(Mountain Biking in Arizona, 2016)
I am 56 years old as of this writing, an official baby boomer, born in 1961, the youngest of 6 kids. I was always drawn to sports, and started lifting weights at age 14, in preparation for high school freshman football. I haven’t stopped since.
After a an awkward adolescence, I liked how working out made me feel, and look. For the first time, I started getting attention from girls, which was an added incentive to keep up with my exercise routine!
A few months after my college graduation, I was rear ended in a pretty bad car accident, injuring my lumbar spine and neck. I have no doubt in my mind that had I not been in the physical shape I was in, I would probably be in a wheel chair today. The consolation prize has been dealing with 4 degenerating disks in my lower back, and multiple bulging disks in my back and neck. My lower back used to “go out on me” every few months, to the point where I would be shuffling around like Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett Show, looking for “Mrs. A-Wiggins!”.
I am happy to say that I have solved my lower back distress through a combination of yoga stretches, twists, and myofascial release of my psoas muscles to release the muscles in front of the spine. That’s the good news; the bad news is the arthritis I have in multiple joints from years of competitive basketball, mountain biking, yoga, strength training, and other various physical activities. I have no room to complain, however. Those latter ailments were all self inflicted, in exchange for countless hours of fun!
The older I get, the more mystery pains I seem to encounter. I’ll wake up in the morning and wonder, why the hell does THAT hurt? My high level of activity has taken a toll. I have arthritis in multiple joints, bone spurs in my shoulder and ankle, and the aforementioned disk injuries, just name a few. Like Indiana Jones once said, “it ain’t the age, kid – it’s the mileage’. For me, it’s a little of both!”
Strange as it may sound, inactivity is harder on my body than activity is. 20 years of my adult life have been spent in commercial real estate, mortgage banking, and/or sales, which meant most of my time was spent either sitting at a desk, or in a car. The hardest part was when I relocated to Maryland, and had to commute over an hour each way around the capital beltway to Virginia, mostly in bumper to bumper traffic. That really took a toll.
Luckily, my training experience gave me the knowledge of how to work around my injuries, and I’ve gradually changed my nutrition habits to reduce inflammation. Working out regularly, no matter what, is now ingrained I’m me. Still, like everyone else in middle age, my metabolism has downshifted, and I has to get more creative with training regimen.
Not too long ago, I realized that if I’m having these challenges, then the “Average Joe” (or Josephine) must have it doubly hard. Good Personal Trainer options for the 40-plus crowd can be hard to come by. Young personal trainers have a hard time relating to older bodies, since they can’t relate to what they’re going through.
Realizing that there is a real need for people in this demographic, I began developing a comprehensive health program for adults over 40, which I hope to have completed by Fall 2017.
I really feel there’s a strong need to help people who seem lost in the morass of conflicting exercise and nutrition information out there. It’s too much to sift through, and it can get very confusing. My goal with this program is to sift through all the bullshit, and create systematic plan that anyone can follow, to success. Stay tuned!
(Relaxing in Eleuthra, 2015)
Jim Crowder is an Executive Health Coach and Motivational Speaker, with over 20 years’ experience as a personal trainer and coach. He currently provides consultative services for clients in Howard County, Maryland, in conjunction with his 2 companies, CrowderYogaFitness and Workplace Wellness Solutions LLC.
Jim practices yoga daily, is an avid mountain biker, and strength trains 6 days a week. For more information on how he can help YOU, please email us at Info@FitnessWellnessHealth.com.