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.


Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

Categories Uncategorized6 Comments

6 thoughts on “STAYING FIT AFTER 70”

  1. Nice one Bob.
    “We don’t stop training when we grow older, we grow older when we stop training.”
    Painfree movement is the objective for me now and my daily regimen is geared towards that end.
    It’s a bugger when injuries come along but, as in our younger days, we don’t stop moving, we adapt until we’re able once more.
    Remember to smile as you run, it lets people know that you are indeed, quite mad!

      1. Cheers mate. I was going to add that you’re looking quite good nowadays but then, you’d feel that you’d have to tell me the same and we’d have to stop taking the piss out of each other. Can’t have that!! 😀

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