Posts Tagged ‘aging’

An Aging Gym Rat

December 8, 2011

Back in the spring of 1973, my friend Tom introduced me to lifting weights.   He showed me a handful of dumbbell exercises and told me that I should do them everyday.  My older brother had an unused weight set, so I set up the dumbbells to a weight that I could handle, and I was underway.

Since that time so many years ago, I have continued to lift weights.  I actually competed for several years in Olympic-style lifting and did reasonably well.  Throughout the years, I have tried a variety of routines and exercises, machines, free-weights, vitamins etc, etc, etc.

I never looked like a weightlifter.  At the peak of my competing years, I told a young lady that I was a weightlifter and she laughed in my face.   Apparently, appearances can be deceiving.

As I have aged there is much less emphasis on pushing hard to achieve maximum performance.  The no-pain/no gain approach has changed to no-pain is good…even a goal to be achieved.

I have also noticed that there are not many seasoned lifters left in the gym.  I look around and all I see is a bunch of people about the age of my children.  Only rarely do I see another person near my age, and it has been years since I saw someone older than myself lifting in the free-weight room.

I still enjoy it and plan to continue for as long as my body holds up.  I may not train as hard, or lift as much, but I still think of myself as a weightlifter.

Even if I look even less like one now.


Dodgeball at 50?

October 3, 2011

I used to be pretty good at dodge-ball.  I was reasonably quick and agile in my youth.  This past weekend I attended a Chi Alpha Iowa retreat.  One of the events on Friday night was black-light dodge-ball.  I was a little hesitant because I was concerned that it might not be a good idea for a 50-something to play dodge-ball with college kids.

I shouldn’t have been worried about it.

My reflexes have slowed down considerably since I last played.  I was eliminated very early.  Hey, at least the only injury suffered, was to my pride.

I have begun to think that it might be time to ease off the throttle in other areas of my life as well.  That slowing down, just a little, might be a good idea.  This means that I will have to trust that God will give me wisdom as to what is important, that I will use my time and energy on the things that really matter.

Hopefully, along with the gray hairs, and the slower reflexes, will come the necessary wisdom to live the life that God has intended for me.

Not In A Hurry

February 25, 2010

I was at the gym yesterday.  (I do go more than once a week, you know.)  There was a young mother there, pushing her baby around the track in a stroller.  In an attempt at humor, I commented to her that I wish my laps around the track were as easy as his, as I pointed at her baby.  Of course, I was remembering my run from Monday that had been particularly difficult. 

Later, I thought about what I had said, and have decided that I didn’t mean it.  There may come a time when my ability to run around the track comes to an end.  I may someday be reduced to walking.  There may come a time, should Jesus tarry, and I live long enough, when I will be only able to go around the track being pushed in a wheelchair. 

I am definitely not in a hurry for that!

One of the reasons that I excercise is to be able to continue to enjoy a healthy, active  lifestyle.  I am hoping to continue in that pattern for as long as possible.   I am aging, and will try to accept the natural changes of life, but everything that I have read and heard, tells me that the bodies God gave us can continue to do quite well, if we take care of them.

I will do what I can to take care of mine.

Youth Overnight

January 3, 2009

I was a youth director back in the mid eighties at an inner city church in Minneapolis.  I enjoyed working with the young people from the church and the surrounding area. 

I have been the senior pastor (or lead pastor if you prefer the newer term) since 1991.  For most of those years we have had someone who was the youth director for our congregation. 

A while back, our youth director resigned.  She had served for about ten years and was ready to move on to other things.  (Thanks Tonya for the years of faitful service!)  She has been hard to replace.

For many years she had done an overnight Christmas/New Years Eve party for the youth group.  In order to keep the tradition going I agreed to host the  annual youth event.

I am not as young as I used to be.

I had a great time.  I think that it went well.  No major disasters, no injuries, I think everyone had a good time. 

What was the problem? 

Thursday night by eight o’clock, Gloria was telling me that I should just go to bed.  Which I did, and slept until 8:30 the next morning.

I am not as young as I used to be.

Act Your Age

December 4, 2008

Remember when we were children and our parents would scold us telling us to “act our age”?  As children, we wanted to be older, more grown up.

As teenagers we wanted to become adults.  We liked it when people thought that we were older than our actual age.

As young adults, we wanted to be considered mature, grown up, experienced, responsible.

Now as middle aged adults, we suddenly want to be considered younger.  We are tired of being grown up and responsible.  We suddenly long for the freedom of our youth.  We want to be able to do the same things that we could do when we were younger.

Maybe we should all learn to act our age.

At each stage of life there are wonderful opportunities and experiences.  Perhaps instead of wishing we were something else, we should learn to embrace our current circumstances.  There is much to appreciate at any age.