Please Pass The Duct Tape
They say a man can fix anything with just duct tape and…I can’t remember the other thing. Super glue maybe?
When people ask me about my training and racing, especially at 65 years old, I jokingly say, “Well, I’m trying to duct tape this ‘ol bod together to keep it going.”
While that’s tongue-in-cheek, there just might be some truth to it. At times, the number of issues I’m dealing with (and a lot of my racing friends deal with) make it seem like some good old duct tape might just be the ticket.
Issues? What issues? Well, I’m shocked at the number of things that either start to happen in one’s 60s or that are carry-overs from past years of miles of training and racing, plus, just old age. It’s true – aging is not for sissies.
My ankles have little ligament support from years of spraining them playing basketball. My left one pops out of joint almost at will.
Though it doesn’t bother me much now, I had plantar fasciitis for almost two years.
My calves have been a constant challenge. I will bet 90% of my injuries over the years have been right in that area.
I had my right knee scoped and the back of my kneecap scraped smooth a few months after racing the Hawaiian Ironman back in the late 90s and my patellar tendon gets inflamed pretty easily if I’m not really careful.
My left leg is shorter than my right leg causing imbalance and issues.
My hamstrings are pretty tight just about all the time no matter what I do.
I have bilateral proximal hamstring tendinosis and often sit on a double-donut pillow.
Flexibility in my right hip is much greater than in my left.
There is very little “juice” as the doc called it, between a couple of my vertebrae in my lower back and it’s hurting more and more as time goes on. It’s super tight every morning and painful in the middle of the night when I try to roll over.
My right shoulder has issues. Not ever sure what they are but if I don’t do my shoulder resistance band work, it hurts to swim.
My neck has lost a ton of flexibility. I used to be able to just spin my head around on my shoulders to look behind me when riding my bike. Yeah, can’t do that anymore. Loss of overall flexibility is very real with aging. Staying on the aerobars when riding can be pretty painful for my neck/traps.
Balance is slowly going away. In the mornings, coming up out of the water in a triathlon and a bunch of other times, I feel like a slight breeze could knock me over.
My ears ring…more and more as time goes on. My brain, oh my, is becoming more and more forgetful. Just about every time I leave the house, I forget something I should have with me – wallet, phone, keys, gym bag, etc. Names? Ummm, what’s yours?
Though my hair has turned white, at least I still have most of it. And, I can rip off 40 consecutive pushups so maybe it’s not so very bad. But, all of the above in combination can make me reach for the duct tape. Yep, that’s what I need. I just need to start at my ankles and keep wrapping upward stopping just below my eyeballs. Oh yeah, I can’t see anything without my glasses. Forgot to mention that – see, my memory is going…
Is it any surprise that age groups get smaller and smaller as the ages go up??
Old folks love to sit around and talk about everything that’s wrong with them which, I’ll never do, well, except for this blog, but the rest of the time I’m fighting father time. Activity, movement, some kinds of exercise are my weapons. And, I know they work. If not for them, I’d probably be in a wheelchair or close to it. The experts tell us that one day of complete inactivity does the same damage to our body as smoking 5 cigarettes. A week of inactivity? Same as smoking a pack.
So, I’ll keep training and racing, using lots of duct tape along the way. As you age, buy a bunch ‘cause you’ll probably need it. How long will I train and race? As long as I possibly can. There are folks who are in their 70’s and 80’s doing, get this, Ironman triathlons. 140 miles of swimming, running and biking in 17 hours or less. Heroes. Bar-setters. They show us what’s possible if we just keep after it.
Please, keep after it. Do what you need to do to stay in the game. Use duct tape and your brain. Train smarter not harder. Stay active and keep moving. Respect who you’ll be in 10 more years. The decisions you make today, this week and this month will determine who you’ll be next year.
That’s it for now. Got to get on E-Bay and order some more, yeah you know, that silver stuff.