Alongside running 121personaltraining.com – my busy SW London personal training company – I also run a local veterans football team, Putney Corinthians football club.
I first played for this team as a seven year old schoolboy and took over the managing of the side to to help maintain a community team for Putney.
The team is full of guys who refuse to ‘put themselves out to pasture’ and who continually push themselves in a challenging, competitive sport.
Despite our increasing ages, we remain ambitious – playing for your team and community is one way to feel younger.
However, the quest to feel younger gets tougher and tougher with each passing year.
The body becomes more prone to niggling injuries, which take longer to heal the older you get.
When I’m feeling sorry for myself, I remind myself of some of the great athletes who have ‘turned back the hands of time’ and also remind myself of some of the elderly – and in some cases downright ancient – people I know who keep pushing forward.
Bernard Hopkins is a current world boxing champion at the age of 48 – he still fights and beats men twenty years his junior!
Martina Navratilova was a legendary tennis champion who won her last title at the age of 50!
Cliff Young lived up to his name, winning the Australian ultra endurance marathon at the remarkable age of 63, despite not even being a professional runner. The pros laughed at him at the start line – they weren’t laughing five days later when the ‘old man’ had beaten every one of them!
Stanley Matthews played professional football at the highest level until the age of 50!
Steve Morris is a legend in the martial arts world and moves like a twenty year old despite being a pensioner now. When in his early sixties he fought and beat one of the UK’s leading professional cage fighters!
The next time that you start feeling sorry for yourself, remind yourself of some of these remarkable athletes.
If they can continue to feel younger than their years then so can you.
A lion doesn’t get a third of the way through it’s life and then stop hunting prey – why should a human reach 30 or 40 and retire to the sofa?
Forget the age on your birth certificate, set yourself some new physical goals and then get out there and continue living!