Don’t know about you guys, but I’m thinking of brushing off the Nike Monarchs this winter and fighting for a world championship that has eluded me all these years.
I’m in my early 50’s, and I’ll thank you for not looking at me with the sideways glance any longer.
You see, 51 is the new 30, and there is unspeakable volumes of data that supports my comeback, as well as yours.
Heard of Kelly Slater? An 11-time surfing world champion who won the Pipe Masters this year at age 50. Let me remind you that in Australia when I was growing up 55 was the retiring from work age. Now we have ageless warriors thrashing youngsters in the most dangerous surf in the world.
Not convinced? Ahem. Phil Mickelson, winner of golf’s US Open last year, aged 51, Mike Tyson coming out of retirement, Tiger Woods winning majors in his 40s, NFL icon Tom Brady coming out of his retirement, aged 46. Back home, Brent Harvey playing for the Kangas until his 38th birthday, and Dustin Fletcher (40).
Now, all we have to do is choose a sport for this maiden world championship I have burning in my belly.
- July 4: FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers 2022, Melbourne
- July 1: Adam's Ski and Golf Day Mount Buller
- July 1: Penrite Hattah Desert Race
- July 4 - 10: Harlem Globetrotters Spread Game Tour
- July 15: Manchester United v Melbourne Victory
- July 19: Manchester United v Crystal Palace
- July 19: Run Melbourne
- July 24: Run Melbourne
BUT WHERE SHALL WE START?
We need a low impact sport, well, because of the knees, hips and everything else. And at the core of everything is the ability to move. That’s why running might be a good starting point before contacting player managers and sponsors. Nothing rips you into shape quicker than a 30-minute run a few times a week.
Once you start, everything changes. That’s why you see friends on Insta sharing their times. Like you, I hide their posts for months at a time. Granted, their message is quite accurate: an amazing feeling in the body and mind can be achieved by regularly breaking a big sweat.
Personally, it won’t take much to get me running again either. It’s in my bones, almost innate actually. I grew up in the housing commission of Endeavour Hills and I can report that you learn two things very quickly: the ability to sweet talk your way out of just about everything, or you learn to run. Fast. I could do both.
You might have a creaky back but that’s no excuse for not having a crack. Sports shoes these days are waaaay more supportive than the olden days of my youth. You can buy shoes now that support almost every ailment so you can actually get moving again.
Nothing can be done for the unchallenged mind though. That’s up to you.
- August 3: Footy Fight Night, Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
- August 7: Winton Festival of Speed
- August 26 STUTT'FEST, Winton
- August 27: Gippsland Rally, Heyfield
- August 27: Falls Creek Wonderland Run
- August 27: Wonderland Run, Halls Gap
- August 28: MS Melbourne Run and Ride Festival, Flemington
- August 28: Geelong Cross Country Anglesea 8km footrace
- September 2: Gay Ski Week Australia at Falls Creek
- September 4: UniSport Nationals Snow, Mount Buller
- September 10: Camberwell MS Mega Swim
- September 10: Retro Weekend at Mt Buller
- September 11: Amy's Great Ocean Road Gran Fondo
- September 24: AFL Grand Final, MCG
- September 25: Australian Youth Volleyball Championships, West Bendigo
MOVE IT AND LOSE IT BABY
In all seriousness though, 50 is the new 30. We eat better, we are more aware of our bodies, and we make sure only the good stuff goes in most of the time. I personally do make an effort, not in the gym, but around the place - going for big walks, and having a strong plan around inflammation and supplements. They all help.
Moving it, losing it, that’s a real thing. My message isn’t about fear, it’s a reality we all know too well in our 40s when parenting is in full swing and there’s barely time for much at all, let alone exercise.
You can quickly find yourself in a likely failed skin folds test if you don’t get those limbs moving regularly now during this time, and create a foundation of health that serves you well into the next, glorious stage of life - whether, like me, you’re fighting for world titles or simply want the energy/health to inspire yourself in all areas of life.
I’ve decided my comeback will actually be a cricket one. I’ll run in my Monarchs from the car to the change rooms if I have to, but it asks for just about the right amount of fitness for me.
Wish me luck x