. . . 64 years OLD!!
Toby, many of us on here do not think 64 is really that old! I am 72 and, inevitably, have become very aware that decline, like development, is not linear but a series of steps and plateaux. But having spent my life as a runner (less than 5% body fat at my peak), I now really enjoy the fact that with TI swimming I don't have to live the regime of a jockey to keep my fat content down. I guess my fat content now as 15% but swimming a mile four times a week plus a two miles or more swim at the weekend enables me to give quite a few 30 and 40 year olds a fright.
I think we endorphin junkies all realise the value of our endurance activities to our sense of well-being but I firmly believe the surcharge of oxygen to our brains is at least as important at ensuring we are still part of the active world - especially for those of us still working and earning. I swim with a bunch of younger triathletes who joke and laugh with me as one of themselves. I believe that is because they see me not as a 'wrinkly' but as a competitive guy like themselves who won't give up.
Yes, we may not replace muscle mass as efficiently as when we were younger, we certainly need longer to recover from very hard efforts and, yes, we lose about 10% of our oxygen uptake every 10 years so we cannot delude ourselves. My max heart rate at 42 years old was 185, it is now 160 so I simply cannot shift the oxygen to the working muscles as efficiently. I used to be able to run a 10km race within 5 to 7 beats of max heart rate at that age and a marathon in 2.34 but now we have to use cunning efficiency rather than sheer physical ability. And we continue to develop in different ways, spiritual and psychological as well as physical. TI plays to that philosophy exactly, and this year I am going to start racing in the pool.
So, sorry for the length of this, but 64 is not old! Now back to work . . .