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The Arena Of Life

Be In The Arena of Life

Well, I’m back home and recovering from my ordeal that dang near killed me, ruined my triathlon and put me in the hospital for seven days. And according to my doctor, I’ll be back to work in a couple of weeks…

I’ve had plenty of support through this trying time, my family stayed by my side during this scary episode and friends responded as soon as they heard what happened.

They have all cheered me on and are behind me 100% – I truly feel like I’m the luckiest and most loved person in the world.

Now comes the down side…

First is the fact that out of 300 entries, there were ONLY TWO that entered in my age group of 65-69, and that has been common in every triathlon I’ve entered. Usually there are four or less.

How sad for our society that seniors have pulled back and refuse to stay in the arena and be a viable force. 

For whatever reason they’re convinced and/or decided that they’re too old or can’t.

You know how I feel about that – you’re never too old and you can do anything you put your mind to!

President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far greater is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure….than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

Another part to this down side is the disbelievers and naysayers who seem to derive pleasure by demeaning older folks; they put an awful lot of effort into trying to convince us that we’re not capable of physical feats.

Much to their chagrin, I came face to face with some of those pathetically weak, wimpy naysayers and doubting Thomases.

One of my doctors all but reprimanded me for thinking I was capable of doing a triathlon at my age, all the while he stood there with his belly hanging over his belt and his neck engulfed in rolls of fat.

It’s rather obvious this guy is a poor example of how people should take care of themselves, and this clown is a cardiologist.

He visited me one time and one time only and that was his first and last patient/doctor meeting with me.

Then there were those who pretended not to understand what I was telling them and quizzically showed signs of disbelief, and some actually talked down to me.

I didn’t just lay there and take it, I set them straight and the next time they decide to talk down to or admonish a senior citizen for being active, they’ll do it cautiously.

Now back to the positive side…

As I’ve said many times I don’t go into triathlons lightly.

I make sure I’m ready; I eat properly and train hard so when the day comes the hard work is over and now it’s time to have fun. 

As a senior citizen, there are many good reasons for getting in the arena and being active and involved, here are a few.

  • You inspire others to become active. My daughter Francine and a friend have started training for their first Triathlon in September.
  • When you exercise you’re mindful of your eating, therefore you become healthier both mentally and physically.
  • It creates a good reason for a family gathering. Its great when family gets together to celebrate no matter what the occasion.       

I also do it because I want to be in the arena of life – where things are happening, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Getting involved and participating makes me feel alive and vital.

I know for a fact that I’ve inspired others to get up and start moving and become active.

They’re in the arena and are improving their life…

They try to thank me, but I tell them that they did the work, so they should just thank themselves!

Henry David Thoreau said it best when he said, “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”  

Don’t ever let someone tell you that you’re too old or you can’t because you’re not and you can.



P.S. If you haven’t been active for a while, get a checkup and then get going. Have a goal and gradually work toward accomplishing it.

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