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Old 06-04-07, 05:38 AM   #1
BSLeVan
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Do The Young Fear Aging?

After reading Beverly's post ( Strawberry Tour - the young man made my day) on her Strawberry Festival ride, I started to think about many of the younger folks that I know. It seems to be that quite a few of them have a real fear of aging. They have this notion that when they hit age "X" (usually a number above 55), their life will be considerably less. As an example similar to Beverly's, when my 30 something neighbor found out how old I was, he was surprised and made the comment, "I hope I can ride at that age." Or, another example: I ran into a squad from T-Moblie out on a training ride Saturday (most likely getting ready for the race in Philadelphia later this month) and started a brief conversation. Two of them were surprised that I was out so early and had as many miles in as I did already (7:00 a.m. and almost 35 miles).

So, I was just wondering what the experiences of others in this forum is related to young folk's view of what will happen to them as they age and their cycling abilities. Truth be told, while I'm not as fast as I was in my 30's, I ride more miles per year now and my overall fitness is better. Plus, I'm in a better position to afford good equipment.
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Old 06-04-07, 05:59 AM   #2
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I might actually be as fast as I was in my 30's but I'm not as fast as I tell other people I was in my 30's.
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Old 06-04-07, 06:04 AM   #3
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Do the aged fear younging?
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Old 06-04-07, 06:07 AM   #4
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Fear it? Likely yes for some. I wasn't smart enough to know it was inevitable. I wish there was a better alternative available, but there isn't so I'm just trying to make the best of it.
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Old 06-04-07, 06:25 AM   #5
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I see at least two things at work here.

First is that the vast majority of folks our age are overweight, under exercised people who think grandkids are for bringing them remote while they sit in the reclining chair. This builds the image in the young that as we age we become incapable of doing things, like riding a bike, when it's actually a choice.

Second is determined by how deeply they buy into the Madison Avenue vision that enjoyable life ends at 30 or whatever. All the cool stuff is for the young while all that's sold to us are Craftmatic beds, retirement homes and The Clapper.

Seeing those things, I used to be terrified of getting old. When, one day I realized I was firmly ensconced in middle age, I understood that I had a choice of how I age. Perhaps I can't control wrinkles, hair color or loss, but almost everything else is up to me. I get to choose.

When I encounter the young who are amazed, first, I take it as a complement that I've made good choices other people can recognize. Second, I try to tell them to forget what they see and are told, that they too have choice.
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Old 06-04-07, 06:35 AM   #6
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By the tone of the commercials geared toward the "older set", I'd fear aging too!! Maybe they just need some exposure to people like us, on BF, to realize that getting old isn't about ED meds, motorized lounge chairs and stair climbers. Maybe they just need to see that they can enjoy health and life without the need of all the meds, accessories, etc. that the media tries to portray the "older set" as requiring. Might even give some out of shape teens to get with it and live a healthier lifestyle!
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Old 06-04-07, 06:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl
I see at least two things at work here.

First is that the vast majority of folks our age are overweight, under exercised people who think grandkids are for bringing them remote while they sit in the reclining chair. This builds the image in the young that as we age we become incapable of doing things, like riding a bike, when it's actually a choice.

Second is determined by how deeply they buy into the Madison Avenue vision that enjoyable life ends at 30 or whatever. All the cool stuff is for the young while all that's sold to us are Craftmatic beds, retirement homes and The Clapper.

Seeing those things, I used to be terrified of getting old. When, one day I realized I was firmly ensconced in middle age, I understood that I had a choice of how I age. Perhaps I can't control wrinkles, hair color or loss, but almost everything else is up to me. I get to choose.

When I encounter the young who are amazed, first, I take it as a complement that I've made good choices other people can recognize. Second, I try to tell them to forget what they see and are told, that they too have choice.
I think you've hit the nail on the head! I attended a high school reunion over the weekend and it was depressing to see how many of my high school friends now suffer from multiple health issues related to inactivity and obesity. Proper diet and exercise aren't a guarantee we'll enjoy good health but it certainly is a tremendous help.

My grandchildren never expected this grandma to bake cookies I took them on bike trips, roller blading, swimming and fed them yogurt
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Old 06-04-07, 06:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Do the aged fear younging?
It's time for my second childhood, Dnrv and I intend to enjoy it just as much as I did the first one
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Old 06-04-07, 06:48 AM   #9
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What does everyone hope they are, but no one wants to be?................answer..Old.
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Old 06-04-07, 06:48 AM   #10
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I learned to adjust and accept that I am aging since it's the only direction I know it's headed to despite efforts to conceal it. Some are surprised that I can ride middle distances on a bike at my age and sometimes over 3 hours with just water breaks, but I feel better overall and I encourage them to do the same to keep fit and healthy. My brohter who is now in his ealry 50's is considering cycling when he found out that I can ride 40 plus miles while he concetrated on jogging and walking as his form of excercise with painful results to his knees sometimes due to the impact. I found riding to be much effective in cardiovascular health improvement. And I don't fear aging but herald it as life's accomplishment. I try to enjoy life, as I know it will end one of these days.

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Old 06-04-07, 06:53 AM   #11
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Most young people fear aging because it says they won't live forever. When you are young, it is hard to see your parents aging because you know you are next in line. Really has very little to do with fearing getting fat - more of a fear of mortality.

They also fear having to eat their words as they get older.

Since the culture up there seems to not value that much age and maturity, they fear becoming "uncool" I guess.
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Old 06-04-07, 07:14 AM   #12
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Working with college students, I believe they see old age as a distant continent about which they think very little and fear even less. Mortality seems like an option not a requirement. That's certainly the way I viewed it. Now that I've, um, matured, i realize 50 is the new 17.
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Old 06-04-07, 07:37 AM   #13
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I doubt most young people think about it much other than to see it as distasteful and something that won't happen for such a long time why think about it at all. Also, because they're so vital right now, it, like you-know, won't really happen to them quite as it happens to everyone else. There's an over-confident ego-centrism going on for many young people.

I also think many of them don't like being around older people because the elderly remind them, far back in their consciousness, that, yes, indeed, it will happen to them.

Reminds me of that scene in the Robin Williams movie, "Dead Poets Society", where he takes the boys to look at old trophy cases and photos of a generation long gone....and the photos whisper "carpe diem". His students have to be reminded that life ebbs and stops.

Personally, I "fear" decay more than death. What happens when I can't pedal over that hill, care for myself, see the keyboard to post at BF, etc. But, I'm consoled by the fact I know people my age who couldn't pedal to the city limit sign...and only because of personal neglect.

We at BF seem to be carpying the diem well enough.

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Old 06-04-07, 08:19 AM   #14
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I'm looking forward to getting older, senior discounts, I can retire in two months (even though I'm only 55) and will be free as a bird (sort of) to do what my husband and I want to do. I'm the most fit person in my office and almost the oldest. I'm proud of the fact that I'm in better shape now then I was 20 years ago. Like my dad always said "wrinkles don't hurt".
I remember when I was in third grade and we had just found out what our room number's were for next year, mine was 6. For some reason that number made me think of when I would be in 6th grade--wow -- 6th grade! Unbelieveable, it seemed like I was thinking I would be really old then.
I have a friend who is 76 years old and rides ALL the time and loves to travel by herself--I really admire that woman. I would be scared to death to travel by myself. She looks WONDERFUL for her age, but I have noticed she has a little more trouble swinging her leg over the top tube on her bike so she has to lean it over a little more, other then that she can do about anything.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:39 AM   #15
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Litespeed, you and your 76-year-old friend are inspirations--as are so many here.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:47 AM   #16
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I have to share this story. I was sitting waiting for someone at a Soda down here (small outdoor restaurant) and he drove up with this guy in the back. The person jumped out of the back, ran across the road and thumbed a ride with another pickup truck. Nothing surprising there.

What was surprising is he had completely white hair and beard - which is rare here. I was looking I guess a little surprised so the person I was meeting said that the hitchhiker was a friend of his grandfather. He was about 100 years old, hitchhiking across Costa Rica to visit his relatives.

I want that to be me in about 52 more years. I figure I am not even middle aged yet...
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Old 06-04-07, 10:11 AM   #17
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<< Personally, I "fear" decay more than death. What happens when I can't pedal over that hill, care for myself, see the keyboard to post at BF, etc. But, I'm consoled by the fact I know people my age who couldn't pedal to the city limit sign...and only because of personal neglect. >>

+1
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Old 06-04-07, 11:02 AM   #18
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I take it as a personal responsibility to youth to let them know that Life can be good at any age, Its what you make of it. Common to all of us, I've parted with a few friends who now at this age feel that we should not be doing what we are doing. I don't listen to all that 'woe is me crap'. Some folks granted have had some bad fate, but heck so have I. I deal with it. Get over it and enjoy life.


Well Said Cross Chain ; Worth repeating:
Personally, I "fear" decay more than death. What happens when I can't pedal over that hill, care for myself, see the keyboard to post at BF, etc. But, I'm consoled by the fact I know people my age who couldn't pedal to the city limit sign...and only because of personal neglect.

We at BF seem to be carpying the diem well enough
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Old 06-04-07, 11:25 AM   #19
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This is just my own personal take on things, but I think that a lot of young people have respect and appreciation for older adults who take care of themselves. I don't seem to notice an age gap present in the way that it was in past generations.

If you do stay active, and present yourself in a positive light (good posture, neat, clean, and polite, etc), then you become -- to them -- someone that they hope that they become when they're older.

Like I said, this is just my own viewpoint on the topic -- or perhaps I'm just lucky to be around great young people whenever our paths cross.
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Old 06-04-07, 11:27 AM   #20
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When you are very young (a kid) , getting older means a wider world, more adventures, (a teen) more choices more independence, (a young adult) doing what you want, making life yours. And then about 30 there is a big change. You notice that up in the distance, the brakes are being applied. Your paradigm of advancement is broken. I think that puts a lot of people into denial.
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Old 06-04-07, 11:30 AM   #21
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I suspect the answer is very simple - they figure they will look as ugly as we do when they are older...
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Old 06-04-07, 11:35 AM   #22
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I don't look at it as aging, I prefer to think of it more as in "maintenance mode".
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Old 06-04-07, 11:37 AM   #23
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Quote:
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I don't look at it as aging, I prefer to think of it more as in "maintenance mode".
Yea, but sometimes the breakdowns occur faster than you can fix them
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Old 06-04-07, 11:56 AM   #24
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Hey, what is wrong with the Clapper? Greatest last min. gift ever invented. Right up there with the Chia Pet.
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Old 06-04-07, 11:58 AM   #25
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Accessories such as..."Oops I Crapped my Pants"? Frankp

Quote:
Originally Posted by freeranger
By the tone of the commercials geared toward the "older set", I'd fear aging too!! Maybe they just need some exposure to people like us, on BF, to realize that getting old isn't about ED meds, motorized lounge chairs and stair climbers. Maybe they just need to see that they can enjoy health and life without the need of all the meds, accessories, etc. that the media tries to portray the "older set" as requiring. Might even give some out of shape teens to get with it and live a healthier lifestyle!
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