Sunday, March 09, 2014

Why geezers hit the gym (warning - for mature audiences only)

Today's CrossFit workout was open 14.2. With low weights and bands I sort of got through part of the 3rd round. The world record is over 21 rounds - without accommodations of course.

I don't think I'm gonna win the CrossFit games. Worse, at my age, the future trend is not positive.

So why do we newly-old folk do this kind of thing? 

I can only speak for Emily and me - and Judith Warner I suppose. We know the mean "ideal" human lifespan is about 88, and we know that the 2-3 years preceding death are often very difficult. A few years ago I figured, based on my current age and health and family history, that 85 was a pretty good target. 

A target, not a goal. A goal is something to exceed, a target is something to hit. Hitting that target, adjusted downwards over time by illness and chance, is my plan for dying well like my dog rather than badly like most Americans.

When I hit that target I won't be doing chest-to-bar, or overhead squat, or even running. Years before I'll have dropped out of CrossFit. Maybe I'll still be walking, swimming, and shuffling xc skies on artificial snow. The trick, which I'm working on, is figuring out how to die about then. Maybe I'll celebrate my 85th with some base jumping.

That's about 30 years from now, and 30 years doesn't feel very long at all. It's gonna go fast.

Which is why we do crazy stuff now -- because that door is closing. It's the way we play the great game.

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