Getting Old sucks

A cozy spot for triathletes and other multi-sporters

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:21 am

My back was sore but I thought I would take a chance and try out my mountain bike one more time. My theory is that if I stuck to mostly city based trails, I would get a good workout and not risk an adverse outcome. So off to Bowmount and rode for about 11.5 K and with 180 m of elevation gain. I finished the ride and was shocked to find my back actually felt better. I was doing just enough climbing that I seemed to have actually stretched the back and connecting muscles out. Drenched in sweat and felt a great one hour work out. It was less than a 20 minute drive and neat thing is there are a number of interconnected trails so one can find an almost endless series of loops. I skipped Side Show Bob - the most technical section but was encouraged enough that I will have to try this once more. It is a trail cut into a fairly steep bluff so I feel exposed.

Then went over the picked up the tires - a mom had bought the tires for $300 last year but with the snow and extreme cold, never used them and it sounded like her son was not going to this year. They had placed an ad over five weeks ago and I think I was the first offer at $100 and they accepted it. They were brand new and so does allow me a few options for a relatively low price.

During the ride today, used the bike path a little and so now really looking forward to the urban bike. That is coming in a few more weeks and is working well with the plan to continue to mostly bike but less duration. Hoping to get in a few more road bike rides this year and this week. Head down and powering as fast I can pedal is literally something that gives me a reason to live and enjoy.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:30 am

The question I continue to struggle with was it worth it. The pain. The Suffering. The missed golf games. The $1,000 or more in treatment. Was it worth it to ride 100 miles and then a very fast, for me, 100 K in September.

Oddly, the answer is both yes and no. Yes in that if I never did another "fondo", I have literally been there, done that and even have a t shirt. I do not have that one nagging question, what would it be like to ride to the top of the Highwood Pass from the south side without having to worry about the local grizzly bears. That I knew but now I really know any ride over 100 K is not for me. That I found my true passion and that riding a road bike as quickly as I can.

The answer is no for I feel I have lost a year and did not really need to do so. The first time I did 100 miles back in the fall of 2017, it was a truly miserable experience. Cool I rode that far but it was close to torture for the last quarter of the ride at least. There was not so much a sense of accomplishment as relief my long rides were over. Early in the training for this one, I quickly realized it would not be fun as I imagined it might be in theory but a grind. I was in fact ground up. $500 and over 8.5 hours in a car to get an "official" time on a course and roads that were not nearly as much fun or interesting as I remembered from the year before seems silly. Especially when I was having more fun getting on my bike in front of my home, riding as hard as I could for 40 - 60 K and finding an even greater sense of satisfaction.

But I did confirm my body is done. That there will not be any long rides of over 100 K. That I can have a great deal of fun riding a pure road bike. Just yesterday before another blizzard hit Calgary, my legs were feeling heavy, I was feeling slow and yet on a slight down hill and flat section aided by a 45 kph tail wind, I was the 3rd fastest out of 240 other riders ALL TIME. I was in pain before and after as the accumulated damage from this year flared up and made me regret trying not to have any regrets. Ironic. But today, I feel much better and so maybe confirming my limitations was a worthwhile endeavour. To confirm something I instinctively knew that I was at the breaking point.

I have to admit I am little sad about this. Being a senior person in my unit, it seems my days are putting out one major fire after another with the dread of what have I missed. So having a silly and fun distraction that seemed to be super important or at least constructed it as such in my mind was nice. To run marathons or finish on the podium of my age group in a trail run. To ride faster and then further than before. To have a series of distractions, er I mean goals and objectives was a nice mental sanctuary. I was on my bike and pedaling hard with a 45 kph cross wind and one last ride before winter struck again for a few days and I wondered why. I will have a ride but in nine months. But there was no need or even burning desire to preserve the best power and strength I have ever had in my legs. To continue on and maybe even improve. But as noted, there is some fun event in nine months where I do plan to be as fast I can but if I am not, so what. But then again … there is Strava and I am not sure how long this will last but it is fun to go after certain segments. Even if I have to create them myself.


Thus I am both glad and sad I did what I did this year.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:33 am

I did not realize how much FOMO has impacted my life until I used some legal cannabis to relax and unwind. FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out may also be another term for being too connected. To always being "on". To comparing yourself to others on a personal or even theoretical basis. I have over trained and over did it this year but there are people on facebook doing multiples of what I am doing. Or the 70 year old multiple ultra runner or the 80 something Ironman finisher. The work I Phone has become an appendage of mine and not a night or weekend goes by when there is not that ding were as Pavlov's dog, I do not answer.

With my physical hobbies, it can be a matter of not wanting to lose any of the gains I made through blood, sweat and tears. Or I have a nice toy so I "have" to use it. And as noted, compare myself to some 20 something with actual skills. My "escape" can become a trap where I use up valuable energy and resources rather than build up the reserves.

And last week, I needed to access the reserves of energy as I had to make a decision involving $6,000,000 US. It turned out great and I was metaphorically carried on the shoulders of my coworkers and management in a virtual office but I know how badly this could have turned out. The rush, the excitement was quickly replaced with the dread of what could have happened. Of how fine the line was between victory and disaster.

I do not enjoy getting high so for months have not used a certain cannabis product I still have that results in a high. I made sure I did not consume too much but enough to allow me to "disconnect" and contemplate life when sitting in my sauna. It felt good to not have any expectations or goals or an image to maintain. And fate or the universe had me go onto the BBC website as I was coming down where I discovered JOMO. The Joy Of Missing Out. Of disconnecting and not comparing yourself to others. Of recognizing, accepting and even embracing your own limits with joy. I have to explore this concept in greater detail and depth but right now, it seems to be very appealing.

One example is that with the snow, fat bikes are coming out of storage and being used. There is always the one guy who says everything was great. So after hearing that, my mind went to how mad will my wife be after just buying a 3rd bike would se be if I bought a fat bike. And could I use that fat bike to do the local hills my current mountain bike is more than capable of doing. So buy the fat bike but sell the mountain bike. This was all stewing in my mind when on my morning walk I ran into a neighbour who has the same model of fat bike I once owned. He told me that conditions were miserable when he went. The snow was deep and unconsolidated. It was a slow grind with some pushing the bike up hills. My mind then went back to such rides that were not only no fun, the strain on the back, the shoulder and the knees meant it could actually be harmful. With that, FOMO turned into JOMO. Having said that, there seems to be a cultural pressure and presence supporting FOMO. Yes it is hard and can cause an injury but there is something noble and honourable about doing something so hard on a voluntary basis is a philosophy espoused by Dr. Sheehan with specific reference to marathons. Or the idea that if you are not moving forward, you are regressing and either metaphorically or even literally "dying". My dad and mother in law have the philosophy. You cannot be satisfied with your golf swing, my dad would say and so off to the driving range to eventually hit 10,000 balls. You cannot be satisfied with what you are doing, you must improve. Or my mother in law that we must be connected to the world and be informed about an apartment fire in some far away place.

The backlash to all of this is starting to emerge. The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck is one book and as noted, the Joy of Missing Out is another. It is okay to be just okay. To be content with where you are and even accept you may be "worse". There may only be a handful of days left in the year to enjoy a road bike with the summer kit but if one is not feeling it on such a day, no need to have to ride.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:33 am

I did not realize how much FOMO has impacted my life until I used some legal cannabis to relax and unwind. FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out may also be another term for being too connected. To always being "on". To comparing yourself to others on a personal or even theoretical basis. I have over trained and over did it this year but there are people on facebook doing multiples of what I am doing. Or the 70 year old multiple ultra runner or the 80 something Ironman finisher. The work I Phone has become an appendage of mine and not a night or weekend goes by when there is not that ding were as Pavlov's dog, I do not answer.

With my physical hobbies, it can be a matter of not wanting to lose any of the gains I made through blood, sweat and tears. Or I have a nice toy so I "have" to use it. And as noted, compare myself to some 20 something with actual skills. My "escape" can become a trap where I use up valuable energy and resources rather than build up the reserves.

And last week, I needed to access the reserves of energy as I had to make a decision involving $6,000,000 US. It turned out great and I was metaphorically carried on the shoulders of my coworkers and management in a virtual office but I know how badly this could have turned out. The rush, the excitement was quickly replaced with the dread of what could have happened. Of how fine the line was between victory and disaster.

I do not enjoy getting high so for months have not used a certain cannabis product I still have that results in a high. I made sure I did not consume too much but enough to allow me to "disconnect" and contemplate life when sitting in my sauna. It felt good to not have any expectations or goals or an image to maintain. And fate or the universe had me go onto the BBC website as I was coming down where I discovered JOMO. The Joy Of Missing Out. Of disconnecting and not comparing yourself to others. Of recognizing, accepting and even embracing your own limits with joy. I have to explore this concept in greater detail and depth but right now, it seems to be very appealing.

One example is that with the snow, fat bikes are coming out of storage and being used. There is always the one guy who says everything was great. So after hearing that, my mind went to how mad will my wife be after just buying a 3rd bike would se be if I bought a fat bike. And could I use that fat bike to do the local hills my current mountain bike is more than capable of doing. So buy the fat bike but sell the mountain bike. This was all stewing in my mind when on my morning walk I ran into a neighbour who has the same model of fat bike I once owned. He told me that conditions were miserable when he went. The snow was deep and unconsolidated. It was a slow grind with some pushing the bike up hills. My mind then went back to such rides that were not only no fun, the strain on the back, the shoulder and the knees meant it could actually be harmful. With that, FOMO turned into JOMO. Having said that, there seems to be a cultural pressure and presence supporting FOMO. Yes it is hard and can cause an injury but there is something noble and honourable about doing something so hard on a voluntary basis is a philosophy espoused by Dr. Sheehan with specific reference to marathons. Or the idea that if you are not moving forward, you are regressing and either metaphorically or even literally "dying". My dad and mother in law have the philosophy. You cannot be satisfied with your golf swing, my dad would say and so off to the driving range to eventually hit 10,000 balls. You cannot be satisfied with what you are doing, you must improve. Or my mother in law that we must be connected to the world and be informed about an apartment fire in some far away place.

The backlash to all of this is starting to emerge. The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck is one book and as noted, the Joy of Missing Out is another. It is okay to be just okay. To be content with where you are and even accept you may be "worse". There may only be a handful of days left in the year to enjoy a road bike with the summer kit but if one is not feeling it on such a day, no need to have to ride.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:08 pm

I thought I may not be a total idiot who grossly over does it but rather the Crestor might be responsible for the on going muscle pain as that is a common side effect of that drug. So I stopped taking it for a few days and I am just as sore as ever. So I am as dumb as I thought. But there is some room for hope.

A neighbor who recognized me was moving back to the States. He told me that he would miss my fat bike trail reports and shook my hand to thank me for writing those reports. His fat bike, the model I had was about to be loaded into the moving van and I thought to myself, there is a $1,600 fat bike that would more than suit my needs. But he did tell me of the miserable conditions. And this today, I went for a morning walk and an afternoon jog followed by a basic weight training set and a sauna. It hit me that walking and some weights over the winter would be far superior any fat biking. So the idea of another fat bike has left my mind - although to be fair, it is for now. Should I win a lottery then …

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:11 pm

When I was a kid, it was hockey and soccer. Then as a university student, hockey. As a young adult, soft ball with a few light and simple weights. There was some golf and then a lot of golf. That transitioned into running and a full gym membership. Then races, marathons and then trail running. I eventually moved into cycling. Continue to love road cycling, was fully committed to fat biking until that just about killed me and have decided the occasional mountain bike on an easy trail will work for me.

It was the same pattern: I would fully commit to something, get hurt enough times and move onto something new. I also dabbled in cross country skiing, down hill skiing and snow shoeing. Never liked any of those three things.

The other thing about the pattern was I would burn myself out doing something, take a year or so off, gain a ton of weight, have a doctor tell me how unhealthy that was and then stumble upon the next passion and obsession. I stopped playing hockey when I entered the work force after concussions, hips, etc. The company soft ball team was a great place to network but a concussion and two root cannels and it was time for something new. My wife was told by her neurologist as an epileptic, golf was the perfect game. I played a little as a teenager but was so frustrated I quit and told my wife it was the dumbest sport in the world when she gave us lessons one Christmas. A few years later, I had played 84 rounds in one year. I was losing some interest in golf and found running as I was looking for a way to improve my stamina for the last few holes. One race in 2002 and the rest is history; 2011 my body refused to run. 2015 was the compression fracture in the lower back for hard hill repeats. And now, I do not seem to be able to physiologically or psychologically find a reason to run.

During this entire period of time, there was always one consistent. Walking. Now I would not walk much, it all at the peak of my training whether that be on my feet or on a bike but otherwise, I would try and walk. The problem is that as I have aged, if I threw out my back or just pushed to the limits, I did not seem to have the motivation or energy to walk. But lately, I have been going on a daily walk.

As I have been walking, my mind went to when I would hike, especially with my dad. I have to say it is the one big regret in my life that I stopped hiking so I could chase what now seem to silly and artificial, meaningless goals and objectives. I have said it thousand times before and will say it another thousand times, the biggest mistake I ever made was NOT to stop doing races after qualifying for Boston the second time. Maybe have a 10 K or two but one early in the year and one late. In any event, then serendipity hit.

I was looking to see if I could sneak out and get in a quick mountain bike ride in the city. There was a lot of snow followed by cold and so searching for a quick and easy ride. And I happened upon the Hike Alberta facebook group. The primary post seems to be photos of hikes but it stirred something in me. I had come across a three day mountain bike ride in Moab. And 3 or 6 days near by. Or a series of trail runs. I might have been momentarily intrigued but then I would think about the expense, the pain and how miserable I would be. But I think about the occasional hike I have done over the years and I smile.

I had been a little depressed that my official event days were over. That I will not have an epic adventures in awesomeness to brag about but I realized that is okay. That what is more important than chasing personal bests or official results is the act of moving. So tomorrow I am off to buy some hiking shoes as I was never much into back country slogging. To go on a hike when the mood strikes me. And it may be in one of our urban parks. My city/fitness bike will be here in the next few weeks and looking forward to having some fun exploring the city bike path system. Tomorrow, if the forecast holds, a fun 30 K ride on the road bike. And maybe a mountain ride or three before the snow flies. Then the studs go on for a short winter ride here and there. And I will definitely have to golf more next year. And of course, walk with the occasional weights thrown into the mix.

The funny thing is I never accepted the premise that what we did was who we are. But it was easy and convenient to say I am a golfer, a runner, a marathoner, a cyclist, etc. But despite my logical and rational rejection, emotionally I must have been a golfer, etc. For it seems to be very weird to say that I am "active" rather than one specific thing. But that does feel and sound oddly correct and right for me.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:45 pm

What really sucks about getting old is that I am an idiot and now cannot get away with anything.

I have been riding once a week at most on my road bike for the last few weeks. Work and weather more than anything. But today, 16 degrees, sunny and light winds. So I was off on the bike and had a notion of doing 60 K. On the way out, I was averaging more than 32 kph. The legs are as strong and powerful as they have been. My lungs, my stamina not so much. So I decided to make a turn and keep the ride between 45 - 50 K.

After a brief struggle, all of sudden, a second wind. I see this other rider ahead of me. This is where my idiocy comes in. I start to make up the distance between us. He looks over this shoulder and his nice comfortable pace increases. So I increase my pace. And the race is on. My back is a little sore but I tell it to shut up. The legs respond, my lungs and heart do not but I push forward. I come close a few times but then he really hits the gas. So I ease off a little, turn off and have 12 K to go. But then I see another cyclist. This one does not respond to my attack and I pass them. A woman who has way more sense than me.

Long story short, 32.5 Kph of this ride. I though at best I could do 30 kph and I know my lungs and heart had hoped I had only gone that fast. But the glory of this "accomplishment" is short lived. I am achy but much worse, so stiff I can barely move. I am still looking forward to a great next year but now, hope my fitness bike gets here quicker than anticipated so I can have some fun just riding around rather then fall to temptation and race around. I have the speed but I really do need to let my body heal.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:37 am

My dad would always say he was passionate and not overly emotional. One of his favorite songs had a line about standing outside of the fire. He did have the strength of a 50 year old when he was 69 but he could barely move. It would take him several hours just to "warm up" in order to play a round of golf or ski or play hockey. And then several more hours to recover. Had he not had brain cancer, he would have quit hockey and was not going to buy a ski season pass. He confided in me the cancer was only a few years too early as his body was starting to give out on him.

I am reminded of these things as an uncle I do not really know is dying. He is well into his 80s with a history of heart issues and had a massive heart attack that just about killed him and has left him with only months left. In times like this, you think of your own mortality and where you see yourself in 5, 10 or even 20 years.

Just before I heard the news, I had bought a pair of hiking boots and snow shoes. I had decided that it was okay NOT to have any big plans or epic adventures. No need or even desire to do anything awesome or special. That I can ride my mountain bike as I did yesterday around and near the neighborhood. I find some nasty hills to get the heart rate going and was out for less than an hour. I had contemplated buying some bigger snow shoes but I decided that for $100, I can have something that I may only use 3 or 4 times a year. I remembered the late spring snow storm last year that made fat biking difficult to say the least but would have been perfect for a quick snow shoe. I was not thrilled with the snow shoeing I had done and why I gave away those things but … how much was because instead of snow shoeing, I was fat biking. And how many times was snow shoeing actually a better option. Less punishing than fat biking for many rides I did. And I am at a point in my life that I do not really need to justify any such purchase in financial terms. And so what if they collect dust for most of the year, it is the little and tiny adventures I seem to enjoy so much more.

To do as I did today, a nice little 4 K or so jog. Tomorrow, ride to vote and pick up a library book. The only issue I am dealing with is the unspoken rule about having to present an image worthy of public consumption. But then I think back to a time before I was on the internet or even knew about such groups and sites. When I was running well and injury free. Where according to the internet experts, I did everything wrong and my training was grossly inadequate and yet I qualified for Boston and came close to a 3:15 marathon. So maybe being anonymous and doing my own thing in my own way is not so bad?

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:32 pm

With age comes fun stuff such as skin cancer screening day. Given how much time I spent in the sun, the fact I had two Basal skin cancers was not a huge surprise. They were both removed right in the office and healed quite well. But the dermatologist thought it was a good idea for a six month follow up that I did today. She found a third and much bigger one on the back of my shoulder. She could not remove the entire thing but took a biopsy. The good news is if it is cancer, a 45 minute surgery in their office. I had no idea about the third one - the first two were on forearm and thigh so I am thankful for I had the additional screening. Cancer is a scary word but with early detection, the 5 year survival rate for even the worst kinds of skin cancer is over 98% so those who have spent a great deal outside, not a bad idea to see a skin cancer specialist.

It is also new bike day. Picked up my new Giant Fastroad flat handle city/fitness bike. It has a carbon frame with 32 mm tubeless road bike wheels so it has some jump to it. A quick spin around the neighborhood confirmed it is a fun bike to have. Plan to ride about 10 K to a coffee shop tomorrow and it is the kind of bike one can use almost year round. Add in the mountain bike with studded tires and I will be able to ride year round. A nice new and shinny fat bike briefly caught my attention but my mind said no thank you. The reason is that my memories of a few miserable fat bike rides immediately arose. But silver lining, as I could picture the deep and soft snow, I thought about how much snow shoeing in such conditions could be fun and so …

After the ride, did some weights. Just read a study where people who do the bare minimum of weight training even just once or twice a week tend to die off 26% less than those who do not lift at all. There are other studies about weights providing some resistance to dementia, etc so motivation to do even just a quick workout two or three times a week.

The entire back and shoulder blades are achy and stiff so my shift to shorter activities may be much less voluntary than I had imagined.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:11 pm

All my paths always seem to lead to some sort of stoicism. I have just started to read a book called Stand Firm. The theory is we live an what the author calls an accelerating culture. You must consistently improve, do more for even just holding your current position is effectively going backwards or so we are told. We are also told we have no limits, anything is possible. The problem is that not everything is possible. That we get older and we can no longer do things. Or there were things we were just not capable of doing for whatever reason. But since we are told we can do anything we put our minds to, when there is the inevitable failure we believe there is some major fault in us. So we can get depressed and despondent. It has to be a character flaw or some moral weakness of will or determination, not that one is not genetically limited and thus not everyone can qualify for Boston no matter how much positive thinking. Or do epic mountain bike or fat bike rides without inflicting potentially serious injury on oneself.

The interesting thing is these sort of conclusions had been coming to me. I bought my Cervelo not to go faster and further but merely to go faster. Whereas 100 mile Fondo and 120 K training rides were merely a matter of determination and "heart", I have decided they are now miserable exercises in the self infliction of pain and suffering, torture and misery for a reward that has not objective meaning or purpose. I tested myself against other in a 100 K ride and will again do so in a 87 K ride next July not because it proves or verifies my worth or value but because it is fun and hard and challenging way. But not too much "fun" for around 80 - 90 K, I usually hit a wall and after that, it does become somewhat of a grind.

It is a reason I bought a fast road city flat handled bar bike. As noted, it is carbon and actually quite fast - today someone with a drop handle road bike passed me and I could have passed them but had to turn off so did not bother. But it was great to ride around quiet neighborhoods with a number of stop signs and slows one's progress and speed. Where a more upright position allows me to be safer in an urban environment as my field of view is improved, it can also allow me to take in my environment. And today, I went as hard as I could for around 10 K or so and then stopped at a French café. I had the most wonderful Americano this side of Italy and sipped the beverage slowly as I enjoyed the moment. A very, very stressful day was so much better. Not every ride has to be a race, a test of strava segments but can be to enjoy a nice break in the day. Given my running seems to be an end, this Fastroad will allow me to explore the city as I once did on foot.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:56 pm

I prefer the concept of fate to coincidence although I do not suppose there is much difference. Although I suppose "fate" has a strong and personal message implicit in that belief. So it was fate I came across a BBC video that then lead me to dig deeper into the work of Svend Brinkmann, a Danish professor of Psychology. And to take out his book, Stand Firm.

The basic premise of the book is very relevant to my current situation. That is our modern social structure is an accelerating culture or modern fluidity. An Anthony Robin's concept of never ending and constant improvement. One must always been seeking ways to improve, to get better and accomplish one's goals and objectives that also must always be better. With that, failure is only because one did not have the right attitude or enough will power or determination. Avoid any and all "negative" thoughts such as contemplating one's own mortality as always getting better is the one and only worthwhile goal. That if you dig deep enough, look into your soul you can accomplish anything.

The antidote is stoicism. Find your limits and embrace them. Be thankful for what you can do not what you might be able to do. Instead of always striving to be better, realize that no matter what one accomplishes, they will die so enjoy and appreciate what you have. Instead of letting emotions and passions rule your life, exercise some self control. To look back and avoid a manic look into the future or to just live in the moment.

Yesterday, I went for a run. It was going well and then I saw a 20 something come racing towards me. My mind thought of a time when I might have turned around and saw if I could catch up. That if I made this running a habit again I could … I continued to push forward but it was a struggle. Long story short, there is a bear in the urban park I run and was warned by two people there was evidence it was in the area - wet paw prints on a bike path I was using. The odd thing is, when I stopped running, I felt good. But twice I continued on until my mind must have processed this. Running hard and made me feel bad, stopping easy and made me feel good. So it was if a switch had been pulled and I "forgot" how to run. Without warning and a conscious thought, I stopped and started to walk. Through my force of will I would start to jog or even run but within a few meters, I would return to walking. I finished the route with just walking and that felt good.

Last night, I was reading the news including cultural news. I have no idea when I happened but last night it really hit me that I have no idea of how the vast majority of the young entertainers are. At one time, I kept up if only to be able to engage in small talk with my peers/ coworkers. But it also hit me that it made no difference to my life whether I knew anything about any of them. There is a theorem that if people define a situation as real, then the consequences are real regardless of the "objective" reality. Thus if you have to keep up with the news because, then you read all of these stories that have no impact. If you must always get better and run a marathon or do a 100 mile bike, ride, then those objectives become meaningful. So if you are fatigued from trying to reach those objectives, a coach or some motivational self talk may be warranted but then again, the original issue was from over training and thus the "cure" may only make the "disease" worse. I wish I could find the article but there was a huge study that found doing as little as 20 minutes a week of strength training can have a significant impact. But we have a constant barrage of you have to join a gym, get a coach and make a plan. And then, do more weight, more reps, more sets. But in fact, doing the same workout is likely good enough. Do more if you enjoy it but …

In any event, this book has given me a lot of think about. To maybe not believe I have to have a plan for 2020. There is one ride I actually quite enjoy and will do but I should not reorient my entire universe for that event. Or if I do, as I did in the good old days. Even when training to qualify for the Boston marathon, I listened to my body. I stilled golfed, etc. I trained hard for a couple of months, pushed too far and then took a few weeks off before putting on the finishing touches. I was glad I did that but … then there was the next Boston and the next race series and … next thing I know, my dad has cancer and all of the planned hikes that were put off for the next year, there was no next year.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:17 am

There was a point in time when I would to the 3 hour drive to Edmonton first thing in the morning and then drive back later that day with no problems. I was doing that once every two or three weeks. But I have chosen to fly despite the inconvenience just to avoid that drive. However, I had a meeting today where it made sense to drive. If everything went great, I could be on the road between 11:00 - 12:30. The problem was the first flight I could make was 3:30 and so the thought of spending several hours in the Edmonton airport, again, was not appealing. Plus there was a task I could complete on the way home so …

To accommodate my current aged body, I drove up to Edmonton last night. I hit the road around 4:30 pm as I was not thrilled with driving at night. I had to stop at the half way mark in Red Deer to stretch and get a coffee. Got the hotel in good time and immediately hit the hot tub. I felt good and actually had a really good sleep. My meeting ended at as early as I thought it might and was on the road before 12:30. I did have to stop in Red Deer on the way home. I was not feeling too bad at first. Happy I was in my home at the time the first flight I could have caught was just taking off. But then the back started to act up and that was followed by a general body ache. I was fatigued and grumpy. It did not seem that long ago when I could get up at 5:30 am, be on the road at 5:45, drive through a blizzard. Finish at 4:30 or later and make it home with no stops and without much damage. Now, this simple trip is if I ran a half marathon without proper training.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:59 am

The Golden Mean or everything must be done in moderation and I would include "excess" is something I continually strive for but consistently miss the mark. Some stress, some inflammation is a good thing. It motivates us to get out the door, to push ourselves to where we can stay healthy and fit or even run a marathon, complete a 100 mile bike ride. But too much over too long a time and …

I have been just walking lately. This seems to have helped calm many things down. But then there is a morning like this where everything is achy and stiff. I started to express some anger and frustration at state of affairs but that is just the aging process based upon my past decisions. Sort of like when I made fun my mother in law years ago due to her lack of knowledge of current cultural events and icons and here I am, no clue who most of the young people I see on the screen. This is just life.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:20 pm

In addition to my body and mind feeling old, I also felt old when I could not figure out how to remove the front axle on my mountain bike until I tried several things and finally discovered a You Tube video. I somehow managed not to have destroyed the axle but no matter what I did, I could not remove the tire. So off to my favorite bike shop - the one nice thing about being old and admitting all of this new fangled technology is beyond me is the young men who work in these shops tend to take pity on me. It was nice to hear the head tech buy had never seen my axle but he figured it out in about 30 seconds. Then he told me not to feel bad about not being able to remove the tire using the standard method as a special method was required and he showed me. Then, he told me that to put on studded tires also takes a trick and a compressor. Best $25 I ever spent as I would have spent hours and failed. So another good thing about getting old is figuring out what I cannot figure out and giving up so much quicker than in the past.

The studs had to be set so off on a nice leisurely 30 K ride on pavement. It was nice to ride without any objective other than to go far enough to set the studs. It also gave me a greater appreciation for the road bike and just how much fun it is to ride and ride very fast. And to confirm I do not need a fat bike as the mountain bike with studs will work and when there is too much snow, shoe shoes. Got to do a nice easy 30 K ride and was out for around 90 minutes. Still worked up a sweat but also was able to soak in the scenery. It is too easy to take for granted the wonderful mountain vistas that are just outside my door. And farms and ranches minutes away. To confirm that is more than enough of a workout for me. So this was a great day.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:23 pm

After my ride yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised not to feel too much pain or stiffness today. Or so I thought. The new issue is that I can sit and feel fine. I can walk or stand and feel fine. But the transition from sitting to standing is pure agony for the first three or four steps. My back seizes up, numbness runs down into my legs and yet within seconds, it is as if nothing is wrong.

The weather was such I decided to take the new bike out of a spin. Winter is arriving tomorrow and I had a craving for a good Americano so off the Velo Café. I am fortunate the bike performed as good as I thought it would in theory. It is a flat handle barred road bike but a little more upright to allow for greater stability and vision for safety in riding on city streets and bike paths. In a pinch I could even do a 60 k or more ride. This is good because I paid $2,300 for the bike but like it owner, it is just unique enough to be a very difficult sale. So needless to say, I was more than thrilled it is working out.

So I have my road bike for speed. My city bike for city riding. And my mountain bike with freshly installed studded tires for dirt and even some snow and ice. All three are well suited to my needs and abilities and oddly, that is a little sad. If I won a million dollars, I would not likely buy a new or different bike. The only glimmer of hope in that regard might be to buy a plus size 29er mountain bike but even then, I am not sure.

It was a great coffee, a great ride where I was having so much fun I extended the route. The only downside is the transition from sitting to standing was even more painful even though it was as quick as before. I swore a little and moaned when I got up and my loving and caring wife asked why I am such an idiot to have inflicted this pain on myself. I noted I did not actually complain but she told me my moaning was enough and thus scolded me for my foolishness. The problem is right now, if I do a little too much I am in pain. But if I do nothing, I am in only slight less pain. So I seem to have no choice but to pick my poison and that is activity. And if I hurt to go from sitting to standing but not at any other time, I can live with that.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:07 pm

I do not drink much anymore. So I was over at the brother in laws and he poured me a double, maybe even a triple rye. I was slightly tipsy but there was supper, etc so it did eventually wear off. The problem is I had a glass of red wine with dinner to be a good sport. I had been doing okay with that, the more expensive the wine the less adverse impact but this morning, suffice to say the wine from last night was a great laxative. Yet another bonus of getting older.

It had snowed last night but not too much. The temperatures were not bad. So I drove my car to get the winter tires installed, I brought my mountain bike with studded tires. At one point in time, I could jog the 8 K one way but no more. The studded tires worked great and even had some fun transversing a field of snow. Did not really need them for the return to pick up the car once the work was done but used that bike just in case.

I am happy to report there is no regret in selling the fat bike. I had fun doing the riding I did. I can see doing some on frozen dirt and ice. The foothills got 14 cm of snow and once I am finished a number of tasks of work and life, I plan to try some snow shoeing later this week. There is a little sadness is having my universe shrink. That there are no longer endless possibilities and the myth of one can do anything they want if they have the right amount of heart and will power and determination. But there is not only solace but contentment in finding and accepting my limits. I may not be able to run 8 K but I can bike that quite easily with the equipment I now own.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:43 pm

A busy day at work was on the horizon but I wanted to make sure I went for my morning walk to start the day off right. Some light snow and it was actually much more pleasant than I thought. I was lost in thought when I found myself hovering a few feet above the ground - I managed to hit the one very icy spot on the entire walk. I have certain nihilistic tendencies but I am also a pragmatist. Thus I can feel there is no meaning or purpose and so why bother working out etc but then I encounter a situation like. Where because I am in half decent shape, I was able to twist in mid air and distributed the weight to both wrist, forearms and a foot. That is instead of putting all of my weight on one wrist and breaking it. I was sore at first but felt good as the morning went on.

The problem is, getting old sucks. Now later afternoon and both wrists are inflamed and sore. The near miss has turned out to be more of a hit than originally thought but still miles better than what it could have been. A nice reminder I do need to lose some weight as 20 pounds lighter may have made a difference with regards to both the impact and thus how much pain I am in.

The sad thing is was feeling good this morning. The two 8 K bike rides yesterday seemed to do me well. Such is life.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:46 pm

Tuesday, 25 cm of snow had fallen on top of 10 - 15 cm base. But today, the roads were great, blue sky day and I thought this would be a great opportunity to use my snow shoes before the herding herds created a path.

The first part was around 2 K straight up. Long story short, frustrated and stressed due to work. We have moving to a full digital model with data mining and thus data integrity is now a key objective. In English, it means completing a ton of tabs on electronic forms I had previously been allowed to ignore. So it was three days of doing that I was going crazy. So a good hard workout was just what the doctor ordered. A friend of my wife's was in the hospital looking after her husband who had a stroke. A reminder about seizing the day as well.

Although the first part had traffic including some fat bikes. I was thinking this would have been fun for about half the time. The rest would have been talking the bike up the steeper pitches or re starting when I went an inch off the path. I came to the junction with the aptly named Snowy Owl and was thrilled to see no traffic. This was something I could not have ridden under any circumstances. Took the opportunity to stop and look at my surroundings. Although in part that was because in my "rage", I had raced up most of the up hill section and was exhausted. But also I tried to keep my head up and look - the problem with fat biking is one gets so fixated on the narrow path with these sort of conditions, one barely even sees anything around. Take your eyes off the 3 feet in front of you and next thing, you are off the bike and having to start again.

I went too hard and no water but had a great around 120 minute walk in the snowy woods. I may only get out a few more times with such perfect conditions but with $100 snow shoes as opposed to a $5,000 bike, tires, etc, so what. Zero pressure to get out and justify that purchase. Plus it is much more civilized and I am able to engage with the environment and at the same time, a very tough work out. So now time for a sauna.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:00 pm

You know you getting older when: On a walk, I felt a certain urge to find a bathroom. It was not too bad and my walk was not going to be long so I ignored it. The feeling started to go stronger but with a 2 minute detour, I could get my mail and I have full control over my bodily functions. But then the urge suddenly become overwhelming. I was only a block away from my house and hastened my pace. I was but mere seconds from a complete disaster. Yet another reminder that what I once could do, I no longer can.

Later in the day, took out my fast road and had some fun with that bike. The roads were wet from melting snow and I was covered in mud from the spray but it was a great workout. I went to get some new cannabis oil and then stopped for a coffee. Work has been such I am burned out and on edge so even though I am in the coffee shop with a paper, I was visibly upset I had to wait to put in my order and then for the order to be made due to one employee doing everything as two were sitting on their break. A nice woman around my age came up, put her hand on my shoulder and told me she is the world's most impatient person and understood my "pain". But her advice was I have to let it go and accept patience.

Today was freezing drizzle before the blizzard was to hit. I had to take a book back the library, get some veal cannelloni at a second place and then more groceries at a third. Studded tires on my mountain bike would allow me to do that and get one hell of a workout. The tires worked great where I did encounter from ice and it was a great workout.

I could not help myself and went to an old group that gave trail reports. Terrible driving conditions with black ice and a number of accidents to get West Bragg I read. And the conditions were not great with ice on the trails that lead to massive wipe outs. My $100 studded tires became an even greater value as I enjoyed my ride within the city and directly from my house. And when the roads get better, will enjoy the $100 snow shoes so zero regrets selling the $5,000 to buy a pure road machine.

I also have to remind myself about just how twisted our culture has become. So a 60 or 120 minute ride about town that is both fun, healthy and safe my not be "better" or epic or part of the continuous improvement demanded of us by our culture but it was great for me. I think of the white knuckle drive to then struggle on icy trails and have the entire experience void of fun or pleasure. When today, I could really push myself up a few nasty hills but stop, look around and catch my breath. To go fast on my city bike when the opportunity presents itself but know when the body is asking to call it a ride.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:04 pm

City bike Friday. Mountain bike Saturday, Sunday and as it turns out, today. The studded tires are working great and even had someone ask where I got them. The nice thing is that when I had the fat bike, I might have ridden today and then required several days rest to recover from a 60 - 90 minute ride. With the current set up, I have been riding at least 30 minutes a day and sometimes longer.

The biopsy of the growth on my back came back as something that was benign and did not require any further treatment. I had two Basal skin cancer growths removed already and when they showed me a photo of the one on my back, it was a little scary. Especially when they told me if it was cancer, real surgery would be required. Funny how much we take for granted until we get these wake up calls. Or even not appreciate the little things such as being able to go for a 30 minute bike ride every day instead of "saving" up for one or two "epic" adventures per week.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:53 am

What they do not tell you in our continuous improvement, you can do anything you put your mind to is the price one pays in even just pursuing those concepts. I had a streak of 4 consecutive days of riding in a row with a good dump on snow after the second ride. And then work hit hard. Two 12 hour days dealing in a single meeting that was very stressful days followed by one of only 10 hours. There was the other work that did not stop and I am making decisions worth literally millions of dollars. Where earlier in my career, $50,000 was scary and now such decisions can, on the surface, bore me. I have reached the pinnacle of my profession and although I love the work, there are times when I kick myself for accepting the position that in turn allowed me to reach this level. That instead of "National", I should have stayed at the "branch" level. I can do the national level work and on a consistent basis actually get praise for my results but if I make a really big mistake, that could matter. I have had more than a few close calls and a couple of times was in a near panic before things works out. And when I say mistake, I am talking about $2,000,000 US in once instance and $6,000,000 in another. I am expected to attend 4 or so such day long meetings a month but lately, I have been closer to ten.

So what does this have to do with exercise one may ask. The same things that motivated and drove me to "succeed" at work had me finish a 100 mile ride and essentially then equal a personal best for a 100 K ride. As my dear readers will recall, I messed up my back and knee and shoulder and calf previously and the hard cycling aggravated those injuries. This in turn now seems to have transformed into a general body ache or at least for the entire length of my back. The calf will really flare up on a regular, almost daily basis. My neck is starting to join in on the fun. And then my job makes sure I cannot recover as the stress and anxiety has a physical impact and I am not able to cycle or workout for days at a time and thus I find myself in a death spiral.

I had thought once I pay off my mortgage, at least the work part of the equation will be better. So I pay as much as the bank would allow of the principal once a year and increased my bi weekly payments, essentially doubling. And the mortgage is paid off but it did not bring nearly the stress relief I thought it would. I have been so busy the last few months I barely noticed. It should help long term.

Then I read something interesting. On global scale, humankind has never been better. Less poverty, oppression, wars … you name it. With the modern media we focus on the bad and it can feel like the world is going down the drain but again, by objective measures one cannot live in a better time. And yet suicide rates, addiction and other such objective measures have never been lower. The author also suggested that purpose and meaning are created by the individual. We then get back to our culture that essentially argues if you can dream it, you can do it. So if you cannot qualify for Boston or buy the bigger home or a better bike, it is because you lack something. Some intestinal fortitude or will power or determination or heart. It is not because of genetics or a general lack of talent or circumstances beyond your control, it is because you did not want it enough. And so if you run 5 K, we have to run it faster. If we run a marathon, then we have to run it faster or more of them or … even if it takes a tremendous toll on one. So one can "succeed" and yet it is a failure. And worst, if you did a 100 mile ride, then there are 120 mile rides or do that faster or … one must continuously improve or otherwise, they are somehow morally or otherwise weak and corrupt.


There is nothing wrong with even an internal "race" to see how fast one can get from point A to B. I have a $5,000 bike to allow me to do that on the roads and a $2,400 bike to do that on the city streets and bike paths. But there has to be room to take ones time. To not say, I have ridden "X" number of days in a row or "Y" number of miles in a week or a month. But merely to get out and enjoy the fresh air, stop and smell the roses as it were. Not to see how much air one can consume nor how many roses they have smelled. It has been hard for me to do but …over the last four days, I have gone for three walks and watched a play last night. And this morning, my back and neck feel like I have been in a heavy weight fight. They are stiff and sore. So it is clear I really do need to pump the brakes if only for my health and well being. My poor and long suffering wife told me I am really starting to sound like a curmudgeon and is about to yell at everyone, get off my lawn.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:54 am

Dear Reader:

I was feeling down after my walk. But the day did improve. I had a nice bacon sandwich. I am playing fantasy football on Draftkings but decided more for fun and I won $2 on a $1 entry. I then went for a nice afternoon ride on my city bike. I was able to ride where my road bike could not go and had some fun going relatively fast - even beat three pure road cyclists over a short sprint and that was really fun. The workout and a 20 minute sauna with a little CBD oil made me feel much better. Did a little reading and an interesting theory about how our logical and rational mind can actually just justify and rationalize what our emotional/ feeling mind wants to do. Thus we believe we can change by applying just logic and reason but we also need to have an emotional reason to change.

I thought more about work. I remember a vendor asking if they should hire someone I had worked with. I told them the candidate was the not sharpest knife in the drawer. His response was the consensus was that she was not a rocket scientist but fortunately for all involved, what we do is not rocket science. I am the living embodiment of the Woody Allen saying that 90% of success if showing up. My strength has always been showing up, taking on tasks without complaint or whining. To either change or at least give the impression I was following the new corporate culture or guidelines. And at the end of the day, I pushed a lot of paper. There was an announcement they were creating an elite team to handle the work of our most important and valuable clients. When I asked if I was going to be a member of that team, my manager told me that I was not because they needed someone to go the sh*t work no one else wanted to do and I was "good" at that. The one advantage is that there was no objective measure of success or failure so getting the work done was the most important thing. Through a use of experience, logic, reason and savant like instinct in my particular field, I can push more paper than anyone else in the company. This has earned me titles, raises and bonuses but it was scary for one person could look at my results and praise how well I do and the next, could come to an opposite conclusion. My success is also in getting things done without a ton of fanfare for I get things done but in an unconventional way and okay to acceptable conclusions so I do not want much, if any attention. Part of my problem or worry is that I have been getting too much attention. Right now for good reasons but … I could also run marathons at one time. I could run so is it inevitable my work will decline. Or to continue with the analogy, I just run a lot of 5 and 10 K race equivalent work and sometimes if the race is small enough and the conditions are just right, I can finish on the podium for my age group?

To get back to the purpose of this forum, once again I have confirmed that one may not need to ride 50 K even but to get out, race a few small parts, do some climbing but also take time to look up and enjoy the scenery does the mind and body good.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:33 pm

I have been very productive and successful at work. Acknowledged by the management team and even my peers. The problem is that I have been pushing way too hard so yesterday, I decided to take today off.

The problem with snowshoeing within 60 minutes of Calgary is that if you wait too long, the snow shoe is almost irrelevant. There were a couple of times with the first set of snow shoes where by the time I got to the trails, I had my shoe shoes on and everyone else had hiking boots or even trail running shoes. After selling my fat bike and thinking about all of the terrible rides because of too much snow, found a good pair on sale for $100 and that included two talking poles.

The first time I used the snow shoes, it was very good. I was very stressed and so charged up a hill. I had to take a short cut but it was a very good workout. So today, I got to the hill so I would not have to rush. I paced myself and I really enjoyed myself. That is for the first hour or so. I did not have a watch so I made it to a okay viewpoint and there would not have been any shame in turning back but feeling good, I marched forward. Reached the crest of the hill and then a long, 3 K or so descent. This was after about a 3 K steady climb to the top of a foothill. At the bottom, I was tired and considered that a very good workout. But then there was the next climb. There had been a dump of snow on Tuesday, cold on Wednesday and so I was breaking trail. Fine going down but when I had to go back up, it was a slog. Then another descent with a nice backup - there was a 500 m short cut to get me to the Mountain Road trial. I was really losing energy and so I took that short cut.

The other trails I had been on had some prior traffic. The short cut had none and it was snow past my knee. And uphill. And a few trees to navigate around. That took much more time and energy than I thought it would. But I was now on the Mountain Road Trail and read it has been groomed. But little did I realize, it was not where I entered and for a good mile. It was down hill but more of the knee or higher snow to trudge through. It took a considerable amount of time and energy again and I was ready to go home. But I still had a couple of miles of walking to do. Thankfully that was on groomed trail that allowed snow shoeing to the side. But now my knee was sore. Soon the low back joined in. Followed the neck and shoulders. God how does it suck to get old.

At one time, I was the living embodiment of the Stephen Wright joke that anywhere is within walking distance if you had the right amount of time. I could do 30 + K hikes and although a little tired and sore, really no worse for wear. Now deep snow and nasty climbs are different, but I did 15 K today and that took me around 4 hours. Mentally, my stress is gone but that happened around the 90 - 120 minute mark. It was cool to set new tracks. To be the first human since the snow. But again, 2 or so hours of that would suffice. And so what if the snow shoes are not completely essential given walking on the more trafficked areas. The key is to get out there before the thundering herd beats it down. And even then, I have a good pair the hiking boots now so just use them.

The Aleve has helped. Just consumed some CBD oil as the sauna is heating up. So time to enjoy that. Almost forgot about another fun side effect of aging. I changed out of the wet cloths but on the way home, I had to turn my heated seat on and the heat to the max. Then when I was loading with the garage door open, it was + 3 but to my body, it felt like - 20. So that little extra effort seems to have drained away my ability to deal with cold or even more accurately, cool. So aging does suck. The only benefit is that I can recognize my limitations. To realize it does not matter if I walk 15 K in knee deep now or 10 K on soft snow but with some traffic. Other than the shorter and easier route is way more fun and rewarding. That when I find my limits now, the first thought is not how do I make it bigger but, okay, 4 hours is too much. 3 as well so a good 2 hours is great. In other words aging does impose limits but also the ability to recognize and accept those limits.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:13 pm

Although my system is not quite back to normal, the day after my too long by at least an hour snow shoe adventure, I was neither stiff nor sore the next day. I lacked some energy when going for a walk but was pretty good. By contrast, had I gone too far running or cycling, it could be days of recovery. So on my walk today, I thought about this. And the theory of a book I am reading that our "emotional" mind makes the decisions and our rational mind merely provide the rationale for that. I believe the author is correct that the logical mind and emotional mind both have to be the same page to order to affect change. That the emotional mind is powerful but I believe not all powerful. Sometimes the logical mind can win. That it can lead to a change of how one feels about something. Needless to say, it is much longer and drawn out process than the reverse. One example is there was no logical reason to buy a fat bike. I even rented a fat bike to see what it was like and it was not particularly fun. But then I felt I wanted and even needed a fat bike and later that week I had a fat bike. As I had related before, I got a small following on some internet groups so there was the ego and vanity of the bike. There was even a few very fun and rewarding rides. But rotator cuff tear, knee injury, aggravation of … spending more time pushing my bike than riding under certain conditions. How a nice hike or snow shoe may be a better alternative. I thought about these things and eventually my emotional brain accepted the conclusion I should sell my fat bike. One way I did then justify that was I then had enough money to buy a cool road bike.

One thing I realized today was that there is some utility and value of literally running away from your problems. That when I am very stressed, on occasion I need to be so focused on my activity I cannot think or ponder or ruminate about my issues so I can clear my mind. Running was easiest thig to do. And without running, it may be more a function of time then effort. BUT … inflammation, medication, eating crap as a reward for the effort, etc had lead to a number of health scares and now chronic issues. Or at least that is a potential consequence of not exercising moderation in my excess exercising. Which is odd for how much joy and pleasure I can get from a simple 3 K walk or ride. I "Feel" I need to do the excess things, the epic adventures for otherwise, our culture and society judges one to be deficit in some way. There is a severe character flaw or so other moral failing by not going out and doing 4 hour snow shoe walks on a regular basis. Or runs of a certain pace and/or distance. Or rides of more than 100 K. Or … a combination of finally realizing how wrong that is plus objective physical limitations is slowly changing that feeling. Such as the feeling, the emotion, the thought that in the near future, I will not have the strength or stamina to do 4 hour snow shoe walks so I need to do them now. Even though my body has made it very clear that 60 minutes of virtually any activity is great, 120 minutes is good, 180 is fair and over and above that is misery to one degree or another. So yes, I may not be able to do the longer routes but then again, even though I can do them now, they are not fun. My temperature regulation system gets thrown off, I have terrible food cravings and I lack energy and drive the days that follows as one example. So just because you can do something does not mean you should. There has to be an element of fun and is it healthy to do so. Again, for me, two hours or so seems to be the magic mark.

The nice thing about when I can get my emotional and logical mind on board for a sensible approach, I can be quite satisfied with less. An example is I am happy to trudge around the woods for a couple of hours so why drive 1.5 - 2 hours to do that when I can get the same enjoyable from driving 40 minutes. But this is starting to apply across the board. I have found great joy and pleasure if using my fastroad bike or the mountain bike with studded tires running errands or riding to have an good Americano. I am still not 100% comfortable emotionally as there is those nagging cultural and/or societal compulsions to do "more" or "better". But ever so often, I cave into those "expectations" and I then pay the price. And so slowly but surely I am moving to a different emotional state where I am tired of being so stiff and sore in the days that follow, to hell with what is expected.

Dstew
Bill Crothers
Posts: 3403
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:41 pm

Re: Getting Old sucks

Postby Dstew » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:49 pm

It has been another crazy and long week at work. Due to my age, it was not quite as long as it could be. The long story short is I was to attend a business meeting in Vancouver on Wednesday and then have a nice dinner and drinks to follow. That got changed to dinner and drink Tuesday night and meeting on Wednesday. I already had a meeting in Calgary on Tuesday and although I could have made it to Vancouver, there was snow and the cost of changing flights but as importantly, it was one of those dinner and drinks where it ended up where I knew it would. I told one of the participants that I would not have made it to downtown Vancouver until 10 pm and they told me, they had not even ordered food at that time. They closed down the place and everyone was quite hung over the next day. I would have been out of commission for days had I attended so thankful for the wisdom that age and experience brings. The total bill was over $2,000 for 4 or 5 people. Very fine wine and food but oddly enough, at one time I would love to partake but now, a single beer and a burger in a nice pub or beer market is more my speed and style - even when someone else is using an expense account.

Calgary was hit was over 25 cm of snow Tuesday and Wednesday. It was miserably cold on Thursday and I was busy on Friday so it was 4 days of nothing but short walks. So today, started in the - 20s but when I got to trails, it was a pleasant - 10 with no wind. West Bragg Creek got over 40 cm of snow and so wanted to justify my snow shoe purchase as well. The problem with West Bragg is that after the hordes of people descend on it after a snow fall, if you are not quick enough, the trails get so packed down, snow shoes are redundant.

As I approached trail head parking lot, I was greeted with a steady stream of traffic. The Parking lot was nearly full so I was not expecting great conditions. At first, the trail was fairly well packed down but there was enough loose snow to be fun. I went off to a less well travelled route and there was some traffic but the snow as deep and soft. They got over 40 cm of snow. Then I found an even more remote path and a trail runner, me and two track setters were the only ones to have used that path. Knee high snow on the sides but soft, soft snow.

Made it to a wonderful viewpoint. It was a struggle and because of the late start, I was a little worried about losing the sun. The one day I forgot my headlamp. But instead of turning around, I went forward. I was following the two track setters - modified motorcycles but it was still one heck of a workout. I found the even more remote trail that would allow me the quickest route back to my car. The trail runner coming up had been the only one on that in the three days since the snow. So I was essentially breaking trail in knee or even higher soft snow. The light was starting to fade so I increased the pace. Had I started earlier and not been in such a rush, the impact would have been much less. But I was slower and it was with a tremendous effort under tight time constraints so I pushed too hard.

The good news: 9 K or so and 2 hours so although it was tough, it is on the outer edge of my current limits. Had a more time, the less intense pace would have helped. So I am a little stiff and sore right now. Another positive is I have grown tired of descent point and shot cameras that all eventually fail after a few years worth of use. My first such Camera was $500 and the last one, under $200. So took the plunge - a mirrorless Sony A6000 with a wonderful starter kit. I could not believe just how much better the photos are. The plan was to get a good camera for my focus on hikes, snow shoeing or even mountain biking is to stop and take a picture of the roses. Blue sky day and everything worked out in the end.


Return to “The Dark Side”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests