What is up with the "too old" mindset (at least in the US)?

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Replies

  • ythannah
    ythannah Posts: 4,260 Member
    ythannah wrote: »
    I saw this happen to my dad. He used to be an active guy, not in the gym-going sense but always moving. I remember playing badminton and tennis with him as a youngster. As an adult in my 30s we did a 12 mile walk together, he was a great walker. He did his own yardwork, including shovelling snow.

    He has this expectation that people "slow down" with age, so he allowed himself to become more sedentary and lost a lot of the abilities he'd once had. It reached a peak when he ended up in a rehab hospital for five and a half months at age 80 because he'd just stopped moving. He also has this strange idea that you get better with "bed rest". This was all triggered by untreated gout (which is a whole other issue that he'd avoided diagnosis because of his alcoholism) but his remaining muscle vanished. It took them months to build him up to a point where he could walk again.

    Now that his gout is easily controlled and he has few other health issues, he could be working to restore his function and mobility. Nope. He defines himself as a "semi-invalid" and allows that to restrict his ability. He doesn't even have to risk walking outdoors, he has a treadmill that he could be using. Therabands. Light dumbbells. All gathering dust.

    Since I inherited his physique, I know what I have to watch out for, and what I have to do to avoid ending up like him. But I've also known some examples of women in their 80s and 90s who have stayed healthy enjoying deliberate regular exercise so I know what's possible if I do the work.

    For some reason, this reminded me of my aunt Nan. When the family all went to see her on her 100th 🎂, she baked her own cake. When someone commented that they would gladly have baked her a cake, but they were glad she was still able to do things for herself, her comment was “Oh, but I’m getting old and tired. When my daughter broke her leg last week, I told her I was just too old to come to her house to take care of her, she’d have to come and stay with me where I’m used to things and have everything just like I like it so things are easy for me. And then 2 days ago when my other daughter got sick, I told her if she wanted me to take care of her, she’d have to come over here, too. I’m just too old to pack up 2 of us and come over to your house.”
    Her only exercise that I know of was feeding the chickens, milking the cow, tending the garden, etc. she would never dream of stopping those necessary things.
    You’re right! Expectations really matter!

    Aunt Nan sounds amazing!

    I would be thoroughly ashamed of myself if I allowed myself to use age as an excuse for inactivity. My friend's 94 year old mother went to yoga at 6 AM every day. An 84 year old friend goes to the gym and works out every day. Another friend's 86 year old mother cares for a house, gardens and her semi-paralyzed husband all on her own. No wimping out for me.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,684 Member
    Your only as old as you feel and at 70 I still enjoy pushing myself. With the pandemic I haven't been able to get out on the track but this year after a new paint job and tires I did.

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    Nice!

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,823 Member
    edited September 23
    Your only as old as you feel and at 70 I still enjoy pushing myself. With the pandemic I haven't been able to get out on the track but this year after a new paint job and tires I did.
    Nice, and kicking around on a (gen 2?) ZX10 of all the bikes you could ride LOL!
    I haven't been out much this year, just enough to know the bike is finally where I need it to be so I feel comfortable pushing my limits without it killing me.
    Next year planning a comeback, especially if I can sort out a title sponsor (conversations have started). Physical training is already starting though, since that will need to be on point to get the beasty around at the pace I know I'm capable of...


  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 8,153 Member
    edited September 23
    Your only as old as you feel and at 70 I still enjoy pushing myself. With the pandemic I haven't been able to get out on the track but this year after a new paint job and tires I did.
    Nice, and kicking around on a (gen 2?) ZX10 of all the bikes you could ride LOL!
    I haven't been out much this year, just enough to know the bike is finally where I need it to be so I feel comfortable pushing my limits without it killing me.
    Next year planning a comeback, especially if I can sort out a title sponsor (conversations have started). Physical training is already starting though, since that will need to be on point to get the beasty around at the pace I know I'm capable of...


    It was an offer I couldn't refuse but I admit I was pretty excited and anxious lol and many of my friends thought I was out of my mind with that bike. And I've gone down twice over the 6 years, so not bad really, both low sides, thank the gods and the last time was the fall of 2019 just before the pandemic hit and why the repaint, basically late braking at the end of the back straight while passing 3 riders, on the inside, which was my mistake, then ran out of road. I picked up track Tupperware for it back a few years ago (slang for fairings) when I originally bought the bike along with an akrapovic exhaust, power commander and professionally tuned and over this late winter I installed a quick shifter and that worked perfectly definitely worth it. Cheers and I hope you find success.....What kind of bike do you have, now I'm curious.
  • HoneyBadger302
    HoneyBadger302 Posts: 1,823 Member
    It was an offer I couldn't refuse but I admit I was pretty excited and anxious lol and many of my friends thought I was out of my mind with that bike. And I've gone down twice over the 6 years, so not bad really, both low sides, thank the gods and the last time was the fall of 2019 just before the pandemic hit and why the repaint, basically late braking at the end of the back straight while passing 3 riders, on the inside, which was my mistake, then ran out of road. I picked up track Tupperware for it back a few years ago (slang for fairings) when I originally bought the bike along with an akrapovic exhaust, power commander and professionally tuned and over this late winter I installed a quick shifter and that worked perfectly definitely worth it. Cheers and I hope you find success.....What kind of bike do you have, now I'm curious.
    That's awesome, way to get out there and kill it!
    I've got two ZX10Rs, both gen 5 - race bike which can't even be put back to street without some major work, and one I keep in street trim but can put on track (preferably with a suspension swap) - or just cannibalize for the race bike (or vice versa lol).

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  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 8,153 Member
    edited September 23
    Thanks, nice bikes, love your track bike. I have a 2018 Monster and a classic 99 VFR for my daily rides. Cheers.
  • spygirl2014
    spygirl2014 Posts: 53 Member
    @neanderthin and @HoneyBadger302, love the bikes and the dialogue. My purchase of my Honda GB500 in May was the impetus for my current 25lb. weight loss. My gear did not fit and I wanted to look sexy on my sexy bike. This 53-year old female is flying in the face of 'old'. A term which I think is very relative, and very much about mindset!
  • wearefab
    wearefab Posts: 69 Member
    Women carry a lot of undiagnosed health conditions such as hypothyroidism, PCOS, fibromyalgia, that cause weight gain, hormonal imbalance, and crushing fatigue. Because they don't get diagnosed properly, women who are burnt out assume it is the new normal and accept it. Men are more likely to receive medical investigation whereas women are told it's mental health and hormones and suck it up. Also, men's bodies don't get screwed up by baby growing and birth and lack of sleep.
    As well as these cases where they have given up because literally nothing works, there are people taking eg psychiatric and seizure medication, and steroids, for whom attempting weight loss is useless because of side effect weight gain.
    Also, after 40, or at any age, you are well within your rights to not want to put your energy and thoughts into weight loss, and MFP members version of an ideal and healthy body.
    The important thing is that people are happy. MFP members aren't content to carry extra weight. Other people are. Either that or they find weight loss attempts useless whether due to eg poorly managed hypothyroidism or using food as an emotional crux or life taking all their energy to survive , none left for weight loss effort.
    Your mum doesn't have the same goals as you. Or she may even have an undiagnosed fatiguing or weight gain condition.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,622 Member
    Huge congrats and Happy Birthday, @missysippy930 !
  • girlwithcurls2
    girlwithcurls2 Posts: 2,256 Member
    Sumiblue wrote: »
    It’s definitely a mindset issue. My mother is 80 and very sedentary. She is becoming more frail and is very afraid of falling. I’ve tried encouraging her to go for walks around her condo with a friend. Or do little weight bearing exercise routines at home. She doesn’t want to do it. Meanwhile, my 85 yr old MIL is pretty active. Goes for regular walks and does pool exercise classes where she lives. I plan to stay as active as I can while I age. I will be one of those senior hikers. And, at 53 I just bought roller skates.

    Ooh! Ooh! @Sumiblue , pick me! I'm 54 and bought roller skates during the pandemic because my daughter wanted someone to skate with. (Then she went off to grad school half way across the country!)

    My own mom is 87 and walks 3-4 miles several times a week. My dad is 88 and sedentary as a log (although unbelievably healthy). I try to keep th mindset that I'm doing what I do so that I can do what I want to do when I want to do it. So I hike, swim, walk, sometimes run, and so resistance training. My center of gravity is kind of crummy, so there are things that I don't like (cycling in particular), but I can't imagine not doing anything, although for decades, I did just that :neutral:
  • iam4scuba
    iam4scuba Posts: 39 Member
    I don't think this is a U.S. only thing at all. Different cultures within the U.S. are not the same. Different cultures outside the U.S. are not the same. There are many sedentary cultures in old age outside the U.S. There are many active cultures in old age inside the U.S.

    But I also disagree with the premise of the thread that you don't lose a step as you get older. I try to stay active and fully plan to die from some cause other than old age (like an activity), but at almost 35 and in generally decent shape with good activity I cannot even remotely pull off the crap I was doing at 20 in generally poor shape, but very active (like drinking hard til 3am, swimming laps at 6am, going to class at 9am until about 1pm then going to practice at 3pm, then a late class from 6pm-8pm then maybe drinking again). Now, I have a couple drinks from 8pm-10pm and I'm passed out on the couch.