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.
So, what is analogue? Analogue is everything; it is molecules, atoms, cells; breath, water, blood. Analogue is infinite variety in all those things, whereas digital is either one or zero. Digital needs machines as its framework for existence, whereas Analogue is those machines - and everything else as well. All the objects and artefacts on and in which the DW exists are analogue artefacts. The Digital World is powered by analogue energy (electricity), and it exists within the Analogue World whereas Analogue IS the world ... and the solar system, and the Milky Way - and everything.
Digital cannot exist without Analogue, whereas Analogue can exist without Digital.
Why is this important for SGSC? Because all the issues that people face as they get into the later parts of their life, and all the issues that the research we report on is dealing with, are analogue issues. And the solutions to reducing, or even avoiding, all those issues are analogue solutions. What we’re talking about is the physical world in which we live, our physical (analogue) selves, and the physical deterioration that supposedly is an unavoidable accompaniment to becoming ‘older’. And when we talk about the solutions that can counter that, we’re talking about exercise - of course!
People who are interested in exercise are to some degree seen as involving themselves in a narrow and very specific aspect of life. Gym bunnies, gym rats, exercise freaks are some of the labels. However, what you’re working on when you exercise are in fact all the functions and abilities required not for a particular aspect of life but for all of life. The ability to move, for instance, as well as the ability to be still. The ability to reach up, the ability to reach down. The ability to walk, to run, to reach up to put something on the top shelf while standing on a chair. So as well as enabling the sports that Silver Grey athletes love, exercise looks after all the (analogue) parts of us that enable us to do the aforementioned everyday things - our heart and lungs, our brains, our bones and muscles, even our digestion is helped by exercise. And the changes that happen as a result of exercise happen at a molecular and cellular level, so seriously fundamental. Not only that, exercise helps our emotions, we know that our mood is always better after working out - and that’s no small thing.
One cannot, however, disregard the DW, it has improved life immeasurably and is an essential part of modern life - one would be rightly accused of being a Luddite if one said otherwise. So much of modern life takes place within the DW that in order to take part in modern life you need to get to grips with it, at least with as much of it as you think might benefit you. From our analogue point of view not all of it is entirely beneficial. Social media, a huge part of the DW, has many interesting and useful aspects but, for instance, much of it is obsessed with images. Since images can be digitally manipulated, you can be “improved” within the DW. Unfortunately, that still leaves the original - you - unaltered, unimproved and in no way more equipped to deal with the DW than before or the AW, for that matter - so no analogue improvement.
Older people - and we are always astounded at how that description seems to start at the age of sixty! - are often described as having difficulty interacting with the DW. Is that true? Is that somewhat true? Is it true in some cases and not in others? We believe that the effects of increasing age are not the same for all people and we believe that exercise - an analogue activity - is one determining factor in that variation, in both the physical and mental arenas.
If, as a Silver Grey, you want to be successful in the modern world, then you’re going about it the right way looking after your Analogue Self, and as well as benefitting in the Analogue World becoming better equipped to get to grips with Digital.