Hey Old Man Stay in Your Lane
Hey what’s up everybody?
While I’m sitting here putting this article together, I was thinking about inspiration for me writing it although I’m just a regular guy who felt it was time to share his message.
There are many things that have inspired this message to the reader, for example, my experiences as a semipro athlete; a competitive bodybuilder; and as a person who enjoys fitness and health.
By no means is this all that inspires me. Athletes like Dexter Jackson the “Blade,” Kevin Leverone, and a host of other people who have also made a positive impact on my life.
As a man past 40, I have had a troublesome time with the idea of aging.
I mean, who wouldn’t? Look around you.
We gear practically everything we see through the online media, tv ads and magazines around youth to an extreme.
It’s actually a little disheartening.
And no Harry, that advertised commercial gym membership displaying pretty smiling youthful bodies is not created with you in mind.
In current society, it seems like once a man especially reaches a certain age, which typically is 40 and up, it’s downhill from there for him.
So like many men are getting older, who had been athletes in their prime and perhaps still living a bit in those glory days, I found it very difficult to accept that I was getting older.
In fact, it sometimes caused me anxiety. It may seem shallow, yes, but there are industries that make billions of dollars playing off our insecurities and shallowness!
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m an older guy who still looks fairly decent, I guess.
I train every day. I do a lot of work outdoors, and I enjoy many hobbies.
Not to brag or anything because I’m a very modest guy, but I’m still doing squats over 400 pounds for reps, bench pressing 300 pounds for reps, and can run a 40 yard dash in under five seconds.
Fitness is a lifestyle.
Since I may seem to be outside the box naturally maybe even considered a little eccentric by social standards, this has been my norm as an “older man” for as long as I can remember.
But recently, age has been a topic that keeps coming up. It’s like on my radar now, thanks to meeting new people.
For example, one of my best friends, who is 20-plus years my junior, often says that I need to act my age.
What they meant was I should take my physique less seriously because I am older?
Especially since older coincides with slowing down in societies’ eyes.
She said I need to stop trying to compete with 30-year-old men. Funny thing is, I never thought I was competition at all. I was just being me.
And no, I’m not a showoff, but because my friend was into fitness and bodybuilding and often showing off pictures of themselves, I would share an occasional picture with them.
What I would get back from them was you look good for an older guy but keep your clothes on and start acting your age, please!
I’m analytical. I question everything.
Therefore, naturally I wondered, what does it mean to act your age when you prioritize being fit?
I thought I was acting my age. I enjoy staying fit. It’s a lifestyle!
Sure, my friends’ comments annoyed me (but no harm she meant), but the comments also made me wonder how many guys past 40 or 50 are battling negative social programming and as a result not working toward becoming the most fit they might be?
Social pressure is intense.
It can cause older men to give up on being the best they can be mentally, physically and spiritually.
Oh yes, how could I forget… that friend who proposed that I act my age and hide my physique because that’s what older men are expected to do boastfully added, “[Old guys], they’re expected to wear slippers around the house and read books about snowflakes” and not get into a gym to carve out the best physique they can build with their genetics.
To that, I decided that maybe I can help men (at any age) who are letting life pass them by because of misguided social pressures and age expectations.
One more thing about that friend, she said, if I want to help older guys feel better about their bodies then and only then should I show pictures of my physique.
Age is an attitude.
If someone or group influences your attitude about aging, then they control your perception and as a result you fall into the expectation, they set for you.
Don’t do that! Be your own man because no one wants to be told, “Hey old man! Stay in your lane!”
Life is short! So build muscle instead!