After a nice wee run.
At the back end of next year I’ll be turning seventy…it’s really not that far away.
All my life from a wee kid, fitness has defined me. I always wanted to run, sometimes it was simply to get away from a dysfunctional family upbringing…but often it was because of who I am. I needed to do it, it kept me sane.
I’m never happier than when I get the chance to do fitness, I’m mad about it.
I’m even mad enough to say that I actually loved my time on SAS Selection, yes all of it.
Playing rugby in the SAS. The ball’s upside down because back then we turned everything upside down.
Whether sprinting, road running, competition running, playing football, rugby, boxing training (as I was a shite boxer) or just tabbing over the hills with a Bergen, I was always in a good place and a happy young man.
I loved Klepper canoeing with my mentor Fred Marafono Fijian warrior.
As I got older, the tears and strains of muscles, the broken bones from sport and work all began to take their toll. It wasn’t good, and I too wasn’t good…I was no longer happy…whenever I couldn’t train.
So something had to happen. I had to think about it…I had to talk to others, especially those older than me. It would be a female that gave me the best advice. She was an ultra distance runner, about 5 years older than me…and she had been through it all, physically and mentally. “You’re getting old!” she said. “But it’s far from the end of the road.” She added.
With her wise advice I tweaked my routines, and I gave myself breaks in between training cycles…only doing floor exercises and stretches…enough to keep muscle. Then I’d get back to running, weights, tabbing, bag work, pull ups/dips/press ups.
From my late fifties as I was then, into my sixties and now at the end of my sixties I’ve continued with that practice. Happy, happy, happy.
There is no point in training if it doesn’t make you happy. After all fitness is both physical and mental.
So what am I going to do from the back end of next year…when I’m seventy?
Well, living in New York for the past 9 years has been helpful to my future fitness. It’s fu**** ffffff freezing in the winter time. I can’t go outside running when it’s below a certain temperature, so that’s taught me to seek an alternative. As a family we bought a Concept 2 rowing machine. It’s an all low impact workout, and what a workout it can be. There are world championship rowing events for male and female, different age categories from youngsters to over 80s! An example of this is to see how far you can row over 30 minutes and check how you’re doing online against others the same age. You just link the rower computer up to your own and away you all go, you don’t even have to leave home. Awesome!
I had a plan in my mind some fifteen years ago to row the Atlantic solo as an over seventy year old…just to see what I could do. But a dip in the water for fun a year or so ago told me that an old rugby neck injury put paid to the reality of that ever happening.
Instead, my fitness for the time I have left on this big rock will take place on land only. My tabbing, running, weights, pull ups/dips/press ups, and the fun of competing on the Concept 2 rower against other ageing old gits will be my way ahead after seventy.
So not a lot of change from my fifties and sixties, but more aware of the risk of heart attack if I continue to tackle my training the way that I have always done in the past.
The old SAS soldiers’ saying of “SLOWLY SLOWLY CATCHEE MONKEY” is now my new training motto.