A saying that we have here at RTC is 50 is the new 30, and in a book that illustrates, I came across a passage that I thought was interesting.
In this book, the author went to Cotopaxi, a small village in Ecuador, to experience a several-day rodeo festival of riding horses and wrestling bulls.
There he got to work as a chagra (mountain cowboy) alongside other chagras.
He was recounting when he was sitting by the campfire that night drinking, which is a big tradition of all chagra’s after a full day of rodeo, next to eldest but best, fittest, strongest chagra.
He asked the eldest, toughest chagra how old he was because this particular mountain cowboy could outride, wrestle, out work, and drink just about anyone there despite being much older and weather-beaten.
The author commented on how this mountain cowboy was solid as a rock, perfect posture, lean muscle, and probably was one of the fitness people he’s ever been around.
The changra responded, “I don’t know… maybe someone does, but I don’t.“
Then the author reported that his liaison, or interpreter, explained that after some time, the Cotopaxi, at least this particular tribe,
stopped counting their birthdays because they don’t want to let the number define them. But instead, let their abilities and capabilities as chagras define them.
I thought that to be pretty cool, interesting, and incredibly refreshing.
Side Note: The changra that that author was so impressed with was 63-64 years old and put other changra 30 years his junior to shame.
Age Does Not Define Your Abilities
As you may know, in the fitness world, too many people let a number define them. The number on a scale, their body fat percentage, or their bench press, to name a few.
I get that those numbers are a way to keep score and measure progress, but sometimes a person will define their self-worth by that number.
This goes beyond fitness.
Report cards, credit scores, salaries, your age, etc..
Don’t let a number define you, don’t let your identity become a number on a scale, your body fat, your salary or age.
You’re not a number on a scale. You’re not your body fat percentage; you are not your report card or credit score.
You are more than that.
Take a lesson from the chagra’s of Cotopaxi; let your actions, abilities, your character, work ethic, your accomplishments define you.
50 is The New 30
When I get a person in their 40, 50,s and even 60’s, I still challenge them to be better than they were in their 20’s or 30’s. I never think about their age; instead, I think about what they can do NOW and what they are capable of doing tomorrow.
When I do this, do you know what I find?
People that ditch the age as a limiting factor start doing things they couldn’t do even in their 20’s.
Giving you a few examples…
I have a guy right now in his mid 50’s that has lost more weight than he has in his last 30 years COMBINED and is doing things that he could never do in his 20’s.
I have a lady in her 50’s that after several years of training, is in the best shape of her life and is doing things that most in their 20’s can’t do.
There is another person here in their late 40’s that smokes most fit 20-year-olds and gives me a run for my money with fitness. She wasn’t always like that; it took us about 5 years to get here there.
There is a guy I coached that was in his early 50’s that started bike riding about 4 years ago and is now on a semi-pro team beating those 20 years younger and have 10+ years under their belt of riding.
I have a lady in her 60’s that set a state record in the deadlift.
I coached a mother of 3 in her late 40’s, and after a few years, her body could pass for someone in their late 20’s. This has happened more than once in our doors.
Hell, I could go on, but you get the idea.
Some of the most impressive/fittest people I’ve ever had the privilege to coach were in their 40’s and 50’s and the longer I coach, the more I see that age is just a number, it doesn’t define or limit what a person can accomplish.
Daily here at RTC, I see people in their 40’s and 50’s looking better and performing better than people in their 20’s.
You Haven’t Peaked Yet
These people in their 50’s THOUGHT they had peaked years ago and after some time they find out they haven’t peaked yet.
That’s cool and excites me.
Seeing people come in and think their best years are behind them only to find out they haven’t even reached their best years yet.
40 is the new 20, and 50 is the new 30.
And for those starting in their 30’s… hell, there are no limits.
Look, being in your 40’s and 50’s doesn’t have the same consequences as we remember it with our parents in their 40’s and 50’s.
With advancements in technology, education, and lifestyle, it’s not uncommon to see an amazing healthy physique of someone in their 50s and beyond.
If you’re reading this now, you haven’t peaked; you’re probably not even close to looking and becoming your best self.
There is so much more that you are capable of.
Don’t put a limit on yourself; you very well could be surprised.
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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