Why I Build Muscle at the Age of 50
Lately its occurred to me that I’m in a groove, my schedule, diet, routine and rest are all in sync and its fun when everything is moving in the desired direction Naturally when its fun the inclination is to focus more and work harder, which has led me to be in the gym a lot. Enough so that some people at my gym have commented on how much time I’m spending lifting and how cool it is “at my age” to take fitness so seriously.
This got me to thinking, about why I actually work out. I mean is it because I take fitness so seriously? I never really thought about the reasons why I do what I do, it is just who I am. But in thinking I have concluded that there
are 4 reasons I build muscle at 50, and the 2 biggest reasons are nowhere near what you would think. In other words, they have nothing to do with my health or appearance.
Let me start with the two obvious reasons, those would be the previously mentioned health and appearance. I could drone on and on about the health benefits of muscle building at every age but suffice it to say they are real, and it is in and of itself reason enough to do it. They say 60 is the new 40 and they are right, and it is because of a better understanding of all things related to muscle building, diet, rest, and a general devotion to a healthy lifestyle.
I am a believer in responsibility, accountability and consequence in all things life. The point is that the people you see walking around with bodies you wish you had weren’t born that way, contrary to what those that don’t have these bodies think. They have chosen to look that way and pay the price every day to do so. That price is hitting the gym, eating properly and living clean. I decided a long time ago that when I was 50 I would not look like the average 50 year old. I don’t and I am proud of that fact. So I do work out to affect my health and appearance. But they aren’t the two biggest reasons.
Mohammad Ali, once he reached middle age was asked where the angry rebel attitude of his youth went. His response was “A man that views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20, has wasted 30 years of life”. You have to be 50 to know the wisdom of this comment. As much as you might think you will, you will NOT view things the same as you age. You do things for different reasons and you will value different things. For example, I still like and listen to the music of my youth. It makes me feel young. But that’s the music of MY youth. Not the youth of today. When I WAS young I swore I would always listen to current music. I had NO idea at 20 how I would think at 50!
Age has taught me to appreciate the journey, not the destination. Though the destination is important, having a good, attractive, healthy body, I understand and value MORE how you get there. The actual effort required to accomplish the goal. The beauty is in the process, this is where the metal of a man is tested. To have and live out the discipline to “do it right”, without the benefit of youth is hard, and because of that, it demands and commands respect. I like knowing that other people notice and respect that I do it. It is this feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that washes over me after a tough gym session, after a long day of work, that drives me to not take days off or take it easy because of my age.
Lastly, the final reason I build muscle at this age? It’s because I still can. Once you arrive at my age you realize and know that it's VERY possible that in the blink of an eye, that could change. So by using the other 3 reasons for building muscle I help create the fourth, and since I like still being able to build muscle, I am smart enough do know that "if it ain't broke, don't mess with it".