Don’t blame the years
As Masashi Kishimoto once said, “Give up trying to make me give up”. For those of us wanting to live life on the front foot, as we do in the Old Man Strength community, there are so many reasons all around us for us to just give up, slow down and wait to die. For those of us who know people who aren’t proud of who they are and where they come from, it is always shocking to see the way in which they just seem to accept some pre-determined reality that we need to get frail, weak and compliant when we get past 40 or 50.
The reality is very different, and it's not just opinion, its science. How a man feels has a significant influence on not only well-being and how other people view you, but also on your health. An article published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, makes clear that feeling young can actually make you look young—and have health outcomes and indicators of much younger men.
Harvard professors Ellen Langer and Laura Hsu teamed up with Professor Jaewoo Chung of MIT to produce a study which looked at the way that the mind works with the body as people age. In one piece of research, they asked older guys to live in a community which had been retrofitted with materials, fittings and paraphernalia of 20 years earlier, tapping into parts of their psyche from times when they were younger and stronger, and asked them to live as if that was the real year. Amazingly, their strength improved, their eyesight improved and their overall health began to get better. In another study, they found a link between male-pattern baldness and prostate cancer, hypothesising that it was the constant reminder of baldness, an indicator of age, that had led to the health outcomes. Sounds far fetched? Maybe, but the reality is that the way we feel about ourselves, our stress and the pressure we put on ourselves has a real impact on our bodies and our overall health. We all know guys who have had shocks in life and then health has deteriorated. It works in both directions.
Age should not slow us down. It should not be a limiting factor, nor a reason for starting or stopping anything. As we get older, our body doesn’t behave as it should but wait for your body to tell you to stop, not your mind. Old man strength isn’t a weight limit, or a lifting target, or a belt. It is not a certain number of km or miles that you run each week. It is a mindset to never give up. One more year, one more round, one more rep, one more mile. Stay old man strong.