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The Benefits of the Aging Athlete

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The best thing about growing old is being able to watch someone else do all the work!” Anonymous.

That’s exactly the was I felt last Saturday during the Sixth Annual Four Corners Football Championship games. Although I did play sports, I never called myself an athlete, merely a player. But still the benefits accrue regardless of the name one puts on their ability.

Watching a bunch of 8-12 year olds warm up is a lot more fun than actually doing it yourself. Most of us can only imagine working out to that level, even on a weekly basis. It is a mystery to us how aging athletes like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are still able to play as well as they do, and keep coming back every weekend to boot.

They certainly don’t need the money, do they? Or the glory? Or the action? We can’t understand what could drive an individual to that extreme, maybe because we have become too contented to merely watch them play from our recliner. And dream about how good we were 20 or 40 years ago, at least in our minds.

Our physical training has devolved with age from a good heart-thumping, sweaty routine to stretching out muscles and oiling up the bones so they don’t make too many noises. I know whereof I speak, since this is my routine almost daily. And even then I take sip-breaks from my always close by coffee cup.

Thursday I started a new regimen, mostly because I have to, or think I must, at least. It is one of the standard complaints of those who live long enough, my knees hurt. They hurt when I stand too long and they hurt if I sit too much. I can’t run, which is probably a good thing since peeling my face off the asphalt has never been a favorite hobby of mine. Jumping is limited, skipping is a no-no, and just walking is an experience akin to balancing on a tight-rope over the Grand Canyon in high winds.

My legs need strengthening, even though I’ll probably never use them much except for the repeated trips down the hallway at night or for other short walks. Guess I’m lucky that I don’t need a cane, yet, but the mere thought of working these knees weekly is also hard to take.

Greg Kirk at Enchantment Therapy will probably be my drill sergeant during these scheduled visits, and looking at him I do remember having a similar body when I was that age, NEVER! He knows his stuff, as does owner Anthony Arviso, and both are extremely nice when explaining the next round of required torture to you.

I complain, but this course of action is much better than having someone carve on your knees. At least I hope it is!

State Tournaments are coming up soon. Our limited area has a couple of volleyball teams, a soccer team or two, and several cross-country runners that will be participating. Wish them all the best and get out to watch them if you are able. Sorry we don’t have any football teams at that level this year, though the season continues for a little while.

The good news though is that basketball season is right around the corner, and with the snow on Wednesday, what better place to be than inside a gym.

Hope to see you in the bleachers for one game or another. Until then, take care of your self in any way you can, eat healthy, and move it, move it, move it!!