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                                                                                                              Photo By Tom Servias

Don’t you love it when a good plan comes together. Over the last three months I’ve notched one successful come-back (back injury) on my belt. Sure my plan evolved, and changed a bit, and that is to be expected. To Monitor and adjust one’s actions until one achieves one’s goals is as a good a mantra as any.

The question of attaining happiness in retirement has been on my mind for quite some time. As reported by AARP recently, as you get older “you know bad things are going to pass” according to Laura Cartenesen PHD. Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Older and wiser perhaps we can better handle the stress in our lives. Perhaps in retirement we are better able to reduce stress by changing our work or living situation.

However attaining happiness in retirement for an aging athlete can be a bit more complicated than for a non athletes. This is due to the fact that all Aging Athletes need ongoing competition to be happy. Whether competing with one’s self by increasing the number of reps one completes or competing against others in games and sports, the Aging Athlete must continue to compete to find true happiness. Card and board games, computer games, pool, ping pong can help but an Aging Athlete typically needs more than that.

Starting with the end in mind, my need to compete,  I began with this “BEER” framework a few months ago and I’m happy to report excellent progress. I start training specifically for snow skiing next month.

Why beer? It’s easy to remember and often times in one’s mind towards the end of a good work-out.

B – Balance

E – Energy

E – Exercise

R – Rest

Balance is key for 40+ athletes because it impacts so many athletic endeavors. It also enhances one’s rhythm which helps one to better get into the flow of life. Finally it helps prevent falling, and debilitating injuries the number one enemy of the 40+ athlete.

Energy is central to a 40+ athletes because they need to stay active daily. As one gets older energy seems to be in shorter supply and we benefit from healthy ways of increasing it.

Exercise resulting in physical conditioning (staying in shape) is “core” for the 40+ athlete. Good decisions regarding types and durations of exercise are often times the difference between failure and success.

Rest and rehabilitation (making comebacks) are often times the least understood and underestimated factors in the longevity of the 40+ athlete.

Quarterly Updates and Analysis

B – Balance

I’ve progressed to the point now where I’m just doing maintenance. I walk daily the length of a long log 5 times in a row quickly to test my abilities. I can easily see if I’m not as smooth as the day previous. I’m also able to test myself on my bike rides going hands-free etc. So far so good. In the event I see my performance worsen I’ll return to the balance exercises and train tracks. Dancing to music has proven to me I have regained my footwork.

The single biggest aha moment was when I realized what I was doing with my head while walking. At that moment I realized I was actually making my balance worse by restricting the amount of information available to my balance system. This missing information was needed for my balance system to function properly. This was a huge was a turning point for me.

Somehow I had got it into my head I was being safer, wiser by looking down my body at my feet while walking. Maybe it was a habit I’d developed or maybe it came from executing lengthy comebacks in recent years, I’m not sure.

Like an aircraft controller needs accurate flight information to make good decisions your balance system needs accurate information to make good decisions. Asking an aircraft controller to sit in the basement and do their job instead of in the tower would certainly cause a strike. No matter how talented and hard working; they simply can’t get the information they need to do their job down there in the basement, they have to be in the tower to see what’s really going on.

It is the same for the aging athlete. Each degree one lowers one’s head and consequently one’s vision we rob our balance system of the vital information it needs to make good decisions. Our balance system has been receiving information in one place for the better part of our lives and all of a sudden is expected to receive it somewhere else. Understandably one’s balance system fails from time to time under this information starved regime. These failures result in a lack of confidence and increased looking down the body towards the feet resulting in poorer and poorer results. A Catch 22.

In addition to the initial balance training, I’ve learned to keep my head up, hydrate, bend over more slowly while bending my knees more, breathe more deeply, and use orthotics in all my shoes. I recently got winter boots with removable soles for ice. So when things get slippery this winter I’m ready instantly with with metal studded soles for extra traction.

Way down the road someday I’ll likely sleep downstairs instead of up and invest in bathroom safety. Until that day arrives I’m good to go.

E – Energy

I’ve made progress but it is an area of constant challenge. The biggest difference is I changed my diet, I eat healthy now. I am not on a diet trying to loose weight. It took me quite some time to make this distinction having dieted regularly over my lifetime always losing weight sometimes as much as 30 pounds and eventually gaining it back plus a bit more back each time.

I experimented during critical times and used 5 Hour energy shots with decent results. I had poor results with the Red Bull types of drinks. The reality is in our 50’s our metabolism slows from 3-5%. This occurs again in our 60’s and again in our 70’s.

So what’s an aging athlete to do? Eat healthy foods as much as possible, denser foods release energy more evenly throughout the day. Eating healthy has been a significant change for me. You would be hard pressed to find anyone with a worst track record when it comes to eating right. However eating healthy, cooking healthy is time consuming and more expensive than not. I have virtually eliminated waste, un – eaten food saving me 40% of my food budget.  Suddenly the local grocery store is an every other day visit. Trader Joe’s and Costco is a once a month. Fortunately healthy food is becoming easier and easier to get. I use ceramic pots and pans eliminating the need to use oils much, if at all. A positive attitude is required. Fresh, chemical free, non processed food is great but it requires an concerted effort. It can be fun to shop & cook so really it is a matter of how one approaches it.

The single biggest advantage of eating healthy besides feeling better and living longer and preventing costly diseases is one’s digestion. I saw much greater improvement, faster in this area compared to energy enhancement.

I’ve learned to eat around the same times each day, the earlier the better. I take a probiotic, and a super enzyme (health food store) and a multi-vitamin daily. That’s it.

Here is a sample of what I’m eating now.

Fresh, no Canned or Processed Foods

Organic Eggs, Almond Milk, 2% milk, organic ½ & ½

Organic Free – Range Turkey, chicken

Cod, Halibut, Salmon, Snapper, Trout, Steelhead

Fresh bananas, apples, tangerines, tangelos, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, cantaloupe, pears, dried fruit- cranberries & apricots, frozen berries & smoothies galore

Orange and cranberry Juice, hot herbal tea & cold Lipton tea, coffee

Salad Bar, avocado, cucumbers, carrots, sugar snap peas, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, olives black & green, pickles, shallots, red peppers, romaine lettuce, limes & lemons, capers

Sprouted wheat bread,wild brown rice,oatmeal, Kashi cereal, raw almonds, sunflower seeds,cashews,walnuts,pine nuts,organic energy bars, organic p-nut butter, organic honey, raw sugar, organic maple syrup, organic whole wheat pancake mix, sea salt

Sprouted whole grain bread, Bulk Bins nuts, granola, trail mix, dark chocolate

Butter, virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, ketchup, avocado, local organic mustard,  Dijon mustard, homemade salad dressing (Balsamic vinegrette)

Alternative Foods – Occasional Foods

Philadelphia cooking crème cheese, Wolf Gang Puck Tomato sauce, cheddar & Gouda cheese, James Ranch cheese

Home Made Croutons, Blue corn chips (Kale hips are Horrid), whole wheat tortillas

Mozzarella/provolone, string cheese, Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Canadian bacon

Barbeque Sauce

Home Made Chili (lean beef)

For a guy like me this is really healthy compared to what I used to eat. I have a salad everyday and stir fried veggies pretty regularly but I’m weak on veggies and I know it. I have a couple of local restaurants that only use locally grown fresh ingredients and free range meats which I sometimes frequent. Once a month I treat myself to dinner out, anything I want, but to my dismay I still go pretty healthy, seems my appetite has changed for the better. Foods in the past I craved are simply not that attractive now.

I miss cheese, French fries, ice cream, and bakery goods like a dead brother. At the height of my retired eating madness I could trace 85% of what I was eating to dairy products.

Today I eat better and feel better with a slight increase in energy but nothing to write home about. Perhaps eating healthier is nothing more than the placebo effect increasing one’s energy. I’m cool with this as potential  placebo effect. Perhaps it’s more than that, perhaps it will take more time to see more significant improvement in energy. This will likely be offset by our slowing metabolisms naturally. Perhaps it’s in part psychological. Perhaps it is part environmental, even a learned response. Is there a scientific correlation between one’s age, football, couches, retirement, and one’s energy levels?

You would be hard pressed to find a retiree happier in retirement than myself. However I would remiss if I did not acknowledge that one does loose some energy as one ages. All the positive spin in the universe won’t change that. In my view how one chooses to respond to losing energy is what counts most. Taking a brisk walk after big meals won’t hurt. As a not so famous guy once said “You know what sucks about getting older?” Getting older!

E – Exercise

I’m still following my every other day schedule. The big change was incorporating exercises aimed at stretching the small muscles in my back on my sports activities days. These exercises take 30-45 minutes to complete and have produced miraculous results for me. I highly recommend the Book “ Foundations by Dr. Eric Goodman and Peter Park and is available on Amazon. A dear 60 something friend turned me on to this book (back exercises) which he now uses after 10 years of 200 stomach crunches each and every morning. I could no more do 200 stomach crunches each morning for 10 years than climb Mount Everest. But I can do these back exercise and will for the next 10 years.

I’m not one to hype stuff like this but everybody I know that is retired deals with some sort of back pain. Back pain drains one’s energy, encourages crankiness, and limits one’s movement, often times leading to serious injury and or slowed comebacks. This book is a great place to start with an aging athlete’s back good or bad. These exercises work. The other key point of this book is the importance of recovery time. Enough said.

R – Rest

I’m still following my seven hours of sleep a night schedule. Light eating only (if at all) after 6:00 PM. I’m careful not to0 drink too many liquids late evening so as to avoid the getting up in the night to use the bathroom routine. I love my Temperpedic bed.

I’m in a pretty regular sleep routine now. Lights are off when I enter my bedroom. I start the going to sleep process with a quick 2 – 3 mediation to quiet my mind. Then I start my nightly massage; a great feature of my bed, turn on Letterman low volume on smaller TV mounted on the wall offering a sleep timer (20-30 minutes). Typically I ease into sleep before my massage is over and fall into actual sleep when the sleep timer turns off the TV. I awaken before dawn each morning more refreshed and enjoy the opportunity to watch the sun rise. I’m getting more deep sleep now, and feel subtle differences because of it.

I still believe in the power of the nap but getting some additional deep sleep on a regular basis is priceless. Proper rest helps reduce stress. Reduced stress increases the likely-hood of increased deep sleep.

Deep sleep provides one’s with better vitality, improved moods,  and better endurance when exercising regularly. Regular exercise helps you sleep better. Sweet dreams!

DSC_0077

I’m happy to report balance training actually works. I started balance training two weeks ago and more recently began walking on railroad tracks forwards and backwards. Then I jumped rope. Last week I found the perfect log next to my house to walk back and forth on just to check my progress daily.  Apparently repeating these activities over and over again has my brain activating the right muscles at the right time more quickly. I’m more efficient, and my balance has improved. It seems there is a psychological component as well, my increased confidence is evident in my log and railroad track mount and dismount.

Since there are no special muscles that are used to improve balance I find myself stretching my legs a bit more when in my normal exercise- work-out routine. Then I’m using simple fun daily activities for 5-10 minutes each. It feels like I’m tapping back into my old muscle memory. First I discovered riding my bike for short or long periods is excellent for balance improvement. Just a quick ride around the block everyday helps.

Then there is the occasional dance to a good tune, closing my eyes and feeling my feet moving on the floor and moon dancing poorly. Occasionally I walk up and down stairs focusing on the angle my feet strike the floor, my speed and my forward momentum while hands free.  Also I’ve found “Musical Rhythm” transports me back into time. Listening to music, visualizing myself surfing or skiing I feel quicker, lighter, more agile, and more fluid. Yes, I now briefly  enjoy skiing and surfing in my living room.

I bought one of these wooden foot massagers so I can roll my feet back and forth on it while watching TV. I also have massage spa for my feet which heats the water and vibrates massaging my feet. Bottom line is I’ve been taking better care of my feet which I’ve taken for granted over the years. Now my feet are taking better care of me and helping me balance better. I don’t want to overstate this but I think I have a better connection (nerve endings, circulation and mentally) to my feet now. Having turned both of my ankles a dozen times each (basketball) this is an interesting development given my historically poor ankle-feet circulation, connection. I’m big believer in orthotics in the shoes too!

I observed a guy at the gym the other day performing an extensive full balance training routine which also involved quite a bit of hand eye coordination activity. He was using a kit of sorts with different size balls, sticks, Frisbees, bean bags etc. We spoke briefly and I got some ideas of manufactures of these kits.

Future posts on balance will include an overview of balance enhancement training kits, cupstacking, juggling and the reducing the risk for falling by taking 700 and 1,000 IU (international units) of Vitamin D per day. Doses smaller than that didn’t appear to help.

CHEERS

DSC_0081              DSC_0080

I’m back to one of my old childhood tricks of walking on railroad tracks. Being an old surfer and skier I recognized early on the importance of balance in athletics. Seeing how long, how many minutes one can keep going (forward and backwards) without falling off the tracks is fun too!

For some this idea may seem a bit much. As posted previously jumping rope is good exercise and will also help improve your balance. In previous posts I also highlighted the importance of stretching. A book I’ve used over the years and recommend is “STRETCHING” by Bob Anderson.

The following is a summary of key points related to improving balance. Mike has a book and a free course online (which I took) for those interested. This information is geared to folks that need a good, safe starting place for improving their balance through simple safe exercises and activities.

Mike Ross is an exercise physiologist who specializes in senior health and fitness. He has a degree in Fitness Management and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Mike is the author of The Balance Manual.

http://www.thebalancemanual.com

 

A few Aging Athletes have managed to pull off a unique transition in their lives. In my experience this approach can be a blueprint for one’s sport transitions all throughout one’s life. From player to player coach, to official, to coach, to sports writer, blogger and eventually watching on T.V. as a fan of the sport (s) you love.


Russell in February 2011

No. 6

Center

Personal information

Born
(1934-02-12) February 12, 1934 (age 78)
Monroe, Louisiana, U.S.

High school
McClymonds

Career information

College
San Francisco (1953–1956)

NBA Draft
1956 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall

Selected by the St. Louis Hawks

Pro career
1956–1969

Career history

As player:

19561969
Boston Celtics

As coach:

19661969
Boston Celtics

19731977
Seattle SuperSonics

1987–1988
Sacramento Kings

Career highlights and awards

Career statistics

Points
14,522 (15.1 ppg)

Rebounds
21,620 (22.5 rpg)

Assists
4,100 (4.3 apg)

Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Basketball Hall of Fame as player

FIBA Hall of Fame as player

Medals[hide]

Men’s basketball

Gold
1956 Melbourne
Team competition

William FeltonBillRussell (born February 12, 1934) is a retired American professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A five-time winner of the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and a twelve-time All-Star, Russell was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA Championships during Russell’s thirteen-year career. Along with Henri Richard of the National Hockey League‘s Montreal Canadiens, Russell holds the record for the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Before his professional career, Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships (1955, 1956). He also won a gold medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics as captain of the U.S. national basketball team.[1]

Russell is widely considered one of the best players in NBA history. Listed as between 6’9″ (2.06 m) and 6’10” (2.08 m), Russell’s shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics’ success. He also inspired his teammates to elevate their own defensive play. Russell was equally notable for his rebounding abilities. He led the NBA in rebounds four times and tallied 21,620 total rebounds in his career. He is one of just two NBA players (the other being prominent rival Wilt Chamberlain) to have grabbed more than fifty rebounds in a game. Though never the focal point of the Celtics’ offense, Russell also scored 14,522 career points and provided effective passing.

Playing in the wake of pioneers like Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, and Sweetwater Clifton, Russell was the first African American player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also served a three-season (1966–69) stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first African American NBA coach.[1] Frequent battles with racism left Russell with a long-standing contempt for fans and journalists. When he retired, Russell left Boston with a bitter attitude, although in recent years his relationship with the city has improved. For his accomplishments in the Civil Rights Movement on and off the court, Russell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2011.

Russell is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was selected into NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971, into NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980 and named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, one of only four players that selected into all three teams. In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. In 2009, the NBA announced that the NBA Finals MVP trophy would be named the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in honor of Russell.[2]

Why beer? It’s easy to remember and often times in one’s mind towards the end of a good work-out.

B – Balance

E – Energy

E – Exercise

R – Rest

Balance is key for 40+ athletes because it impacts so many athletic endeavors. It also enhances one’s rhythm which helps one to better get into the flow of life. Finally it helps prevent falling, and debilitating injuries the number one enemy of the 40+ athlete.

Energy is central to a 40+ athletes because they need to stay active daily. As one gets older energy seems to be in shorter supply and we benefit from healthy ways of increasing it.

Exercise resulting in physical conditioning (staying in shape) is “core” for the 40+ athlete. Good decisions regarding types and durations of exercise are often times the difference between failure and success.

Rest and rehabilitation (making comebacks) are often times the least understood and underestimated factors in the longevity of the 40+ athlete.

Turning on my side I ask my question directly to the river. What Are Best Practices for Exercising As One Ages?  Spring rolls around slowly in the Rockies. Thin ice sheets cling to the banks of the river awaiting the inevitable. Canadian Geese are the first to return to the river valley followed by Blue Jays, and Ravens. Their chatter was sorely missed. Voles re-emerge scampering about. A few birds nest early, establish their presence vocally; then perform regular fly bye’s to protect their perimeter.

One important aspect of being happy in retirement is exercising regularly all through out one’s retirement years. The single most significant difference between current retirees and past retirees is their increased level of physical activity and fitness.

It would probably be wise to start investing in hip replacement companies based on what I’m seeing out there. 10,000 people retire everyday now. Interestingly when one retires one quickly discovers nothing much has really changed. With the exception of punching the clock everyday 9-5 which is great for some folks and not so great for others, life is pretty much the same.

I’m sharing my experiences, work – out routines here in hopes of sparking a conversation regarding how to best stay physically active all throughout one’s retirement years. My hope is others will share and eventually we will have a series of best practices helpful to the aging athlete.

I used to work out to be attractive to women, now I work out to stay alive. Humor aside I need to be physically active to be happy period. Being a fifty something guy, I ski, swim, bike, golf, hike, play tennis and non competitive basketball. I was once a surfer, boxer, runner, basketball, football and baseball player.

It seems to me it takes considerable discipline, strategy, wisdom, luck, pain and perseverance to always be and always stay active. The talent to effectively stage comebacks along with the ability to listen to one’s body are keys to success.

My routine is every other day which is easy to keep track of. One day I’m engaged in a sport or physically challenging activity. The next I’m resting, stretching, in the Jacuzzi and generally relaxing.

So I go to the gym to walk on a smooth surface with orthotics in good shoes a minimum of three miles and work –out on the machines, stomach, back, and arms. Or I ski, swim, bike, golf, hike, play tennis or non competitive basketball depending on the season and my interest level. Then I rest the next day. Sometimes I skip it all together on Sundays and just take a casual stroll in the woods followed by a light stretch. The core competency I’m maintaining is the ability walk at good clip three miles everyday. Good genetics aside, the walking three miles concept is the most common trait of all our 100 plus years folks. Aging athletes 50 + generally speaking benefit equally from running or walking. The trick is to not let the sports or more demanding physical activities produce injuries that are career ending vs. injuries that are more manageable. Knowing one’s limits and adjusting one’s game helps minimize this problem.

Irrespective of what day I’m on in my routine I’m continuously improving on something just a little bit each and everyday. Little things or bigger things it matters not. I benefit from the ability to know exactly how much more soreness I will have to deal with when I walk four or five miles. The important things is I can continue to enjoy sports and challenging activities at varying levels, maintain my core competency, and not wake up the next day feeling too sore to keep after it.

A great book for any aging athletes book shelf is “The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies” by Jordan Metzl. Great resource for preventing and healing sports maladies. This 45 year old tri-athlete doctor offers great advice. Jordan walks the talk. In my humble opinion If more experts actually did what they promote to others then the world would be a better place.

Staring intently into crystal clear, braided pocket water, I smile, recalling how yesterday I was getting lost in what I love doing. I genuinely enjoy being physically active, It turns out . Turns out being physically active is key to being happy in retirement, period.

Finding Your Sweet Spot

I invite you read my post “Glory Days” as an introduction to this site!

I had the privilege of meeting Rod Laver and we hit a few balls together. I had hoped I would learn from him the secret strategies that would result in improving my win ratio in my tennis matches. Interestingly I learned a valuable lesson on how to improve one’s game in all aspects of one’s life. I was shocked to learn Rod rarely kept track of the score in his matches. He was known as the “Rocket Man” often times coming from behind to win his matches. In response to my many secret strategy questions he replied “ just hit the ball a little bit better every time. ”  That’s it ? I muttered under my breath.” Noting my disappointment in his answer he added “ and make sure you hit it back to the other side.”

I’ve discovered his concept of continuous improvement while ignoring the score is significant for the aging athlete. Forget about what you used to bench press, how many miles you used to run, how many shots you used to take on the basketball court.

Instead start with a reasonably easy level of activity and improve on it by doing it just a little bit better than you did the last time. Rod was focused on hitting the ball a little better each time. He kept working on hitting the ball closer to the center of his racket, the sweet spot. Often times It might not have been until near the end of the match that he was hitting the ball more consistently in the sweet spot. It didn’t matter what the score was he was hitting the ball just a little bit better each time. At some point in the match he was winning his points while enjoying the sound that the tennis ball makes when it hits the sweet spot of his racket. His opponent was likely beating himself up over losing his huge lead, perhaps prematurely tasting victory. His opponent becomes discouraged by being so close to winning he begins to unravel like a cheap suit.  Rod just keeps hitting the ball a little bit better than last time.

It’s good for the aging athlete to have goals. One worthy goal is make continuous improvement in whatever you’re doing little bits at a time. Forget the score especially the old ones, instead patiently focus on finding your sweet spot.

I invite you read my post “Glory Days” as an introduction to this site!

Rod Laver

Rodney George “Rod” Laver MBE (born 9 August 1938) is an Australian former tennis player who holds the record for titles won in career, and was the World No. 1 player for seven consecutive years, from 1964 to 1970 (from 1964 to 1967 in the professional circuit) . He is the only tennis player to have twice won the Grand Slam (all four major singles titles in the same year) – first as an amateur in 1962 and second as a professional in 1969. He is the only male player and was the first player, male or female, to have won the Grand Slam during the open era (in 1988 Steffi Graf also achieved this feat). Laver won eleven Majors and eight Pro Slams. In 1967 he also won the Professional Grand Slam (only Ken Rosewall did the same in 1963). In addition he won nine Championship Series titles (1970–75) the precursors to the current Masters 1000. Laver won and excelled on all the surfaces of his time (grass, clay and wood/parquet), and was ranked as the best professional player in the world during the five-year period he was excluded from the Grand Slam tournaments.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] Rod Laver is the second and last male player to win each major title twice in his career. Only Roy Emerson and Margaret Court had won all four Grand Slam tournaments twice before Laver in the history of tennis. Laver is regarded as one of the two greatest tennis players of all time.[9] Within his slams there are also 6 in doubles and 3 in mixed doubles.

Country
Australia

Born
9 August 1938 (1938-08-09) (age 73)
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

Height
1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)

Weight
N/A

Turned pro
1962

Retired
1979

Plays
Left-handed; one-handed backhand

Career prize money
US$1,564,213

Int. Tennis HOF
1981 (member page)

Singles

Career record
392–99 (79.8%) in the Open era as recorded by the ATP

Career titles
200 including 40 listed by the ATP

Highest ranking
No. 1

Grand Slam results

Australian Open
W (1960, 1962, 1969)

French Open
W (1962, 1969)

Wimbledon
W (1961, 1962, 1968, 1969)

US Open
W (1962, 1969)

Doubles

Career record
230–77 (74.9%) in the ATP statistics

Career titles
27 in the ATP statistics

Highest ranking
11 in the ATP statistics

We’ve all had them. The question in my mind is how to be as athletic as possible the older one gets. Recently at dinner In between courses, a fifty something college basketball official shared valuable insights into athletes growing older. I commented on the fact he must work out intensely to be in such great shape. His reply “I always have.”

Always is a key concept. I’ll never forget my neighbor who always ran the number of miles of his birthday on his birthday. You can imagine the training that went into his 45th birthday run. Thankfully he has the right body shape, discipline and determination for it.

I used to work – out to be attractive to women. Now I work out to stay alive! Several of my closest friends inspire me, and keep me going. My 40 something friend charges the surf hard, right into Sports Illustrated Magazine, a true waterman. My fifty something buddy is still one of the fastest players on the basketball court, armed to the teeth with wisdom. My sixty something friend does 200 sit – ups every morning and surfs big waves all over the world most recently from a private yacht in the Indian Ocean no less.

A fifty something guy myself, I ski, swim, bike, golf, hike, play tennis and non competitive basketball. I was once a surfer, boxer, runner, football and baseball player. I’m fascinated with how people successfully unwind their athletic experiences into older age. I’m sure many would smirk at the term “athlete” being used loosely in this context. My only reply to this is what I see in the gym. It is clear to me whom are the folks that are athletic, and those who are not. Keep in mind most folks are at home watching television whatever their age.

Staying physically active for as long as possible is worthwhile goal. We can share, learn and be inspired by each other, and our friends. To get the conversation started I propose the following acronym “BEER”. Beer can serve as a springboard for ideas and a framework for the discussion. Hopefully this will result in a series of best practices which will enhance all our lives.

Why beer? It’s easy to remember and often times in one’s mind towards the end of a good work-out.

B – Balance

E – Energy

E – Exercise

R – Rest

Balance is key for 40+ athletes because it impacts so many athletic endeavors. It also enhances one’s rhythm which helps one to better get into the flow of life. Finally it helps prevent falling the number one enemy of the 40+ athlete.

Energy is central to a 40+ athletes because they need to stay active daily. As one gets older energy seems to be in shorter supply and we benefit from healthy ways of increasing it.

Exercise resulting in physical conditioning (staying in shape) is “core” for the 40+ athlete. Good decisions regarding types and durations of exercise are often times the difference between failure and success.

Rest and rehabilitation (making comebacks) are often times the least understood and underestimated factors in the longevity of the 40+ athlete.

Have any ideas to contribute on balance, energy, exercise, and rest. Do you know a 40+ athlete? Can you share tips, strategies, secrets to their success? If your comments need more breathing room please email me @ rokeefe@creativeretirementplanning.net.

CHEERS