From time to time - quite often, in fact - we do come across people saying the most incredible, and incredibly dumb, things about age, particularly with reference to their physical capabilities. So here is the first of what we intend to make a regular series, Talking 'Old' Rubbish, in which we will bring to your attention people spouting what we think are dangerous and counterproductive untruths (is that a pompous enough way of putting it?)
So, here we go .....
This first example concerns the Irish singer Daniel O'Donnell, currently appearing on BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing. Mr O'Donnell was receiving comments from the judges after his dance routine and was criticised for having run out of steam somewhat in the second half of his 1' 30" performance. He justified this shortcoming by referencing his age, 53 years old.
53 YEARS OLD!
Well, from where we stand that is misinterpretation of the most fundamental kind. Running out of steam has nothing to do with age, the only thing it has anything to do with is lack of fitness, and these two things are in no way the same thing. Yes, they often accompany one another, but that is the only connection.
In any case, at his age he certainly ought not to be using age as a reason for lack of fitness. At such a relatively young age lack of fitness is a choice. If you look at some of the stories we have featured about people who have made different choices you will see that in your fifties it is entirely possible to be making an impact on a global elite, witness the fastest finisher over the age of fifty in last year's Ironman World Championships, only 146th out of over 2,000 entries.
So, Mr O'Donnell, work hard at your steps and most importantly, work hard at your fitness. 53 is no age at which to be making excuses like that!