There are so many memes and cliches floating around about ageing, and how we are supposed to feel as we age, and what’s normal – about the aches and pains we should just expect because we are getting older.
Well let me add one more in there for you, that I think you might want to pay more selective attention to:
Ageing is just an accumulation of behaviours!
At the end of our last trail run, Nathan and I met this wonderful couple who were travelling around in their van, doing a Mountain Biking tour of Australia. They were very fit looking, lean, and full of life. Now, if you hadn’t seen the photo, I wonder what image would have come into your mind? that of a couple of 20-something Swedish backpacker types??
Well, these two were somewhere in their late 50’s to early 60’s, and wow did they inspire me!! The smiles on their faces, the spring in their step, the strength in their bodies, and their excitement about tackling some new trails on their bikes where magnetic!
In our chatter they described how lucky they felt, as so many friends their age were full of aches and pains, in bad health, and some even worse… no longer around.
I question how much of it is luck… there’s no denying some luck will be involved, like the parents that life gave us, and making inadvertent choices along the way that may preserve our health and safety. But I think a lot of it is a true return on investment. Make good choices along the way, and you get a compounded return! In fact, these two looked healthier than a lot of people I know who are half their age!!
Now, of course ageing has inevitable physiological consequences, and life throws us some curve balls, but I am sure that the choices we make along the way have an incredible impact on the quality of our ageing, and our capacity to make the most out of life. So believe me when I tell you that “ageing is an accumulation of those behaviours”! and if you don’t believe me, believe the two in the picture!!