After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is Aging Really All That Bad or Getting to be an Old Fart

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: August 5, 2014

Yeah, my 57th birthday is this week and while it isn't one of those milestone years - it does mean that I am that much closer to being 60 than 50.

Sure on my birthday I will enjoy the attention, presents (more running stuff), gift cardss (even more running stuff), a chance to carb load (cake, ice cream, etc.) and everything else that goes along with aging another year.

However, it ain't all peaches and cream.

Getting older after a certain age no matter how you look at it - sucks...

aging changes your life and what you can do.

Although aging/getting older sure as hell is better than being dead, getting old is not always easy or for wimps.

This is not a post where I whine, piss, moan and groan about the vagaries of getting old (oh I might a little) - I am just going to talk about the realities of some things I have experienced as a result of my aging. Hopefully, you chuckle or nod your head along the way.
Affects of Aging

At some point in everyone's life getting older does not mean you are getting better, it means this:

Affects of Aging Mind Map

Yep, a frigging mind map - believe it or not, this is how I think.

Lots of things all convoluted around one central thought and if I don't put it in something I can visualize, I go off on tangents and down more than a few rabbit holes.

Oh yea - getting back to Aging and getting older - see what I mean, my focus is easily changed, distracted, but that doesn't have a lot to do with aging, that has more to do with how I have always been.


The physical changes are the biggest and hardest things for me to accept as I age. You know the gray hair, jowls, more aches and pains that never go away, stamina - what to hell is that - is that something from another world, taking longer to recover from both workouts and injuries and everything just seems to be harder to do or doesn't work like it used to. Resting more and naps have become something that is a regular activity instead of a four-letter word.

For crying out loud and a lot of other lots nastier words - I look like my father. It is a good thing he is an extremely handsome man, but damn I am starting to look like him more and more ;-) , which means that I have to be getting old too. It just ain't right.

This is where I really am starting - Harold get real, where I am noticing the biggest differences when it comes to my running as I get older.

For me to run faster, I have to work a lot harder to get there - a LOT HARDER.

That extra perceived effort thing sucks donkey balls and even when I am giving it this old body all it has, I am still a damn sight slower than I used to be.

Comparing myself to what I used to be able to do without a problem, is now impossible for me to do and something that most of us do - daily.

That AAS (Aging Athlete Syndrome) thing, I want to hang on to being able to do as much as I used to, but this aging/getting freaking old ain't letting that happen. As you can see in the mind map there too many things that I have to live with that screw-up my ability to train and run the way that I want to.

If I want to run faster further, I have to be able to run faster and further in training and I have lost that ability to train as hard as I need to run as fast and as far as I want to.
Accept Limitations

and then there is a thing called reality.

This is something that I really suck at!

I HATE, HATE, HATE, not being able to do every thing the way I want.

Limitations are for other people - right, especially when it comes to running.

Unfortunately, I am learning the hard way that I have to accept the fact, yes that I am mortal, am getting older and have more limitations than I used to.

Terms like age group, rest more, reset personal records and all those other concessions to aging have been added to my vocabulary.

No, I do not have as many as limitations that others my age might have. I have worked hard to slow the effects of aging as much as I can and would like to believe that I have aged better than many (not bragging, but when I look around me, I know it is true) of my cohort, but I am finding more and more limitations each year, despite my best efforts.

This is the part that really sucks, acknowledging and then accepting those damned limitations.

I have found more and more, that at some point giving in to reality is smarter than beating my head against a stone wall. However, the brick ones still get in the way every so often.


As I have aged there has been a definite decline in my ability to remember things, you know that thing that the medical professionals, friends and family say about you behind your back - that you have a bad case of CRS (Can't Remember Shit).

In other words, I have a paper memory...if I don't write it down, put it on my calendar (electronic or PNP) or some "Note" software/my Moleskine, I ain't gonna remember what it is I was planning to do. Yep, I have a bad case of CRS and have gone back to a paper calendar and lists, it just works better for me, there is something about physically writing something down that makes it more memorable than simply typing it on a screen.

This is probably the most frustrating part of getting older, the inability to quickly retrieve a name, place, an important concept or idea. Fortunately, I am still enjoying learning new things and have learned strategies to help me remember thee stuff I need to know - the combo of a Moleskine, PNP planner and smart phone are a wonderful thing :-) .
The reality is

that even though I don't feel all that old and push like a son of gun against being that stereotypical old weird guy up the road.

I am...in spite of all my efforts becoming the old fart up the road

Yeah, in spite of my best efforts, I am still aging, getting older and all the stuff I whined about above - is happening irregardless of what I think about it.


what does it really mean to me?

The reality is that

Am I really whining about aging, getting older and all that other stuff...mmmmmm yep.

I ain't gonna lie the changes that go along with aging are frustrating and many of them really do suck.

However, at the same time and I am being completely honest, I am probably as happy as I have ever been in my life.

WTF - after all that whining, pissing and moaning about the negative shit that is happening to you as you age, you go ahead and say:

  • I am probably as happy as I have ever been in my life.

You really are a crazy old fart!


However, despite, in spite or possible because of all the changes in my life, I am finally happy in my skin and satisfied with the direction I am going.

I have finally been able to put my life into its proper perspective, there are many people and even people who are much younger than I am - who would love to be able to do the things that I can still do physically and mentally.

My life is not perfect, but it is a good life and I am happy with it and while it might be frustrating at times I can still do a lot more than I thought/think I can.

I will explore the reasons for my happiness in another post someday, but for now it is enough to know that I have a good life.

What do you see as the most frustrating thing about aging (whatever your age) and what are you doing about it?

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