Last week I received a phone call from the grandfather of one of my athletes. Usually, when grandparents call it is to complain, or even to spread some bad news. I was figuring that this man’s granddaughter might have injured her knee and he was calling to let me know. I even thought that maybe he was calling to tell me what a great job I did with his granddaughter because she was able to make varsity as a sophomore. It was none of those things.
I had it all backwards. This man was calling to see if I would train him. He had heard good things about me from his granddaughter. Now I am figuring that this old man wants me to work with him because of his bum hip or knee replacement that has gone bad. It was neither; rather he wants me to train him for baseball! Huh?? Baseball? Grandfather? I have to admit, I stumbled on the phone for the right words… “You want to hire me for sports performance training…for, um, ah… you?” He went on to explain that he has played on an over 50 senior baseball league for years and that he is one of the top pitchers in his age group in the country. A day later, after I first met with the man it became apparent to me that he was in better physical shape than most 25 year olds that I train. In fact, he was in better shape than his 15-year-old granddaughter was when I first started with her four months ago. This man is 67 years young and still playing at a high level. High level? How would I know? Well, I guess I will have to take his word on this, but he claims that he still throws pretty hard. When I pressed him for a number, he said without hesitation and with a straight face “70 miles an hour!” I am in the best shape of my life right now and I doubt seriously that I could throw 70 without seriously injuring my arm.
Needless to say, I was and still am amazed and impressed. Age is truly just a number. As I start the training program with this man later this week, I am sure that he will continue to amaze me. Age is truly just a number. You are as young as you want to be in most cases. We are witnessing impressive feats from “older” athletes everyday out there. UFC Champion, Randy Couture just won the championship from a younger, bigger, and by most experts analysis before the fight, better man. Randy is 43 years young. In that sport anything over 35 means you are getting close to being too old. No one told Randy that.
I train an almost 50 year-old women who continues to surprise me with feats of strength and will that most teenagers would only hope to have. She deadlifts with a barbell, performs full front squats, push presses, modified DB cleans, and for what? She is not a power lifter, nor is she training for “anything.” She does it because I ask her to and she knows its going to get her body to look and feel the way she felt years ago, when she was “young.” Age is just a number. People like these inspire me to keep working hard with my own training and never sink into the trap that gets so many people when they reach middle age…The “I am too old to do that stuff anymore” trap. That is the trap of death in my opinion. Once you start thinking like that, you are on your way to an early grave.
No more complaining about being sore. No more allowing aches and pains to be the “norm” with me, just because I am getting older. What a bunch of crap that is. I train people that were alive during WWII and hear less complaining and see more desire than with the teens that were born after the first Gulf War. Age is just a number. You are never too old.