Friday, July 11, 2008

Sharing Ideas

In the past couple of days I've some interesting,at least to me, interactions on the Internet. A couple were simple Q&A kind of things with Lucho another was a little support/pat on the back thing with Angela. The one that I found the most interesting though was a discussion with KP. He had quoted something on his website that I had commented on over at Alan's blog. The discussion in general is about aging as an athlete. Attitudes about it and attitudes in dealing with it and the like. So I wanted to share part of our discussion. You can go to the specific sites to piece it all together if you like but the last couple of emails should give you the gist.

KP-"Thanks for your post on my forum. I like to have lots of ideas on there and they don't all have to agree with me. However, I understood that you and I mostly agree on this subject of aging; but I wanted to comment to you privately so that it doesn't look like I am at odds with you if we are actually agreeing.

The point should be made that as we age and slow down we may be performing better than ever relative to our competition. Gordo's blog article on the 'aging athlete' uses Ron Ottoway as an example. At 65 he went 11:57 and was second in Kona by 3min. At 70 he went 13hrs and was first by 60min. If he had stopped training and racing because he would never go sub12 again he would not have been the champion and missed great experiences along the way.

Are you sure you meant to convey the message you wrote about "aging big time athletes that won't quit and move on" to be part of your post? That doesn't sound like part of what I have been talking about and goes against what I hope we continue to see from Gordo and Molina, which is staying in the sport and maintaining great perspective."

Me-"Thanks for the chance to clarify my meaning. I'm talking about athletes whose prime in their sport is behind them and there is no room for future growth. For sports like football and basketball where there really is no way to continue to compete past a certain point.It would be great if MJ could play forever but I don't want to see him get smoked by Lebron. For Gordo and Molina and you and I we can continue to compete. Our times may get slower relative to our previous times but we can improve within our AG.Actually just continuing to push our bodies this way into the later years is a huge victory in and of itself. I'm kind of banking on that very thing. Like I said on AC's blog I did not even start this until I was 43 so I have lots of room for improvement. I'm kind of hoping that if I can stay healthy that at some point I can go to Kona. But hell at CDA this year I was 180/332 in my AG. Not exactly competitive, but an hour better than last year. This year I plan on qualifying for the Boston marathon not because I've gotten so fast but because I turn 45 on the day of the race and the required time decreases by 10 minutes.
I can see in Gordo's writing that he is coming to grips with the reality of age. I think he is dealing with all of those questions we all have as we get older in a very public way with alot of people watching and with an enviable amount of class. I personally can't wait to see what he is capable of accomplishing. He and Molina and all of you Epic guys pushing yourselves is one of the things that motivates me on a daily basis. I'd like to see Gordo be the first 60 yo go under 10hrs or whatever. It is about perspective. Even in the example I used above I would like to see MJ play with a bunch of guys his age. I'm sure he can still dominate them.
Does that make more sense?"

So what is so interesting to me about this?? For one thing all of us are spread all over the place and still able to have essentially live conversations. Secondly, people can actually have civil discussions and truly share ideas. And 3rd is the old idea that if a butterfly flaps it's wings in Japan does that cause the wind to blow in California. Sometimes it does.

1 comment:

Spokane Al said...

Brian, this was a great discussion. Since I have well over a decade on you, aging is something I tend to not loose a great deal of sleep over. I do the best I can with what I have. I guess that is all any of us can ask for.