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To Whom Do You Relate?

How old are you?

No really! How old are you?

I’m only 3 years away from the big 7-0, but I’ve just learned a secret to feeling younger!

The other evening my daughter Francine and I were talking, and she asked if I realized that the people I relate to were about her age.

I never gave it any thought, but she’s right.

Chronologically speaking, I’ll be sixty-eight in September, but the majority of my friends are the age of my children or younger…

And that’s been the case for the past ten years.

The many years I trained in Jiu-Jitsu, all of the other students were as young, or younger than my son.

I never used my age as an excuse, nor would I accept any special treatment because I was decades older than the other students.

I trained hard, I fought hard and I wouldn’t quit unless someone made me tap or I made them tap.

And I made a lot of them tap.

There was no discrimination because of my age, I was accepted just like everyone else, we went out on the mat and fought and many evenings and weekends we socialized afterward, and you know what…

It was an absolutely fantastic great time in my life.

I’m a much richer person because of the people I’ve met and everything I experienced during those years.

And if any of you old fogies out there are under the impression you can’t learn from someone young enough to be your child YOU’RE WRONG.

Oh! By the way I still have contact with many of those young people.

My wife Rosemary will tell you that I’m her oldest child…

And she’ll also tell you that I’m never idle, and she’s right.

It was like once I got moving, I never wanted to stop!

Somewhere along the way, I got interested in triathlons through my friends Christian and Marcella (both much younger than my children).

I spent hours on the internet researching triathlons, buying, watching and listening DVDS, CD’s, reading books…

I was hungry for information, and I consumed everything I could find, but it was the relationships I made along the way that were the best resource.

And now, I have many friends, many much younger than me or my children, all because of my quest for knowledge in triathlons.

There are many people my age who would rather watch from the sidelines than willing apply themselves to get involved or participate in anything, let alone sports.

I met a young doctor a while back who has done the Iron Man Triathlon, one of the world’s biggest and best known events, nine times.

A couple of days ago we were talking about how few contestants there are in my age bracket, as the conversation evolved into talking about people eating poorly and not exercising , Dr. G said, “You know Doc, I know a lot of people my age that are a lot older than you”.

So like I said in the beginning, how old are you? What are you interested in? Do you like to watch rather than get involved?

Hopefully it’s the other way around.

Just remember the naysayers will hold you back so don’t listen to them.

So it all boils down to this: think young and be young.

If someone tells you you’re too old to do something – ignore them – because they’re too lazy to get involved and apply themselves.

There’s an old saying “You’re only as old as you feel”, well I think we need to change that.

What it should be is, “You’re only as old as you choose to be”.

Go out and get involved in something active and if you end up with much younger friends, they’ll help you to stay younger.

And as always never and I do mean never say “I’m too old” or “I can’t” because you’re not and you can.



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