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Is age "just a number"?

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  • cbstewart88cbstewart88 Posts: 279Member Member Posts: 279Member Member
    Yes. Age is just a number. The only difference is now I get a senior discount - 14 cents off my iced coffee at Dunkin'....
  • 33gail3333gail33 Posts: 206Member Member Posts: 206Member Member
    33gail33 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    It speaks to people unhappy with their current state of being and embracing fantasy, rather than implementing change to their reality.

    Your reality is an output of behavior. There are a number of influences beyond your control, but very little that behavior and discipline cannot overcome.

    Apply this to fitness, relationships, weight, wealth, etc.


    But what if you've changed your behavior and people are telling you that behavior is wrong for you because of your age (e.g., you're too old to be lifting weights or running marathons or whatever)? I feel like this is the context in which I hear people saying "age is just a number," as an argument against essentially checking out of life because you've hit some particular age.

    Is this thing that actually happens? This isn't the first time I have read this here but all I have ever seen is admiration for older people staying active.

    On MFP? I can't recall seeing it happen. IRL? Oh, yeah. Maybe you're not old enough to have experienced it. I've been told I was too old to take up kayaking, too old to take up ballet, too old to start lifting free weights (never mind that I first used free weights when I was still in my teens), too old to go out running or walking alone, too old to go out biking alone, too old to travel alone ... I don't personally say "age is just a number," but I don't see any reason to criticize someone for choosing that response as opposed to my own preferred reactions of just staring at them without saying anything or just ignoring them and doing it anyway.* And I think it's a much better response than slapping someone.

    I've also heard people, both on MFP and IRL, sending that message to/about themselves. "I can't lose weight or start lifting or start running or whatever because I'm too old." Again, my response would more likely be "I was 10 years older than you when I started X or when I lost X pounds" or whatever, than to say "age is just a number," but again, I don't get why it's such a horrible thing to say in that circumstance either. And probably better than slapping the person who thinks they're doomed to being fat and sedentary for the last 20 to 40 years of their life.


    *About the only time I would bother saying anything is when the person actually has some official gatekeeping role, like the instructor of a course in something new I want to try. Then I just usually point out that there's no "beginner" class being offered (because if there I would have gone to that), and I've paid my money, so ... (I find that trailing off and putting them on the spot of having to offer a solution, which is either tell their employer to give me money back or putting up with my joining the class, is very effective. What they want is to embarrass you into withdrawing yourself. If this starts happening to you as you get older, don't let them force you out of life and into a rocking chair just so they can be comfortable in their illusion that if they keep doing these activities, they'll never get old.)

    Ah OK. I am 54 so yeah no one thinks I am too old to do any those things yet. But I do have relatives pushing 70 who run marathons and I can't imagine anyone telling them they are too old. Maybe they have idk.

    But from the other side idk how old you are but my mom is 85 and if she suddenly tried to do some of those things you suggested honestly I would discourage it because she is frail and unhealthy and would def hurt herself. But she is frail and unhealthy because I couldn't imagine her ever doing any those kind of things so it isn't an issue. Those who want to continue doing it at an older age are the ones who probably have been active all along and are able to continue, which it sounds like you have done.
  • FuzzipegFuzzipeg Posts: 1,801Member Member Posts: 1,801Member Member
    You are probably thinking of what some medics are calling, inflamaging The processes which age the body come down to inflammation, reduce or totally eliminate the cause of the inflammation and the body is happier in itself and the person is much better able to take an active part in the goings on in this world.

    Come the end of November, I turn 70! Once the thought filed me with dread. Now, I'm healthier than I was at 30, the inflammations which prompted my ill health was unrecognised by my British Medics. We regularly mind one great grand son up to 4 times a week, 2 full days and 2 half, most often its one of each, but there have been full weeks. My health was so bad I gave up care work and retrained at 40, I retired at 50. Now being on call for full time hours.

    There is a poem I partly remember," When I Grow Old I will Wear Purple", growing old as some would say, disgracefully. Poor health is ageing, living well is lifegiving. The family want a big party this back end I'm not so sure, then I'm not the one who will be 90 yet.
  • JeBeBuJeBeBu Posts: 43Member Member Posts: 43Member Member
    I think, from my experience, I look to my grandparents. My father's mother always seemed old to me...even as I realize now how young she actually was when I was a young girl. My mother's mother didn't seem old even she neared 90! My paternal grandmother was the grandma that knitted & baked cookies whilst forever taking immaculate care of her physical appearance, but not her physical fitness. My maternal grandmother was active, went to senior aerobics (usually picking up women far younger than she on her way to the fitness center) but placed little importance on cosmetic appearance. Whilst my paternal grandmother always "looked" younger, it was her lack of physicality that made her "feel" old to me.
    So, I think I "feel younger" due to my activity level, but my husband "feels older" to me because he is largely inactive. I will say that people tend to assume that there is an age gap between us, but we are the same age!
  • michael1976_camichael1976_ca Posts: 3,229Member Member Posts: 3,229Member Member
    whmscll wrote: »
    Age isn’t just a number. The reality is that your body undergoes changes as you age, and there’s no stopping it (think menopause, and sometimes cancer). Even if you are in excellent shape your body is still aging. But age alone should never stop you from doing something you love or trying out a new experience.

    I'm going on 43 this July and i want to get into motorcycles so that's my future plan's. The bonus is it cost 10 dollares to fill the tank and you go for miles. I might as well do what makes me happy
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,731Member Member Posts: 5,731Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    It speaks to people unhappy with their current state of being and embracing fantasy, rather than implementing change to their reality.

    Your reality is an output of behavior. There are a number of influences beyond your control, but very little that behavior and discipline cannot overcome.

    Apply this to fitness, relationships, weight, wealth, etc.


    But what if you've changed your behavior and people are telling you that behavior is wrong for you because of your age (e.g., you're too old to be lifting weights or running marathons or whatever)? I feel like this is the context in which I hear people saying "age is just a number," as an argument against essentially checking out of life because you've hit some particular age.

    I kind of feel like if I'm "so old" (however old that is) that things like this scenario happen, I ought to be old enough to know what's best for me personally, and not to worry about what other people think anymore. The fact that I'm doing X is pretty good evidence that I'm not too old to do it; misperceptions about that are the other person's problem.

    My reaction is more likely to be "MYOB" than "age is just a number". I do like CSARdiver's (metaphorical) "whack 'em with my cane" idea, though.

    OTOH, I do have an appointment tomorrow to have a stylist friend make part of my 63-year-old currently-gray hair purple, so I may not be the most sensible purveyor of advice about what's age-appropriate. ;) ;) ;)

    What's a metaphor?
  • lauragreenbaumlauragreenbaum Posts: 286Member Member Posts: 286Member Member
    The creepiest is when older men say this to hesitant young women they are attempting to pick up.

    Like R Kelly, may he burn in hell
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 10,808Member Member Posts: 10,808Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    <snip>

    My reaction is more likely to be "MYOB" than "age is just a number". I do like CSARdiver's (metaphorical) "whack 'em with my cane" idea, though.
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    What's a metaphor?

    I know that's your straight line but . . .

    Just the cane, metaphor for li'l ol' lady privilege.

    In some scenarios, I could actually slap people, and reasonably expect it not to draw physical retaliation. Not that I'd ever do that. <looks innocent and profoundly non-threatening>

    OK, back to being serious about age: Saturday, I had lunch with two women a bit older, but not far from my age. I think one is 66-ish, the other maybe 72.

    They were commiserating over how we become invisible, seem not to take up space (so our space is invaded), and we're ignored routinely, in public spaces. (BTW, I'd hazard a guess that neither is the "faded beauty" case where someone was flirted with regularly when young, but feels invisible now that she isn't: Both pleasant looking, neat and well groomed, but very mainstream women.)

    This is not the first time I've heard this invisibility thing.

    I really don't seem to experience it. I don't know whether I'm simply oblivious, or (metaphorically, again ;) ) just somehow have an affect that takes up more space, or what? (I'm definitely not a beauty, faded or otherwise.) I didn't feel invisible when old and fat, still don't old and thin. But it seems to be a perceived thing, somewhat commonly, among aging women.

    The only real difference I've noticed in my advanced years is that if I spend an hour having a nice chat with a newly-met 20- or 30-something big ol' bearded, tattooed, lumberjack-looking young man, like over a beer at the bar at a brew pub, he usually wants a granny hug when I leave. (They always ask, BTW, not presume.) Kinda weird, but if it makes him happy I guess I'm OK with it, mostly.

    Any thoughts on the invisibility perception with age, if it's not too far off topic?
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,420Member Member Posts: 1,420Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    ~
    Any thoughts on the invisibility perception with age, if it's not too far off topic?

    Older folks I know tend to withdraw more than outgoing younger folks. I can be a little "in your face" at times and don't like to feel ignored (imagined usually lol) and do not ever feel 'invisible'...yet I know others even a bit younger than I am who tend to withdraw to the back of rooms/restaurants etc and just watch folks, listen, occasionally smile at people. I would say they're much more likely to feel ignored or invisible.

    In short, yes, I've heard of it and seen it a bit, but neither I nor my wife I would dare say have ever really experienced it.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,731Member Member Posts: 5,731Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    <snip>

    My reaction is more likely to be "MYOB" than "age is just a number". I do like CSARdiver's (metaphorical) "whack 'em with my cane" idea, though.
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    What's a metaphor?

    I know that's your straight line but . . .

    Just the cane, metaphor for li'l ol' lady privilege.

    In some scenarios, I could actually slap people, and reasonably expect it not to draw physical retaliation. Not that I'd ever do that. <looks innocent and profoundly non-threatening>

    OK, back to being serious about age: Saturday, I had lunch with two women a bit older, but not far from my age. I think one is 66-ish, the other maybe 72.

    They were commiserating over how we become invisible, seem not to take up space (so our space is invaded), and we're ignored routinely, in public spaces. (BTW, I'd hazard a guess that neither is the "faded beauty" case where someone was flirted with regularly when young, but feels invisible now that she isn't: Both pleasant looking, neat and well groomed, but very mainstream women.)

    This is not the first time I've heard this invisibility thing.

    I really don't seem to experience it. I don't know whether I'm simply oblivious, or (metaphorically, again ;) ) just somehow have an affect that takes up more space, or what? (I'm definitely not a beauty, faded or otherwise.) I didn't feel invisible when old and fat, still don't old and thin. But it seems to be a perceived thing, somewhat commonly, among aging women.

    The only real difference I've noticed in my advanced years is that if I spend an hour having a nice chat with a newly-met 20- or 30-something big ol' bearded, tattooed, lumberjack-looking young man, like over a beer at the bar at a brew pub, he usually wants a granny hug when I leave. (They always ask, BTW, not presume.) Kinda weird, but if it makes him happy I guess I'm OK with it, mostly.

    Any thoughts on the invisibility perception with age, if it's not too far off topic?

    Politics lies downstream of culture. Culture lies downstream of religion. When we no longer serve a cause greater than ourselves we lose the ability to connect with anything outside ourselves, so we do not value wisdom or the experiences of those who have lived past our lives. This is simply our nature. This is why societies are constructed deliberately to act against our nature...to see beyond oneself. To counter against this is simple, but difficult. It requires ownership. It is solely on the old to show that there is value in engaging with those who have experienced life.
  • spinnerdellspinnerdell Posts: 145Member Member Posts: 145Member Member
    Nope, no feelings of invisibility, and I've been old for a while. Maybe it's a regional or cultural thing? I live in a small desert town in Nevada
  • melmoldymelmoldy Posts: 17Member, Premium Member Posts: 17Member, Premium Member
    lorrpb wrote: »
    I get so tired of hearing this cliche "age is just a number" or "I don't feel age X." Do you agree with these statements? Why are they necessary?

    I agree that one's age is not a stereo type or limitation, but age is NOT just a random number. Your age identifies how long you've been on this earth, how long you've been working at life and "trying". It represents some amount of life experience that you have. So I don't know why people insist that age means nothing. To me, it's something to be PROUD of and honor and respect in others.

    As for "I don't feel X age," what does that mean? How do you know what X age feels like, or is "supposed" to feel like. It's all based on preconceived notions that much little basis in fact. If i am age X and I feel how I feel, then I feel what I feel at age X. Who is to say it's right or wrong? Who is to say that someone at a young age is supposed to feel energetic and boundless and that someone at an older age must feel weak and decrepit?

    Are you proud of your age, trying to hide from it, embarassed by it? How do you feel towards others of various ages?

    Hoping for an interesting discussion, otherwise Rant OFF. :D

    I'm not about to sit here and read this whole rant... but I can tell you that age is just a number. You could easily find an 80 year old in better shape than you. You could also find a 15 year old body builder. Forget about age. It's not important.

  • AwesomeOpossum74AwesomeOpossum74 Posts: 86Member Member Posts: 86Member Member
    Yes, age is just a number; a count of time that has passed since you were born. How you feel, however, has so many factors other than your physical age. Physical and mental well-being. Do you tend to be energetic, or be sedentary? Social life?

    But ... with time comes the increasing likelihood of health problems; cancers, hormonal changes, "old bones", changes in your social habits, etc. that can make you feel "old".

    I am 45, but I am not "old/er", because I tell myself that. Assuming I have a long life, I know I am about 1/2 through, and sometimes my joints hurt. But I want to feel young, and enjoy my life without the excuses that so many people younger than me give just to be lazy.
  • 33gail3333gail33 Posts: 206Member Member Posts: 206Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    <snip>

    My reaction is more likely to be "MYOB" than "age is just a number". I do like CSARdiver's (metaphorical) "whack 'em with my cane" idea, though.
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    What's a metaphor?

    I know that's your straight line but . . .

    Just the cane, metaphor for li'l ol' lady privilege.

    In some scenarios, I could actually slap people, and reasonably expect it not to draw physical retaliation. Not that I'd ever do that. <looks innocent and profoundly non-threatening>

    OK, back to being serious about age: Saturday, I had lunch with two women a bit older, but not far from my age. I think one is 66-ish, the other maybe 72.

    They were commiserating over how we become invisible, seem not to take up space (so our space is invaded), and we're ignored routinely, in public spaces. (BTW, I'd hazard a guess that neither is the "faded beauty" case where someone was flirted with regularly when young, but feels invisible now that she isn't: Both pleasant looking, neat and well groomed, but very mainstream women.)

    This is not the first time I've heard this invisibility thing.

    I really don't seem to experience it. I don't know whether I'm simply oblivious, or (metaphorically, again ;) ) just somehow have an affect that takes up more space, or what? (I'm definitely not a beauty, faded or otherwise.) I didn't feel invisible when old and fat, still don't old and thin. But it seems to be a perceived thing, somewhat commonly, among aging women.

    The only real difference I've noticed in my advanced years is that if I spend an hour having a nice chat with a newly-met 20- or 30-something big ol' bearded, tattooed, lumberjack-looking young man, like over a beer at the bar at a brew pub, he usually wants a granny hug when I leave. (They always ask, BTW, not presume.) Kinda weird, but if it makes him happy I guess I'm OK with it, mostly.

    Any thoughts on the invisibility perception with age, if it's not too far off topic?

    I have definitely noticed the "invisibility" thing. When I take my mother out people look right past her and speak to me. She is 85.
  • 33gail3333gail33 Posts: 206Member Member Posts: 206Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    ~
    Any thoughts on the invisibility perception with age, if it's not too far off topic?

    Older folks I know tend to withdraw more than outgoing younger folks. I can be a little "in your face" at times and don't like to feel ignored (imagined usually lol) and do not ever feel 'invisible'...yet I know others even a bit younger than I am who tend to withdraw to the back of rooms/restaurants etc and just watch folks, listen, occasionally smile at people. I would say they're much more likely to feel ignored or invisible.

    In short, yes, I've heard of it and seen it a bit, but neither I nor my wife I would dare say have ever really experienced it.

    I have found the opposite. Once people get old they tend to give no *kitten* and are more bold. Once they get really old I have sometimes found it a little cringe-worthy how few *kitten* they give when out it public....
    edited June 10
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