At the local coffee stop, I run into a polite elder regularly. We have a fair history of each others lives. If we are not already occupied, we seem to just click into gear parking ourselves down and rolling into banter or a conversation about either of our current life’s – whomever shares their interests first, the other intently listens.
On a morning recently, he got in first ‘ Sam , join me next year in Tokyo at the World Masters Games competing in Javelin! ‘ ….. now I am a veteran of many years of competitive sports and always keen to be challenged, so immediately I thought what does this proposal entail…. We both delved into the ins and outs of such a preparation and the occasion itself. I am 41 years old, and Ross is in his late 60’s. I have had many years of multiple tier level baseball (which has some biomechanical similarities to Javelin) as has his son and himself, but he trumps me with the evidence his early years were spent competing in javelin. He is super excited…. A real goal if I ever heard one was unfolding with sincere conviction. The conversation concluded with me shelving the proposal for latter times, and for now, bowing out and conceding to other preferences for the year, while Ross’ fire was simply fanned by the chat. His wheels are genuinely turning toward several months of training, saving money and preparing his body.
My work as a Remedial Therapist and Exercise Coach connects me with many types of people. I noticed that this conversation with Ross, is one that truely gives me desire to help others as two people ’embodying life’ with support. Me as a manual and movement therapist, and Ross as a keen advocate of living life!.
I use my experience and knowledge of lower back pain, shoulder and rotator cuff injuries with occasional consequent wry neck / headaches and their treatment, joint issues which can have correlation to mechanical dysfunction throughout the musculoskeletal system…..and the full gamut of recovery and performance cycled in realistic balance with ones lifestyle – to paint a picture that can be realistically placed in a virtual understanding of what lies ahead.
Upon recalling the conversation as I write this, I feel he made this decision not out of a stubbornness disguised as strength, escapism of his actual age with delusion of younger years missed, but out of how it fits in with a greater good. His valued assets such as family, personal health and the unique combination of self awareness and mind-body self assessment, capped off with receiving and welcoming a little hard truth from me about where he is at physiologically, and what he needs to do for his mind and body to bear the training dynamics and persist with buffering the stressors forthcoming (resilience training).
He is not primarily in it for the notoriety, although he is under no illusions about how this will unfold and the electricity and stimulus of such an event. He is, from what I gathered, taking stock of his current position chronologically (his current age), matching that with a tangible spirit that is the undercurrent which biologically (a new age that is measured from homeostasis and vitality markers) makes him younger.
He clearly understands a greater good stirring that extinguishes self doubt. That immobilising factor which is a primal emotion and leveraging point which will issue procrastination or excuses that seem to make the days tick over faster, goals incomplete, and the our actual age for the 40-70 age bracket, stamp warrant.
With arms crossed, we both finish our final sips and he summarises his WHY’s
Ross has three kids, and involves himself with creative pastimes, philanthropy, and frequent Low Physiological Load exercise activity (yoga, walking, swimming, Qigong / Tai Chi come under the LPL category). From what we discussed, professionally and as a bloke hearing another bloke, he is primed in my view to carry impending volume of the time ahead.
As we emptied cups, eased ourselves upright and finished up, the conclusions came to be present…….
Age does not weary us, only the spirit. When I see clients come in to clinic share their physiological complaints, that is a baseline, a leverage point to recognise the sum of habits they and we have created, to come to this point is now the teacher to which we can redefine exercise, redefine health and secure a new future. Irrespective of age, weight and past physiological history.
Our body is our greatest teacher. Over the years, I personally have arrived to conclude that I am simply a conduit a medium to my clients own optimal health and how they use it. Whether we are in initial treatment phase, or second year progress, the stream of a client helping me and me helping, does not fade.
I did not need to design for Ross a formula of success. He displayed a responsiveness to scenarios of what may unfold, obstacles loosely assessed events that may well happen given his current position. Even with caffeine in us, no detection of delusions of grandeur were exhibited!