In an interview in Sunday’s NYTimes Book Review section, Philip Roth, now 84, says”…in just a matter of months I’ll depart old age to enter deep old age — easing ever deeper daily into the redoubtable Valley of the Shadow.…”
And that he’s astonished that he makes it to the end of each day.
Got me thinking about aging. I’ll be 83 in a few months.
Looking back, my golden years physically were ages 50-65 or so, in terms of strength/cardio/flexibility adjusted for age. A lot of this had to do with me working on fitness books — stretching, running, weight training — for 20 years, and hanging out, and stretching, running, and lifting weights with my authors. I was serious runner for 20-25 years, swam, surfed, rode bikes and went to aerobic dance classes (usually the only guy in the class).
Then as I got to age 70, things started needing repair. A lifetime of using the body.
I tell people, the good news is that you’re not yet 70, the bad news is that you will be some day. Since turning 70, I’ve had 2 shoulders and 2 knees and one wrist repaired (no metal or plastic parts) + a compound wrist fracture from skateboarding…yes, I know, I know.
There was something about turnng 80 that I relished. It’s so o-l-d. I’m still upright.
Some things I’ve learned:
Old people get weak more from lack of activity than from ticking of the clock.
I’m so interested in my work these days, I don’t get out as much as I should. BUT each time I go for a hike, or paddle, or jump under a cold waterfall, I feel invigorated, alive, inspired.
Bob Anderson says, “You never hear anyone saying, ‘I’m sorry I just worked out.’”
What I learned in those years, from those guys, was the value of staying fit.
I work on posture every time I think of it. If I see as person with good or bad posture, it’s a reminder. Shoulders back, down, relax.
If you don’t use it, you are gonna lose it fer shure.
So this is a reminder to myself to get my ass away from the keyboard more often. Mind and body are not separate entities.