It’s all downhill

Posted: December 5, 2011 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Lookin' good, old man

Without naming names, one of the masterminds behind TVFury has a birthday this week. He’ll be turning Larry Bird – 33.

If only that meant suddenly gaining a killer jump shot, inheriting a giant NBA pension or even developing a too-Southern-for-Indiana accent. Instead, it seems to be one of those ages that’s thrown out in relation to the decline of dudes – the beginning of the end, if you will.

Says whom? I’m not sure. All I remember is reading something sometime that said guys reach the end of their physical peak between 32-34. Seems like a topic worth Googling … says that metabolism slows down at 25, testosterone production drops 2 percent per year after age 30, human growth hormone decreases at 40 and that bone destiny falls off at 50. All told, the site predicts that men are at their physical best between 28-35. Nice. That means it’s not over yet.

Meanwhile, the Encyclopedia of Sports and Exercise – which sounds more credible in that it seems less likely to show up on the Yahoo! News page – classifies “young adulthood” as being from 20-35. And it says that both physical performance and biological functions are at all-time highs during that period. Even better. (Suck on that pop-culture science.)

Men’s Health has an opinion, too, stating that bros are at their physical best in their 20s, but that they can extend that excellence into their 30s by making good decisions in terms of diet and exercise.

If I subscribe to one of those theories, nature will abide by that, right? Because I like the last idea best. Certainly, there’s science behind the things that happen to us at certain ages. And nobody has ever found a way to cheat death, although Al Davis came very close. But it seems reasonable that as our life expectancies have grown, so, too, should physical peaks be extending – if only because things are generally easier now than they’ve ever been. I mean, have you ever been a settler? A sweat-shop worker? A coal miner? Me, neither. That has to make a difference.

Staying young? Or looking dumb?

Food and drink are available on every corner (provided you have resources, of course). Health clubs and nutrition stores are practically as prominent. Plus, we have access to so much more information, details – both general and painfully specific – on how to use those things to stay sharper longer. (Granted, the obesity epidemic says not enough of us are making those decisions, but that’s a story for another day.)

Frankly, it’s weird to actively think about this stuff. For example, I’m pretty sure I apply many of the live-longer principles on a daily basis, I just don’t put it in the context of “I’m getting old – how can I prevent that?” In that regard, ignorance might be bliss. I don’t want to think about prostate exams, single-level living and bone density. Delusional or not, it’s more fun to keep comparing myself to the college kids that I cover, the pro athletes at my gym.

I’m not talking about buying a sports car, frosting my tips or draping myself in Ed Hardy gear. The plan is to keep on keeping on, stay active and fit and genuine rather than trying to stay young, while acknowledging that I’ll eventually have to eat fewer buffalo wings. Even the whole, “Age ain’t nothin’ but a number” bit seems a bit forced. That seems like a hard sell, overcompensation.

Then again, perhaps the mere ponderance of all this is proof that the idea/fear of aging has entered my consciousness. Crud. (And now I sound like an 8-year-old.)

Oh, well. I guess loose skin and (rhymes with) gold halls are inevitable. Getting older and not better beats getting deader, right? Right!?

  1. shawnfury says:

    If I’m reading this correctly – and I think I am – as a 36-year-old, I’m basically finished. Thanks, Terry.

  2. Mark says:

    At 41, it’s all over for me.

    sigh. It was a good run.

  3. Jerry says:

    Wait until you hit 50 – that is when it is all over

    • shawnfury says:

      Especially if you used to be fast…

      36 actually feels the same as 34 and 35, so not sure if I totally buy the stats cited. Although maybe that also happens at 36 – delusions grow. Now that my knee is healed, I feel like I could play for another few years before the inevitable Achilles injury, followed by loss of testosterone.

  4. Dan Fasier says:

    You guys should quit worrying… Noted scientist, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil is 56 and he plans to live forever, you probably will be able to make that choice someday too.

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