When I was an athlete, training had a purpose. I lifted weights so I could hit harder on the football field, and I ran sprints to steal bases or chase down flyballs. Gains were easy to come by, and exercising wasn’t an end in itself. At forty-six, it is different.
Gains are slow if they come at all, and I work mostly to retain what little improvements I make. Gone are the days when gains came easy, and football and baseball were the motivation to train, but fitness is still not an end. Today, motivation to exercise comes from a much different place–life.
When I was out-of-shape, my quality of life was relatively low. I found it difficult to perform any type of physical activity. Even walking, any sort of distance, became arduous. I spent the majority of my twenties and thirties sitting on a couch or at a desk becoming increasingly obese. Today, it is much different.
Because of my job, I still spend a significant amount of time sitting, but I exercise daily. On most days, I am at the gym for an hour or more with members of the fitness mafia, and on the other days, I am either running or playing a sport. It is a significant amount of time, but it is worth it.
Unlike in my twenties, I am very active, and I credit it to the amount of time I place on being fit. I enjoy having the ability to do fun stuff like playing in the ocean for hours, jumping on a slippin’ slide at my nephew’s birthday party, playing vintage baseball, helping cousins move, or spending days on the lake boating. As Mark Rippetoe says, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” There is a lot of truth in his statement, and it applies to all ages. Just because we are no longer athletes playing in organized sports, we still can and should be athletic, and life is the motivation to do just that.
I'm a has-been high school athlete who now enjoys CrossFit, baseball, and other athletic activities. As a profession, I design software, and I create the majority of I.M.s content. I do it for the fun of it, but I hope it helps others pursue fitness.