Yesterday at volleyball someone on the opposing team missed a pass and blamed it on being 38. She said when she got to 40 it would be all over. One of the women on my team happens to be 50, so as you can imagine remarks began coming in from all over the place all in good fun. The 38 year old said that she really thought it was great that we were all out there still playing, and hoped we all would still be out there together when we are old and gray. This got me thinking even more since it was a subject that already has been on my mind. What’s my end game?
When you think about your ultimate goal it changes your perspective. I have been playing on this particular volleyball league for 18 years already! I started it after my college career ended and have been playing ever since. I want to be one of those old, gray haired ladies out on the court!
In physical therapy (almost a year ago) I saw tons of people that had lost mobility in some way or another. Some were the result of accidents or other issues, but most of them just could not function the way they wanted to. I saw two main things: loss of strength and flexibility. Sure this is common knowledge, health “officials” tell you that this will happen so you need to do X,Y, and Z in order to combat ageing, but I saw it in a very real situation. I can also see it in my parents. When you see people struggling to do every day tasks it brings home the message.
Prior to this volleyball game it was something I had been thinking about for a while; I might need to change up my training. Extreme workouts are not for me anymore. I saw very small, isolated movements that produced strength enough to change function. If I want to be on the court or running a race when I am much, much older I need to train for that. Exercise for me was mostly about calorie burning in the past. Now I try to think of it in terms of sustainability.
I am not lying down. I still run, do organized sports, yoga, and strength train, but I do them in a way to help my body with strength and endurance and not wear it out. In my 20′s I never stretched. Now I devote part of my workout time for it. It is so, so important. Things change as you get older. I wish I could go back and talk to my younger self, but she probably would not have listened anyway.
So what’s your end game?