far younger fellow after an 11 mile surf ski race.
My grandmother stopped moving pretty early on in life...and she owned a dog. We all thought the dog would force her to move a little bit but instead she opened the door and let the dog out into the yard to take care of business. If the dog got out she called somebody to go get it for her. She should have chased it. Fast forward many years later and she trips over her cat and breaks her hip. The doctors said that there was very little material that would hold the necessary screws required for a proper fix. I remember hearing that trying to screw into her hip bone was like trying to screw into wet rotten wood. Nothing would hold; her bone had deteriorated to something along the lines of cork. Then this morning I read Wolf's Law that states the following: "the robustness of a bone is in direct proportion to the physical forces applied to that bone." My grandmother evidences this statement. Hardly any force was applied to her hip bone in her aging years and the result was disastrous.
As I read through this particular text I often wonder about the validity of some of the material. Some of it contrasts the beliefs I held when I trained according to Dr. Phil Maffetone's philosophies last summer. Some of the TRX exercises in my Force workout this morning were in an order that I didn't particularly agree with. This summer seems to be all about experimentation as to what will help me to continue to improve my paddling. As I try to finalize the game plan for the "here and now" I also want to take into consideration the "then." I have my own family members to work off of as examples but then get to observe others in the world around me. The do's and don'ts become pretty clear as we focus in on what is best for our health.
I wish I had gone up and introduced myself to the 85 year old gentleman who appeared in great health and full of energy and just picked his brain for a few minutes to get some of his own personal tips on how he did things to get to where he was last Saturday. I marvel at him and look back sadly on how the sedentary lifestyle of those close to me cost them dearly in their later years. There were many times I told my grandmother that she should go for a walk when I should have said come on let's you and I go for a walk!
Keeping our loved ones active should be a priority in our own lives. This belief was re-enforced for me this weekend and during this morning's study session. That 85 year old gentleman was sitting at a table with a group of people who obviously thought highly of him and supported him in his paddling and they deserve accolades as well.
Seeing theories from the fitness world proven as true is good stuff. I like to have that evidence to back up my statements that I will use on potential clients. Over the next few months and even years I will probably become a huge thorn in my mom's side but she has been the one yelling at me to get a job for a while now. She may regret it once I become a CPT!
Exercise works! It will help those close to us stick around a little while longer and it will improve the quality of the time spent together! I know it can happen because I saw that table full of fellows, including an 85 year old competitor, sitting around having a good old time and that was the coolest thing I have seen so far this summer!
Better start getting ready, Mom!