Wooow! I feel good… Though I won’t go so far as to say I knew that I would now…
I woke up this morning feeling a little rough. A little bit sore, a little bit stiff… Feeling a little bit old. Once I got moving though, it was all good. This has more to do with a shortage of sleep than of actually being or feeling “old”.
I can remember, not entirely too long ago, believing that 40 was a big mark representing a shift in how long it took for me to recover from a workout. Back then I was only running (probably with a bit of bad form) and recovery did seem to stretch out a bit. With the addition of cycling to the routine things are much different though.
While there’s no doubt I’m no longer 18, there’s no question that I feel better at 42 than I did at 40 and what I find interesting is exactly what I consider an acceptable amount of pain nowadays. For instance, if I really want to know what pain is, all I have to do is take a week off from cycling. The balance between pain related to exercise and pain related to lethargy has always been a hot topic for me. This is so partially because I used the excuse quite often to justify gaining weight and not doing something about it – and partially because I hear the excuse used now that I do have excellent control over my weight.
When it comes to cycling, I can ride ten days in a row and feel marvelous, as long as I’m not going all out every day. When I go more than 10 days, up to 14, without a day off, I do tighten up a bit and my legs feel a bit clunky. That said, when I take more than a couple of days off in a row, that’s when I start to feel old. That’s when I feel the aches and pain others have attributed to age. Put simply, I hurt a lot less when I keep moving.
The thing that really saddens me about this reality is that so many people who could otherwise be active and mobile try to use ‘pain’ as their excuse to keep from getting off of the couch when in the vast majority of cases, becoming active would alleviate many of the symptoms that people complain about in the first place. It’s a sad state of affairs for certain and I wish that I had the silver bullet solution.
In the end, all I really can do is try the best I can to lead by example – and know more than most about the research that’s been done on the subject that supports the fact that my experience is the norm, not the exception.