‘I’ll never be as fit as I was when I was thirty’ is a complaint (excuse?) that we often hear when talking to people about the Silver Grey Sports Club, when explaining that we write about and film people over the age of fifty who do extreme and adventure sports. People then almost inevitably indulge in nostalgia for some mythical youth with limitless energy with which to go out and enjoy life and all it has to offer.
The reality is that unless your name is Usain Bolt or Dina Asher-Smith it’s probably not true that you’ll never be as fit as you were at thirty. Unless you happened to be a world champion at something the chances are that you didn’t fulfil your potential entirely. And if you didn’t there may well be some ‘headroom’ to exploit to enable you to become more fit than you were at thirty. It all depends on how fit you were at that age. How fit were you - really?
In the course of finding and reading the results of scientific research into the hugely beneficial effects of exercise on being older, one thing has jumped out at us, the importance of maintaining good muscle mass and tone - something we have written about time and again! When one looks at ‘normal’ older people, much of the ‘decline due to age’ can be put down to muscle deterioration and loss, with the consequent weakness and frailty which is so debilitating. So one can appreciate the effect of muscles on health. But what about the effect of muscles on ... language?
How much exercise do you need? Presumably that depends on your intention for the exercise and your ambition for success. For some of the people we write about, such as triathletes, their sport is their exercise. That is to say that triathlon consists of three activities which, were you not a triathlete, might well be at least some of your training activities. Other sports, say skiing or tennis, require physical conditioning on top of time spent doing or practising the sport itself in order to perform it well and to reduce the potential for injury of one kind or another. If doing the sport itself does not provide the physical capability to perform it, physical training is a requirement.
The 20th of September 2019 saw the most widespread eruption of climate change demonstrations since the issue of greenhouse gas emissions caused by a high-carbon economy began to be recognised as a major problem. 5,000 demos all around the world, trying to express to governments the vital and urgent need to make immediate changes to the way energy is produced by reducing, or preferably cutting out entirely, reliance on fossil fuels and generally moving to a low-carbon economy. The need to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases is not new, but the 2018 school strike of Greta Thunberg has finally lit the blue touch-paper of public outrage to the point where these demos are happening and public opinion cannot be ignored.
It’s said that we live in a Digital World. This article is being written using a digital system and, equally, you’re reading it on a digital system. The entirety of the Silver Grey Sports Club website exists because of the digital world. All of which is ironic, because the subject of this article is the fact that in all the most important respects we do in fact live in an Analogue World.
And the AW is largely overlooked. If people who look after their analogue selves rather than their digital selves were described as Luddites, as being out of touch with the modern world, what would be odd about that would be that nobody thinks about having an analogue self, an analogue identity. A digital identity is what you have. Who even thinks that an analogue identity is a thing? Which is odd, because analogue is at the bottom of everything.