Age, Fitness, Capability and Interest

Chris has a good post about how, Some of us are strong, and experienced, and well trained, and got fat not because we were sad, lazy, gluttonous etc… but because things in our life changed, and our bodies (or our habits and our brains) didn’t adapt appropriately.

I’m stuck with very few excuses. I’ve never been a work-out guy – or that’s the excuse. I’ve always just DONE the things I liked to do with the fitness I already had available on tap. Haven’t gotten overly heavy either, but could stand to loose a few – mainly I seemed to have passed the peak and my recovery-time at age 54 is what’s killing me.

The elbow is much better today, but just yesterday leaning over to pull a USB cable out of the ‘puter-box, a *tiny* bump on an edge of the desk sent gigantic pain-waves all over. Ice. At least it didn’t blow-up with fluid again. Gaah. The swelling is down but the hyper sensitivity remains and it could easily balloon-up again.

Blame the computer for all the current inactivity. We used to hook-up with other friends on rec.motorcycles.dirt – guys from across the country who also rode. On weekends we would meet locally, or we used it to send out the Bat-Signal and from all-over we would meet in Colorado or Idaho or Georgia to just go riding. Sometimes the back-and-forth conversation was brilliant, but the light dimmed, people move away, the economy takes a dip, jobs change – nothing stays the same especially technology, and Usenet declined as the Web grew popular.  And sadly, some guys died…

With the elbow injury I’m afraid my dirtbike riding days may be numbered and in the past. If that’s the case, my days of regulation across-the-course shooting may be also be doomed. Every position has you doing the body-tripod with elbows planted somewhere. So, hand-guns?? You don’t get down on your elbows much with pistols.

The foot is also still healing too slowly. Too much flex-ion and it goes off again, and so I have to wear the hated *shoes* during Summer, when flip-flops or barefoot is so much more natural and comfortable. Foot-fitness wise I never could get into the pounding boredom and plain drudgery of running. I needed to really escape, and it (running) wasn’t fast enough. I tried to like it mentally, and even had running shoes for a while – but the dreadful irritating sameness of it caused failure and I relapse to the default position: hate it.

I can still bicycle. From all the early years of polo, swimming, and hiking, my thighs still have some strength for the push – and somehow the similar boring cyclic repetition doesn’t completely fail me there. Also before there were any cars in my life the bike was my escape vehicle. Maybe it’s just the wind in my face. For some motorcyclists that’s enough – they don’t need the athleticism (or monkey-business) of an apex-strafing sportbike cranked over at the limits of adhesion, just the wind.

As far as Chris goes, I’ve always known big guys who could hustle. Quickness is size-deceptive and outright speed isn’t necessarily the key element – you got to be smooth to make speed work to proper advantage or it’s wasted. There the same effects and situation exists on a dirtbike, finessing the throttle to gain traction – keep up speed through the rough rocks by being still on top while the bike does the work below you. That’s all in the legs again.

The natural angle of a dirtbike in repose is on its side. I’m not sure I can keep taking the inadvertent dismount onto the weeds, rocks, and bushes that is required participation.  Even with all the gear that goes-on, getting the elbow bashed again is a recipe for not being able to re-mount and continue. We’ll see if DirtCrashr still has it in a few more months when it starts to rain again and traction returns to the soil or if a new nickname is required. I miss the Dual-Sport events where we didn’t throw ourselves so hard into the breech.  I missed riding in the Spring this year when it was wet, and I missed last year – if I miss another year maybe it’s a sign.

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

8 thoughts on “Age, Fitness, Capability and Interest

  1. B&N / Jon-Anon – I totally “get” that doing it and love the single-track, and I know it hurts the day (and week) after and I'm glad you're out there anyway. I did used to ride D-36 Enduros, even though I was a “C” rider who sucked and houred-out of every race – and broke a finger that never set right and now looks like a deformed carrot.
    Just never could get into running, especially not with other people – too much the same scenery, and I hate people.

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  2. I'm with the irratable one, above. At 57, I've registered for a Tough Mudder event in September. I ride a 400 dirt bike on single-track trails, even though it often kicks my ass.

    I might run a 5K “MudMan” event later this month, for 'practice'.

    Yeah, it often hurts like hell but I'm doin' it anyway!

    Jon

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  3. I can sympathize with the aging bit, but damnit, I'm putting up my best effort as kicking Father Time's ass along the way.

    Wanna know what's fun?, throwing down in a local 5K, and beating the pants off of all but the real greyhounds (I miss being that guy), including most of the teenagers. Masters class for me in a few months, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna let it slow me down!

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  4. Jim you're my hero! It's the whole “better shape” thing, what the hell shape is PAIN? Pros go out and train because it's their job, weekend warriors can't compete and train all the time like that – and at some point you train yourself into just damaged-goods – which is when the pros retire and go do something sensible like fishing.
    JohnV – Exactlky. 'Cept I don't have a peanut gallery throwing shells. Snorkeling seems better than ever, and less embarrassing than an un-used bike that moulders in the corner of the garage.

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  5. …my recovery-time at age 54 is what's killing me.

    DirtCrashr, being 52, I know exactly what you mean about that recover-time thing. I can still go out and rough it up, lug it, haul it, bust it up, etc., but where it used to be I could do it again the next day, well, not so much any longer. And to add insult to injury, so to speak, my 24 year old sons laugh at me when I beg off.

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  6. I rode an enduro six months ago. While I finished, my leg cramped up so badly I thought I had done some real damage. I made a midnight emergency room visit.

    I haven't raced since. I hate to race if I can't be competitive. And I can't be competitive if I don't get in better shape.

    Once I finish this post, I can finish off the bag of potato chips I am having for lunch…

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