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The plight of a former riding partner...depressing me.

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The plight of a former riding partner...depressing me.

Old 06-06-13, 08:59 AM
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NOS88
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The plight of a former riding partner...depressing me.

I haven't talked with RL in several years. We used to live in the same town and ride almost every other day during summer months. The places we went, the roads we explored, the stories we told, are all firmly planted in my memory. It was a good time to remember. But as with many things it didn't last. About 12 years ago we moved far enough away from one another that riding together was not likely to happen. Maybe once a year we'd call each other and talk, but we both new talking on the phone wasn't all the comfortable for either of us. So, eventually the time between calls went from two to three months to once a year. Last night I tracked down his phone number to give him a call. We talked and as I hung up the phone I had a deep sadness. RL hasn't ridden in 7 or 8 years. He's put on 60 lbs. and doesn't exercise at all. By his own words he's given up on sports. It's not because of injuries either. He just doesn't want to put in the effort. I'm having a hard time making any sense out of this. I have an older brother who has done the same thing. Why is it that some folks reach a point where they seem to be coasting along just waiting for the end to come? I almost wish I hadn't called him, because now instead of the images of a healthy guy enjoying 200 mile weeks, I've got an image of him just giving up and waiting for the end. It's an image I don't want.

So this is the 50+ forum and the place to ask, why do we push on when others don't? Or maybe it should be, why do some just give up and throw in the towel? What's the difference between us? Is it a difference in what life has doled out thus far?
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Old 06-06-13, 09:34 AM
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Good questions! I do think an energetic approach to life can be contagious. I have several friends who seemed to be coasting into couch-potato lifestyles that snapped out of it when the rest of the social group all took up bicycling. I have a friend who used to keep a family tree of folks he inspired into running regularly. I might be able to compile my own list who have started biking. Lots of neighbor friends have started cycling since I started evangelizing it years ago.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:42 AM
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This resonates with me. I have a friend who I have known almost from birth who was a cyclist on the 1964 US Olympic Team. He was always trying to get me on a bike but I was a football and baseball player and wasn't having it. Saw him last year for the first time in about 15 yrs. and he was about 40 lbs overweight and, apparently, doing nothing physically. I was stunned and saddened. Then again it's his life and mine is mine. The questions you posed are good one. I just have no answers.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:47 AM
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Mood is a funny thing. The more that I ride, the more that I want to ride. The less that I ride, the harder it becomes to make the effort.

I haven't done very much riding for the last 4 years and it keeps getting progressively harder to turn it around.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Mood is a funny thing. The more that I ride, the more that I want to ride. The less that I ride, the harder it becomes to make the effort.

I haven't done very much riding for the last 4 years and it keeps getting progressively harder to turn it around.
Same here. Did a hard ride at the weekend and recovery ride Monday- Gym Wednesday- spinning Friday night and ride again Sunday. That is besides the 40 miles done on the bike doing local errands as I don't want to get the car out.

But back in December I had to force myself out to cycle or go to the gym and did not look forward to the next time either. Something about exercise that is addictive. i may not be cycling much but just turning the legs over is bliss- whether it be on the bike or at the gym.
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Old 06-06-13, 10:16 AM
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"Life is like riding a bicycle ... to keep your balance, you have to keep moving." ~ Albert Einstein

I have had many loves in my life. Photography, audio, surfing, skiing, backpacking, fishing, and cycling chief among them. None has bit me as hard or as long as cycling. That's because it satisfies me on so many different levels and for different reasons.

I really think the secret to youth is having the "just one thing." I dunno what that means to everybody else, but to me, the "just one thing" is something you are passionate about (my family would say "obsessed" lol).

I hope your friend keeps moving and ultimately finds his.

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Old 06-06-13, 10:40 AM
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I do understand out of sixteen of my crew i'm the last one but i'm still trying.My grandfather once said that you can tell when you are getting old cause all your friends are gone or going,i've had a couple of heart attacks and strokes but i haven't giving up yet stay strong keep doing what you are doing!
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Old 06-06-13, 10:52 AM
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Maintaining physical fitness is more than just a good idea. It is crucial to overall well being. The mind/body relationship influences each other. When one is healthy, the other is likely to be healthy also. The hard part is maintaining a healthy balance. This takes some effort.

We are not continually up to that effort. Sometimes we may need to take to back off a bit so that enthusiasm is preserved. I think of this situation as akin to taking rest days to prevent over training.
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Old 06-06-13, 10:54 AM
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Attitude is everything. Just make sure that his attitude isn't contagious NOS. Some you've got to leave behind. Keep on truckin'.
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Old 06-06-13, 10:54 AM
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I may be developing a warped view of what the typical senior is like, due to riding with so many people in their 60's & 70's that can kick my 52 yr old butt on a bike. Is the typical senior active or sedentary?

I recall visiting my grandparents as a teenager. They lived in a retirement community in Florida and many of their siblings lived in the same development. The conversation tended to be about who died this week. It felt like they were sitting around waiting to die. I don't want that for myself.

My own parents are in their 70's now. My dad doesn't ride a bike, but he is always busy doing something and is at home when fussing about on his land in the Catskills.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:01 AM
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I can understand where your friends head is and just hope I don't ever feel the same way.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:21 AM
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Honest to God, I thought when I clicked on this it was going to be something way worse than the friend being a couch potato. The USA is filled with couch potatoes. It's not a good thing, but in the greater scheme of things...
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Old 06-06-13, 12:18 PM
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I have a friend who is brilliant, absolutely brilliant (if you don't believe me, just ask him). He was an insatiable reader, devouring anything he could get his hands on, from molecular biology to metaphysics.

Now he just sits on his ass all day, playing with his iPad and watching NCIS reruns.

Whenever I think about him, I burst into tears.
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Old 06-06-13, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
I have a friend who is brilliant, absolutely brilliant (if you don't believe me, just ask him). He was an insatiable reader, devouring anything he could get his hands on, from molecular biology to metaphysics.

Now he just sits on his ass all day, playing with his iPad and watching NCIS reruns.

Whenever I think about him, I burst into tears.
Damn. I have some relatives like that ... no kidding.
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Old 06-06-13, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
So this is the 50+ forum and the place to ask, why do we push on when others don't? Or maybe it should be, why do some just give up and throw in the towel? What's the difference between us? Is it a difference in what life has doled out thus far?
I have an acquaintenance who is part of my riding group. My riding friend and I finally talked her into doing MTB ride that my friend and I are very fond of doing. It's an 8 mile climb to the Main Divide of the Santa Ana Mountains. After grinding up for 2 hours and within 1/8 mile of the top she stopped and said "I'm done, turning back. I'm bored!". I explained the top is so close, why not finish? Nope she was through, it just was not interesting enough to her to finish

There are people in life who set goals and strive to acheive them. There are people, like me, who like, no love, exercise, alway have and always will. I enjoy the challenge. And there are people like the acquaintence who rides because of the social aspect or or it just something to do until something else comes along. At some point, I am sure this acquaintence will stop riding. It is her only form of exercise as she hates everything else so like your friend, NOS, she will become a blob on a couch.

I don't think it has to do with what life has dealt - I come from very unhappy surroundings and my riding friend comes from very happy surrounding. The acquaintence also comes from happy surroundings, and is close to her family. It's just what we were born with... some of us need to push ourselves and some don't.

I feel for your friend... and I see why you are concerned. We all know how this sport keeps us young physically, mentally and spiritually. It's hard to imagine someone else doesn't want to feel our joy and inspiration but that's life...
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Old 06-06-13, 01:20 PM
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^ Well said, Pamestique.
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Old 06-06-13, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
I have a friend who is brilliant, absolutely brilliant (if you don't believe me, just ask him). He was an insatiable reader, devouring anything he could get his hands on, from molecular biology to metaphysics.

Now he just sits on his ass all day, playing with his iPad and watching NCIS reruns.

Whenever I think about him, I burst into tears.
Sounds to me like the dude might be a little depressed.
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Old 06-06-13, 01:29 PM
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"You've got to get up and try and try and try.." Pink lyrics

(a little more current than the old "Do not go gently into that good night.." reference)
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Old 06-06-13, 01:56 PM
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I can relate to this phenomenon from both sides. The past three years has been very difficult for me to ride - all due to physical issues. I SERIOUSLY want to ride, but my body isn't cooperating. I'm putting on weight because I can't be active! I know I'll feel better and be healthier (BP, cholesterol, etc) if I could drop the excess weight.

Summer of 2011 was the diagnosis/testing/surgery/recovery of Prostate cancer. Last year it was the scar tissue from all of the previous abdominal surgeries... Now with this neck pain issue (severe arthritis and bulged discs), which will require at least six more months of treatment - due to insurance 'hoops' I must go through - they control the approval step-by-step. No jumping to step 5 even though every doctor says steps 1 through 4 are not gonna work. I've already wasted five months on this BS... So this riding season is gonna be a bust. THAT depresses me!

Well, that's not stopping me from totally rebuilding my Fuji, and totally rebuilding my latest n+1... and planning and getting the accessories for my 'bucket list' of bike tours....

My former riding partner totally gave up bikes... I've been trying to goad him into getting back to it, but like the OP's buddy, he's seemingly content to wait for 'the end' - and he's not even sixty yet!

AAaaauuuugh! Makes me want to scream!
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Old 06-06-13, 02:35 PM
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Well I stopped at about 51 just to devote proper time to my mid-life crises and to tell the truth thought the hammering my behind was getting was slowing me down that way.....I refused to believe I was getting old

After 11 years off I gained a bit of a belly and decided to come back with a different seat. It could be a number of reasons someone quits riding but it doesn't sound like too much fun at other things is your friend's problem. My best friend was the athlete when we were kids and now he's totally fat with all kinds of surgery and problems and retiring early. I feel for him alright but.....Things like that motivate me to stay active.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
Well I stopped at about 51 just to devote proper time to my mid-life crises and to tell the truth thought the hammering my behind was getting was slowing me down that way.....I refused to believe I was getting old

After 11 years off I gained a bit of a belly and decided to come back with a different seat.
At age 40 I put a suspension seatpost on my Fuji - for just that reason. Now that elastomeric puck has disintegrated from age/use and I can't find a suitable replacement, so now its time for 'plan C'...
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Old 06-06-13, 03:23 PM
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Truly, I recently read an article about an "exercise gene" - some people have it, some don't, according to the article.

https://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/w...-lazy-gene.php

" . . . In fact, new research shows that some people may have certain genetic traits that predispose them to being less motivated to exercise. In other words, if dragging yourself to the gym is like pulling teeth no matter how in shape you are, your genes could be to blame.
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Old 06-06-13, 03:29 PM
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I often look at children playing on swings, monkey bars, climbing bars and the like - having so much fun - and I wonder - "When and why did I stop?" and even wondering if I could start again. And, it seems to me that the vast plurality of children engage in such play to some degree or another.

So, why does it stop? When?

I have a friend down the street who will ride a bike only if I ask him to accompany me. He is a couple of years older - I guess 76yo - but, unless I initiate the activity, he doesn't do it.

I have other friends in the late 60's and early 70's who went on a ride I led, but they were very clear they did not want to go over 'THE HILL" which - really is just a dimple on the landscape. But, they did not want to challenge themselves.

I don't have an answer, except that the wife and I (75 and 73) love exercising, and do it every opportunity we get. It is good we married each other!!
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Old 06-06-13, 03:44 PM
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No answer here NOS, just don't let his downward slide depress you. You have no control over his actions and couldn't get him to ride most likely. The fact you posted about him speaks well about your character.

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Old 06-06-13, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
The joy that children discover during play is that of the entirely new world which surrounds them. Running, jumping, climbing, rolling, cartwheeling, swinging, a sliding board, riding a wagon, a bike, a scooter, etc… all these things are still new and exciting for them, and they have virtually nothing in the way of responsibilities to deal with, as sadly comes with the aging process. Play is soon replaced by schooling, schooling is replaced by earning a living, dating typically leads to marriage, and before you know it, you have little to no free time remaining, as it has been replaced by keeping a household in functional order. That’s why we need to set aside time for ourselves; that we also may remain in functional order until our appointed moment of departure from this material world
Everything you own ... owns you.
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