'It's like a sadistic, mechanical beast' - COVID-19 survivor tells Gordon

How old is ‘old’ - asks Gordon

It happens to all of us. We don’t even notice it’s happening. When asked, most of us will say it hasn’t happened yet! But we do get older.

How old is old?
It’s amazing how the perspective of getting older changes as we grow up. When we are young, an 18 year-old seems the oldest we could imagine. When we are 18, turning 21 seems to be the pinnacle. And after hitting 21, it’s the big 3-0 that looms large. Then of course, it’s turning 40 – and so on and so forth.

A few years ago, getting up early and going for a run was the easiest thing in the world. I’d get up, lace my shoes and then go out to run. Nowadays that process is slightly more involved - as I wake (still sleepy), then do a diagnostic of how my body is feeling.  Knees okay? Check. Back? Check. And so I go through the way I am feeling first thing in the morning and if everything lines up, then off I go (usually after a battle with my mind).

After a chat with my coach a year or so ago he very politely informed me that my body was aging, and I would have to work harder to do the things that were easy just a few years ago.  

The thing is that I didn’t feel older. I felt the same in my mind and was frustrated that this was happening without my permission.  

I had always bragged that despite all my other physical non-attributes at least my eyesight was perfect.  Well that was until I was trying to read a menu at a restaurant with low level lighting and had to borrow my sister’s glasses. To my horror, they helped me see clearly! That was another sign of the dreaded aging process.

So how old is old?

Well, new research says that you are officially old when you reach the age of… wait for it… 57!  Now hold on a moment - 57?  That’s way too young surely?

In a study of 2000 Americans, that is the age at which people consider themselves ‘old’. Does that sound right to you?

Be that as it may, what are our most pressing concerns at this age and what do we need reassurance on when we reach the ripe ‘old’ age of 57?

These are the results of a survey:
• Overall health (39%)
• Wrinkles (36%)
• Weight gain (36%)
• Grey hair (35%)
• Hair loss (34%)
• Not being able to take care of ourselves (34%)
• Age spots (34%)
• Being seen as “old” (33%)
• Financial security (33%)
• Losing independence (19%)

Whatever your age, the only encouragement I can offer is that you are never ‘too old’ to be who you hope to be - and do the things you’ve always wanted to do.

I work in the sports industry and am often inspired by people of advancing years achieving great feats of endurance, such as the 86-year-old man from the U.S. finishing an Ironman Race (Swim: 3.8k’s, Bike: 180k’s and run a marathon at the end).

Maybe the answer to my original question is that we only get old when we stop living and dreaming. Here’s to dreaming and chasing those dreams!

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