By Lorraine Pelley
Watching old television reruns from the 1970s and 1980s, it is almost comical to hear past perceptions on age. In many of the once popular sitcoms, anyone over the age of 30 was considered old. But baby, we’ve come a long way! Turn the clock ahead by a few decades and my how times have changed. Today, people over 30, 40, 50, and even beyond are feeling far from old.
Societal and individual views on aging are changing just as rapidly as the years are passing by. With a booming growth in the older population along with advances in health care, education, and personal perceptions, middle aged grown-ups are no longer feeling like they have passed their prime. In fact, quite the opposite has happened. Many mature adults are celebrating their years by pushing themselves to reach limits that were once never thought possible.
As we get older, we start to develop a true appreciation for life and the experiences we have had. Perhaps because we realize that we are, in fact, very mortal and that every day is a gift, many second stage boomers now want to live those days to the fullest. Rather than spending their time reflecting on the good ol’ days of their youth, middle-agers are looking ahead with great anticipation.
One area that has seen the biggest change in ability and attitude is sport. In the past, the youthful days were considered to be your best time in athletics. After the age of 30 – sometimes even younger – it was all downhill. But not anymore. But today in many fitness arenas, athletes over 30 are still seen as able bodied, and Masters Athletes in their 40s or beyond are setting new boundaries in what the mind and body can accomplish in the mature stages of life.
While it is no secret that our bodies do change as we get older, our perceptions of what we consider possible vs impossible have changed significantly in recent years. People have begun to realize that they are not even close to feeling the need to slow down. Masters Athletes have embraced their status with a newfound vigour and appreciation by setting goals and training programs that were once never thought viable.
For those who choose to embrace getting older positively, they are making conscious changes to stay healthy, try new things, and push their physical limits in new and exciting directions. Today, Masters Athletes have a passion and an in-your-face type of mentality that never existed before. They are no longer interested in slowing down and watching with forlorn expressions as the younger generation takes over. Instead, they are letting their adrenaline and personal drive fuel their passion to reach their highest levels possible in their favoured sport. Life after 40 is only just beginning for many mature fitness enthusiasts who thrive to push themselves to be all that they can be and more.
As the population gets older, we have begun to realize that chronological age is just a number. Stories of middle aged and senior grown-ups achieving monumental milestones in many sports were once few and far between, but now they are becoming part of the norm. Older adults are taking physical fitness by storm and they are not slowing down. Masters Athletes are redefining the parameters of healthy living and physical ability in an aging body, and baby, we’re not stopping!
At The Sports Masters, our community connects mature athletes from all over the world with other like-minded individuals. By joining our community, you too can share your experiences, knowledge, expertise and stories with other mature sports activists.
At The Sports Masters, our membership is free, but the benefits are priceless. Join our community today to connect with other Masters Athletes.