Running at age 62
This should be of interest to any runner – I think.
REACHING the age of 62 is a feat in itself. For one thing a number of colleagues of mine (old school friends I grew up with) have kicked the bucket some time ago, one way or another. Why do I mention this? Well, sometimes I wonder what the hell I am doing? Shouldn't I just be acting 'normal' and taking it easy? You know, sticking to watching the TV or whatever 'normal' 62 yr old fellows are supposed to do? Let me tell you now, I very rarely see as old a guy as myself out running. There is no-doubt about it – I am rarity and becoming more so with the passing of each and every second of the day – I ain't becoming younger with the passing of time – Sod's Law will not be denied.
Let's think then. What is the difference between a young runner and an old runner? I suppose it is reflected in a number of things, but essentially they all fall under the heading of life itself – so much water has flowed under the bridge with the older guy – he is literally swimming against the tide in oh so many ways; whereas the younger guy is riding each successive wave time and time again with a great big smile on his face. Another analogy could be that the former wades through a thick soup whilst the other through nothing more than fresh air – as different as chalk and cheese – mental baggage wise, that is.
So, we have very different stresses associated with their running. One is tying to make a name for himself – and the other? Well, we haven't quite established what this is – what indeed is the older guy up to?
Here I am again after a period of two weeks or so. I have managed to run 4 days in a row, but tonight I find myself overly tired. Thing is though, this tiredness only extends to my eyes and head - the rest of me is fine. I must admit I don't remember being so split when younger. For one thing I only took to wearing glasses – or needing glasses for that matter – when well into my forties. Now I have to juggle all sorts of pairs of spectacles to use the computer or to watch the TV – or to simply walk about at times. This is an added complication I could well do without. On top of this my eyesight alters due to one thing or another. One day I can read car number plates without glasses, or less powerful glasses, yet other times they are not sufficient. Wearing the wrong glasses – or simply using the computer or watching the TV for any length of time – renders my eyes and head tired – as tonight. I repeat – I never suffered from this when a much younger man. This malaise often costs me training – quite frequently, if truth be told.
I drove the car to my training spot, parked up and just sat there. I spent 10 mins or so on the verge of falling asleep. It was no good – home I had to go. I'm currently sitting outside, wrapped up in my pjs and dressing gown – all snuggly like – with a cold glass of sherry, with frozen grapes acting as impromptu ice-cubes. This is undoubtedly the province of an old man – a younger man wouldn't be seen dead in such clothing at this time or night or in such naff surroundings – it is Saturday night after all. All I can say is the young are missing out. What better way to spend the dying embers of the day than to sit in the garden on an evening with the last of the sunshine bearing down upon you and the onset of dusk in the air, with all sorts of both tame and wild animals in abundance all around. Also writing itself is so relaxing an occupation. Sometimes I think to myself (often is more like it) what I would like to be doing if I had all the dosh in the world and my choice nearly always comes back to where I find myself tonight – sitting somewhere quiet where I can dwell on my thoughts, surrounded by those who place no pressure on my time or energy This is nothing like how to used to think when a much younger man, therefore my attitude to life has greatly changed – of that there is no doubt. I can see a pattern forming here. It is obvious I require much more peace and quiet – a less frantic lifestyle, one requiring far less testosterone (none at all more like) – at complete variance to the heady pursuit of my youth. Is it any wonder ageing athletes no longer perform as they once did. The body might be willing but the mind is another matter entirely.
(to be continued)