Yesterday, my post revolved around the fountain of youth many cyclist discover once they saddle up. My Mom, who reads every post (even though she swears it adds a gray hair each time I do something I think is fun) added a great quote from the book”Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley & Henry Lodge, MD. He says, “You do have to age But you don’t have to rot!” I may have to check out this book.
Well that comment and an article I read today started me thinking about today’s Tony and 20-year-old Tony
The article was on Outsideonline.com and titled “You can Still be Fast After 50” It is interviewing an “Endurance Guru” (their term) about the difference between the needs of 50 somethings (Food, training, etc) and their younger selves.
So of course, I started thinking back to 20 something Tony (shown here on the right).
This cowboy, back in his Washington State University days, could drink beer every night (hence the “wall paper” ), and get up for an early morning class. On a whim he could drop everything and play hours of racquetball and feel no pain. He could
check out the girls in try out an aerobic class for the fun of it, and walk a mile home me after giving blood that very morning. ( I never said he was smart)
20 Something Tony, in his own mind, was bulletproof. Football (flag or tackle), softball, jungle-rules volleyball, inner tube water polo all were fair game and good excuses not to study. Plus, he could stand on my head and drink beer. (hey wait, I still can!)
The best part? He could eat an unlimited amount of pizza and swill the beer and never gain weight. Then take a test hung over the next day and get an A (unless it was Spanish which I barely passed)
My 50-year-old self, that is NOT same. I still love beer and pizza, and if I could I would have it MUCH more often than I do. However, the waist line, even with the bike riding, can only take so much and still fit in the 501s. (Which are still the preferred attire, when it’s not shorts!)
I would play volleyball, but would not sacrifice my body as I did back then. Plus there would be many more groans coming out me as I got off the ground. And its been years since I have survived an entire game of tackle football without an injury.
We won’t even talk about the need for drug store readers when needing to read a menu.
It takes much less beer (or more likely wine) to cause the hangover, and I am much less likely to be active on a hungover day. I am not as tough as I used to be.
Those who know in real live life know I complain about getting old ALL the time. Aches, pains, fatter, old man noises etc. And I HATE the reader glasses!
But, I gotta admit, I honestly don’t think 20 something Tony would or even could do the things I do now. A 100 mile bike ride would have taken me away from beer drinking, dart throwing or just plain watching music videos on MTV. If the “guys” all decided to try it, I would’ve joined in, but (sadly as I look back now) no way I would have done so.
But if I compare the two of us overall… I have that young pup beat hands down. I am MUCH healthier and honestly in better shape now (if you don’t count the bit of a belly) than I was then! I eat healthier food, including veggies. I work out regularly. I drink MUCH less, and get more sleep.
My last spin class, I was stuck in the front row, right in front of the mirror. As I pedaled I noticed “DAMN! I have some serious leg muscles going there!” Looking at my pictures from way back in the way back days, I am not sure that skinny guy had any muscles. Lots of energy, yes, muscles though…
I would love to know just how far and how fast I could’ve ridden back then if I was as dedicated as I am now. But alas we will never know. What I do know, even with needing to take meds for hereditary high blood pressure, my 50 year old self could put that youngster to shame! Maybe 50 aint that bad…
I do miss having more hair on top of my head and less on my eyebrows though…..
Like the wind folks!