I used to beat the hell out of my body when I was in high school. I played soccer, basketball, rugby and a variety of other sports on almost a daily basis. I would bang and crash and hurt myself, but it never really slowed me down because I just took it for granted that within a few days or a few weeks my body would heal up and be ready for more. In University I tested my body with little sleep, more sports and a lot more alcohol, but I still always bounced back and kept going. Around my mid-twenties to early thirties a few things happened that started changing my perspective on life.
By the age of twenty four, I had completed two university degrees and was officially a registered physiotherapist. I’d like to think I was a lot smarter after six years of university, but I learned much more in the following six to ten years than I ever did in school. It was a time when my body seemed to start getting less and less invincible and I started gaining more and more perspective on the importance of physical health. I still played soccer, hockey and squash, but my body started taking longer and longer to recover; things that used to take days to feel better, starting taking weeks and I was forced to consider the physical consequences of my activity choices more than ever.
As a physiotherapist, working with clients from nine to ninety years old, I started recognizing that I was not alone in the weakening of my invincibility around age thirty. I would hear an average of ten ‘getting old sucks’ complaints a week, equally spread amongst the thirty, forty and fifty year-olds. The sixty and seventy year-olds tended to phrase it more around ‘this old body is falling apart,’ and the eighty to ninety year-olds just seemed to be happy if something actually didn’t hurt. Read More