Do you find the training harder...

...as you've got older?

I was asked that today and thought that it's not a bad question (damn whippersnappers!). 

Yes and no. Firstly, I'm at that age where I have to work out how old I am! It just doesn't feature in much of anything! I don't feel old, most of the time, and as such occasionally have to remind myself, or silently shake my head when it comes up! Just for the record, at 36, I'm not old [36? How the hell did that happen?!] there's still plenty of testosterone kicking around my system and my hormonal profile has not been completely obliterated by working life and other abuses heaped upon it. So, I think I'm doing alright. On that basis, I'm not really sure that I'm best placed to talk about getting older! But, I'll throw my perspective out there for you anyway!

I stack weight and body fat on quickly these days, that's for sure. What I can get away with, dietarily speaking, has shrunk in stark contrast to the growth of my sugar addiction. And with dietary transgressions my bodily inflammation rockets; my recovery plummets, and my sleep quality circles the toilet - thereby hardly assisting the other two elements. I don't recover as quickly as I used to but that just means that I can't try to do everything. Swings and roundabouts!

I've never been the alpha Silverback. While I've never been a quitter, my persistent attribution errors and low self-esteem mean that I don't feel any great desire to be "Billy Big Bollocks" in the gym, or even really believe that I could if I wanted to. So that's a monkey that won't find itself onto my back these days.

I am physically and mentally stronger than I was 10 or 20 years ago. Both I have worked on intermittently. The unflappability and dependability which have been commented on both positively and negatively are the result of concentration and effort, hardened through training.

I have more roles to play now than at any other point in my life. And they all vie for attention with varying degrees of insistence. After all, time; tide; railway timetables, and toddlers wait for no man! The strength trainee/coach and burpeur are both roles; demands that compete with everything else, and release valve. As a result, I don't train as often as I have done at other points in my life. But, generally now, when I do train, it is with more focus. And (and this is important) a greater sense of enjoyment than at any other stage. After all, with no other "why"  the training is for the fun of it. Not altogether unsurprisingly, I am also getting more from it.

As I've got older I have learned more and continue to hunger to develop and grow. I have found myself time and time again saying "if I'd known back then what I know now". But I have also realised that it is the scars picked up along the way that lie together to form the welcome mat for this new stuff. It may be harder to apply some of the lessons because of the miles on the clock but it is easier to open the eyes and ears to take them on board than when I was younger.

Do I find it harder as I get older? Not really, I've always spent more time dwelling on things after the fact than worrying about them during! 

There are so many other things to worry about without investing the "training" with anxiety. Just focus on what you want from it and then make sure you pack your will to effort in your bag when you head to the gym.



And above all, remember this (which I have learned from my parents), growing old is not the same as growing up. The calendar pages may turn but that's not what ages us...

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