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George Hulse – Wisdom of the Elder series

7 November 2008 2 Comments

“Don’t let the age of your birth certificate be the determining factor of the age of your body”

George Hulse

Mature Aged East Coast Cyco

The very day the Australian Regular Army told me that they had accepted my application to enlist and that I had signed on for six years, I wondered what the hell I had done. Six years! I would be twenty-three by the time my duration was up. Nobody could be that old! In what seemed like a heartbeat in time, I was twenty-seven and had completed three tours of combat duty, been slightly wounded twice, had gone from Private in the infantry (through Corporal) to Captain in the Corps of Engineers, and was still single. Not even a steady girl. Could’nt. Not enough time in Oz in any one year. That was 1969.

It was the defining year for me. I had survived. I was still alive and in one piece. Time to celebrate? Celebrate what? It was time to take stock of what I wanted in life and then to go and get it. Part of that stocktake was fitness.

I love being fit. Therefore smoking tobacco – a disgusting, filthy and stupid habit which I detest- had to remain out of my life. Never started it, never will. Drinking alcohol. Yeah, I’ve had the odd therapeutic drunk, but felt terrible afterward and it was definitely “lead in the saddlebag” in later life. So, social drink now again, but generally stay off it. Eat well, sleep well, and keep the dramas in my life in containable garbage bins. What’s this? What I do is when I finish work, I leave the days troubles in an imaginary garbage bin at the door to my office, and shut the lid tightly. I pick it up again when next I enter. I do that with as many things as might affect what I really enjoy doing. Like Yoga. You need to concentrate on specific parts of your body and at the same time, control the thoughts in your mind. Can’t have distracting thoughts about life’s dramas and do Yoga well at the same time.

I enjoy being fit. But fitness for the sake of itself is a hollow objective. I need competition! Competition means self-discipline. It means listening to Al and just doing it. It turns fitness stints into training sessions. It demands that I strive to win, not just show up and have a bit of a trot. Most times I don’t win. So, try something different next time. This is about attitude. It’s about having variety and worthy objectives in my life.

I am what I eat. I’ve heard that often enough. But, the “good stuff” is missing from a lot of our raw foods. Like vitamins, minerals and trace elements. So I use a lot of supplements. Like Vitamin C, Q10, broad based general vitamins, and close to race days, Ginseng and Carnatine. This has become even more pronounced as I become older. From the time I turned fifty-five, I could not put in the same times as in my younger years. Some people get this confused with performance outcomes. My performance outcomes are fine. I work my butt off for them. It’s just that I can’t match the clock of my younger years. The clock is no longer important to me. What is important to me is how I perform at any point in a race or training session. This takes commitment because the clock is always there to use as a yardstick, but it can interfere with what it is I am trying to achieve, particularly in training sessions. The clock is a great friend, but a cruel master.

To my great disgust, I slowed up yet again in my early sixties. I suppose it’s a factor of age. But then again, all my fellow competitors have done something similar. So the competition continues between us. I love it. It means I can say “next time” and go on training and competing. A win in my age group is fantastic. It’s what gave me a crack at Kona. It is also a great way to thank Al for his patience and the Cycos family for having faith and giving that ongoing support and energy to we older blokes. My plan for the future is to keep doing it. I’ll stop doing it when they take me away in a box.

I need the members of the club as a part of my life, I need the competition on race days. It gives me a huge incentive to stay positive, stay focussed and ignore the dates written on my Birth Certificate.

2 Comments »

  • admin (author) said:

    George you are an inspiration to every one of us and I can only dream to be half as fit as you are in my 60s!

  • Ian McGuigan said:

    I would love to say that I identify with all that is included in this article but being eloquent is not me. As I am now approaching mid seventies and enjoy being fit the thought of competition is ever in the mind when training, I have placed in the top 3 for my age group over the past 3 or 4 years. Much of this is based on a 36 year army career (Engineers) which has had a lot to do with how I think about fitness. So in brief George you are an inspiration to many, myself included. The very best of good fortune to you for 2014.

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