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The finish line

15 August 2016 No Comment


When I was seventeen I was always looking forward to Friday afternoon, the weekend. Looking forward to the next holiday, or the next big event in my life. Time seemed to move so slowly.

As I’ve gotten older I have learned to saviour each step along the way. Each Ironman build up with the squad we start out with sixteen weeks to go, it seems like we have lots of time. Missing the odd session comes easy for some, others know that every session is important and make sure they nail every one, even when they feel less than one hundred percent.

Today we have less than eight weeks to Kona 2016. Once we get into less than ten weeks to go, time seems to accelerate. The weeks race by so fast, next thing we know, we’ll be standing on the start line.

The same thing seems to happen in our lives. The closer we get to the end, the faster it seems to slip by. It seems like only yesterday the colder weather was starting, now it seems like spring is here, at least the plants think it is. Most things in the garden are already shooting  in Brisbane.

In a little over six weeks we’ll be flying to Kona for two weeks, and when we get back Christmas is just around the corner. I think one of the things that makes the weeks rush by is the fact that we fit so much into each week. There’s very little down time.

Each year when I go to Kona, one of the highlights for me is going to the “Iron-gent’s Dinner”, usually held on the Monday before the Ironman. This dinner is for any athletes over sixty. It started out with around ten athletes, now it attracts over a hundred each year. It’s like a celebration of a well lived life.

Lew Hollander is the MC, he always gives a talk and interviews most of the competitors. Lew is 85yrs and has done more than twenty Hawaii Ironman races. He has talked about the “finish line” and has a graph showing performance levels of senior competitors, predicting a theoretical “finish line” when an athlete reaches an age when he can no longer make the cutoff time.

Last year a special guest was Bill Bell, another veteran of the sport with more than twenty finishes to his credit. Lew is 85yrs and bill is 92yrs, both are great examples of guys who are very aware of their age, but still fit far more into them than most guys their age.

I think a major factor in living healthy lives way beyond what most of our doctors live, is not taking too much notice of the cautious advice offered. It seems that we have to keep pushing what appears to be the accepted limits. Pushing that theoretical “finish line” further away.

In most cases what we expect, is what we get. It pays to have older, fitter mates. Guys who set a standard way beyond the “norm”. These guys are the real winners  in life’s race. This is a race where the winners reach the finish line last. By pacing themselves carefully, maintaining their bodies well, sticking to the best feeding plan, they have slowed down the inevitable slide to the “finish line”.

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