Physical and Mental Decline isn’t inevitable
Many people as they approach and pass through 50 years old begin to allow parts of their lives to suffer. Many of us are worried about or actively focused on our children, getting them into college, paying for college, trying to get them a job, dealing with them living back at home, etc. Others may be dealing with parents, dealing with health issues, finding them a new place to live, considering a nursing home or assisted living facility, taking care of them ourselves or dealing with guilt about whether we are doing or have done our best to help them. At work, as we grow older, we are concerned about keeping up, staying current and competing against younger folks joining the work force. Meanwhile, the information world is expanding so rapidly with Kindles, NetFlix, Twitter, Facebook and now the likes of Periscope and Snapchat, our ability to focus is being drastically challenged and the amount of time we have to spend on that which is really important is getting smaller and smaller. Finally, as we reflect on our lives, many of us would like to give back somehow to causes we believe in.
Given all of these responsibilities and distractions, it is no wonder that we over 50 typically start to significantly reduce our focus on our own health and fitness. If we have not really focused on this through our 40s, we now feel that it is too late and somewhat inevitable that things start to deteriorate. If we have been health and fitness conscious, moving past 50 for many is a great excuse to reduce our efforts as it is probably inevitable that we will gain weight, get weaker, grow more forgetful, etc as we age so why bother and don’t we have these incredibly important responsibilities around our parents, children and jobs?
Our responsibilities certainly seem to grow in size and importance as we age. However, neglecting our body and mind, the engine that drives the activity necessary to succeed, is not a great way to try to find more time in the day. We need to look at our body, mind and emotions as the platform for our performance on which we build out success in our areas of focus such as parents, children and jobs. Two things have become apparent to me as I moved past the 50 year old mark: 1) Getting weaker, more forgetful, less mobile, etc is not inevitable or necessary. If you sleep well, eat right, move often and stay positive, you will not only resist slowing down, getting weaker and having less energy, you could actually surpass previous high water marks and achieve new exciting goals. 2) You are simply not going to be able to be the person you need to be to succeed, take care of your family and excel at work if you don’t take care of yourself first and build a platform of health, fitness, energy and focus on which to succeed.
As a father of two boys, who surpassed the 50 year mark in 2013, all of these things hit me pretty hard and were surprising in many ways. I have participated in sports my entire life and always thought of myself as fit and healthy. But, over the last 10 years, I have slowly gain weight, lost energy and started to notice a bit of a challenge going up stairs or even getting out of a low chair. This had to stop!
This blog will focus on content that will hopefully motivate you to stay fit or get back to when you once were strong. Exceed your expectations, stay excited and achieve new goals all while ensuring that your parents, children, jobs, charities and whatever else you are responsible for are properly supported. You will see several posts per week with some longer, more thoughtful and researched pieces and others that will be links to other’s information or just photos or quotes that will hopefully motivate you to reach your own potential. This information will be what I have used to get fitter and more energetic as I surpassed 50 in 2013. I have lost a lot of weight, gotten involved in doing Spartan Obstacle Races with my older brother, am playing Ultimate Frisbee on the weekend and generally am stronger, leaner and more mobile than I have been in 20+ years.
Who am I?
Currently, I live down by Cape Cod, about 60 miles south of Boston. I work for a software company, Exari Systems up in Boston. Exari is focused on streamlining and automating the creation, negotiation and management of contracts. I have spent my whole professional career complaining about how hard it is to get things done especially when it comes to contracts. Any of you who need to create, negotiate and execute a contract in order to do business know what I mean. Prior to Massachusetts, I have lived in Boca Raton, FL; New York, NY; Stillwater, MN; Troy, MI; Cedar Grove, NJ; Weston, CT and then back to where it all began in New York, NY. Yes, I lived lots of places mostly due to a father who moved around a lot in the advertising business, a separation and a divorce. Living in many places was not always easy but it has taught me many things that I believe have been helpful in my life. I have two children who are in college and I live with my wife who is a personal trainer. When I am not working at Exari or on BoomerangFit, I exercise – mostly using Kettlebells and bodyweight exercises, hike, ride my bicycle, run, participate in Obstacle Races, play ultimate frisbee and generally try to move as much as possible. In my past I have done many things including playing rugby for 15+ in college here and in the UK and in NY after graduation. I also wrestled in college, ran cross country and track in high school (the mile and two mile) and even raced on cross country skis for a few years in Minnesota. Additionally, I have studied various martial arts including Tai Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Thai Kick Boxing. I have also finished 7 marathons. The most recent two were both Boston Marathon’s that I ran for the charity. The first time was for the Alzheimer’s Association and the second was for Team In Training that raises money for curing Leukemia and other blood diseases. I also raised money a third year for the Boston Red Cross but didn’t run the marathon due to injury. The year that I didn’t run was the year of the marathon bombing so that was lucky. I was, however, right near the finish line that day as my office is right there. The other marathons I have run are New York (2), the Disney Marathon, the Longest Day Marathon (Brookings, SD) and Grandma’s Marathon (Duluth, MN).
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How do I do it?
If you are considering doing a blog on your own and want to know how I am doing this, here are the details: I use WordPress for a blogging platform and a theme from Michael Hyatt. I used GoDaddy to buy my domains and they continue to provide hosting as well. I use Evernote to do research and write my posts although I am trying a program now called Scrivener.
Please speak to your physician before you do anything to improve your health and fitness whether you see it on this blog or anywhere else. Also, this is my personal blog and doesn’t represent the opinions of any company or institution with which I am affiliated.