Midlife Crisis? Nah…It’s Just the Starting Point for Your Longest Run.

At its heart, OlderBeast is about clearly seeing and courageously confronting many of the concerns that appear for men at their mid-life point and beyond. Concerns about staying physically vital. About not looking “old.” About warding off maladies that lurk in the shadows.

Among all concerns, perhaps the biggest is the most subconscious and hardest to recognize:

At or beyond life’s halfway marker, we’re uncertain what our life ultimately will have meant.
I know this “Meaning of Life” concern is caricatured as the mid-life crisis and the sports car in response. But in reality, it can be more of an awakening, a broadening of vision and spirit, a healthy challenge, and an opportunity.

OlderBeast’s call – for you to double down on overall body-and-soul health – is to help maximize this opportunity. We’ll come back to that. First let’s take a deeper look at this “Meaning” concern.

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At its heart, OlderBeast is about clearly seeing and courageously confronting many of the concerns that appear for men at their mid-life point and beyond. Concerns about staying physically vital. About not looking “old.” About warding off maladies that lurk in the shadows.

Among all concerns, perhaps the biggest is the most subconscious and hardest to recognize:

At or beyond life’s halfway marker, we’re uncertain what our life ultimately will have meant.

I know this “Meaning of Life” concern is caricatured as the midlife crisis and the sports car in response. But in reality, it can be more of an awakening, a broadening of vision and spirit, a healthy challenge, and an opportunity.

OlderBeast’s call – for you to double down on overall body-and-soul health – is to help maximize this opportunity. We’ll come back to that. First let’s take a deeper look at this “Meaning” concern.

QUESTIONS ON MEANING: WHY NOW?

It’s logical to step back and assess something at its halfway point. But beyond that, for a lot of guys the real trigger is evolution of family circumstances (that happens to occur in the 40-60 age range). Your parents reach true senior status, or have passed away. Kids are increasingly-independent teenagers, or out of the house and launched on their own.

My wife and I are about to be empty-nesters, and I’ve noticed this feeling: for the first time, I can visualize and want to plan a chunk of time called “the rest of my life.”

Age zero to 18 or so living with your parents, young adulthood and pre-kids marriage, your own parenting-of-children phase — wow, there was so much in each one of those life parts. But the phase we’re reaching now could be much longer than these prior ones (even twice as long).

Framed positively – and that’s how to frame it, man– “welcome to your life’s longest chapter.”

Looking ahead at this, and of course realizing this longest chapter is also the concluding one, brings up powerful questions.

powerful LIFE QUESTIONS

As we start living this longest chapter, big questions develop and gain urgency.

Such as:

⇒ What do you really Want? “W” for “want” in the biggest sense: what short list of fundamental goals do I have for my rest-of-life?

⇒ What values drive these goals? Are they the same ones I’ve lived by so far, or have they changed?

⇒ How can I become more?

⇒ If I take “inventory” of life so far, what’s missing? What do I need now?

CHANGING PRIORITIES & LIFE ATTITUDEs

Each man’s life questions and conclusions are of course unique, and intensely personal. But I sense certain themes resonate among us. They drive a shift in priorities, and evolution of attitudes, many of us hold in common.

Examples:

⇒ Desire to be our best possible self. While not new, it’s clearer and stronger than ever before.

⇒ At the same time, self-forgiveness for what we’re not, or things that didn’t happen. This includes “letting go” of outdated values, goals and priorities which don’t serve us well anymore.

⇒ Recognition that dedicating time to care for our own bodies and souls isn’t abdication of “provide and protect” responsibilities to our family…it’s actually part of those responsibilities.

Engagement of our minds – our creativity, resilience, will power – to overcome the increased challenges of physical fitness (compared to when we were 20- or 30-something).

⇒ Gratitude for good things in life, and fewer complaints.

⇒ Appreciation of beauty and timeless things, and motivation to experience them more often.

OLDERBEAST’s connection to meaning

OlderBeast sometimes focuses at the “tactical” level – like how to swim more efficiently, or how to make killer oatmeal. And sometimes at the strategic level – like how to “architect” your own sustainable fitness and wellness approach, and how to get and stay motivated to pursue it.

But at its highest level – the vision of a healthy life and a game plan to achieve it – OlderBeast serves and encourages these changing priorities and life attitudes you likely feel.

Your body, and your sharpness of mind and freedom of spirit that depend on it, are literally your “platform” for the rest of life. The “vehicle” for your quest to achieve life goals and realize Meaning in your long, concluding chapter.

Thinking this way, are you prioritizing fitness, nutrition and wellness enough? If so, are you pursuing them in the smartest way possible?

Now’s a good time to ask yourself these things, brother.

 

“Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run…there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” (Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven—click to listen).

Note, this is the live version with Jimmy Page playing the double-neck guitar and Robert Plant’s extemporaneous asides within the lyrics. If you want the studio version, it’s here.

If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.

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How to Overcome “That Sluggish Feeling” When It Threatens Your Workout Plan

There are a bunch of reasons why you might NOT work out today. Some are good, and many are not-so-good. Of all possible reasons, the one I really hate works like this.

1. You plan to work out that day. Then as the planned time nears, you start to feel a physical and/or mental sluggishness. Nothing dramatic, but you just don’t feel like working out. You start to flirt with the idea of taking the day off, considering various possible justifications.

2. But rather than explicitly, decisively declaring a day off – sometimes you need one, even if unplanned – you let minutes tick by without moving toward your workout OR deciding not to. Deep down, you might know what you’re doing, but you don’t admit it to yourself.

3. Then all of a sudden, voila, it’s “too late” for your workout. You missed the window of time you had before your next work, family or personal obligation. Even though you caused this, you don’t feel glad about the “can’t workout now” reality. You immediately feel like you’ve let yourself down.

This ever happen to you?  If so, you just fell victim to That Sluggish Feeling (“TSF”).  

I’ve devised a new response to TSF when it strikes. I don’t seek to move directly from sluggishness to exercise. Instead, I do a short, easy “bridge” activity in-between, to change my energy and get me into a better frame-of-mind to decide if I’m really, intentionally going to skip that workout. Here’s how it works.

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Fitness Planning & Gear , Philosophy & Motivation

Six Fitness Actions You’ll Thank Yourself For *NEXT* Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have much to be thankful for this year, man. Even while you gratefully make note of all that, this is also a good time to think ahead.

What would you additionally like to be thankful for next Thanksgiving?

What if on Thanksgiving 2018 you could take a personal inventory and conclude:

1. I’m staying more motivated for fitness – and avoiding major backslides

2. I’m eating better (not perfectly, but better)…and I feel better for it

3. I forgive myself for not always following my fitness plans…but I hold myself more accountable to usually do so

4. I’ve varied my fitness routine, so I’m in better all-around shape than I was a year ago

5. I’m using exercise to better combat stress and make my life feel more spacious

6. If needed, I overcame aches-and-pains to do these things – instead of letting 2018 be a year of narrowing possibilities

Dude! That would be an incredible “thanks” list. So enjoy the coming weeks of 2017 wrap-up and holidays, yes. But I invite you to also make this time a springboard into a meaningful 2018. (Don’t wait for the cliched New Year’s Resolution.)

Here’s the why-and-how of six actions you can take, starting now, to add to your “thankful for” list for next year.

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Philosophy & Motivation

Turning 50? Here’s Fitness & Wellness Inspiration From an Unusual Source.

I made a new friend recently who’s into astrology. I don’t mean just the “horoscope” kind of astrology. I’m talking about the heavy-duty kind, which considers your time of birth and exactly where astronomical bodies were at that moment.

When I told her I’d turned 50 a few months ago, she mentioned something called the “Chiron Return” which makes turning 50 a major watershed in life. Not just by marking another decade, but by unleashing a transition in priorities and an evolution of how we resolve to live the rest of our lives.

To me, this is all pretty “out there.” But I feel (as with some people’s belief in ghosts): who am I to be so sure these things don’t exist?

And besides, I’ll take life lessons and inspiration wherever I can find them. The ideas associated with Chiron Return are highly relevant for 50-ish guys doubling down on body-and-soul health. Or guys that will be 50-ish before long…or ones that were not so long ago!

So indulge me for two or three minutes, brother. Read on and see if this stuff is useful to you in your quest to maximize the decades ahead.

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Fitness Planning & Gear , Philosophy & Motivation

Fitness as We Age: Five Lessons From the “Ground Game” in Football

I love football analogies, man. I probably use them too much. I ought to invoke the images of a symphony or a wild-flowered meadow more often.

But some football analogies just make sense to me at a visceral level. Especially this one: pursuing long-term body-and-soul health (at 40, 50, 60 and beyond) is like committing to the run as a football strategy.

When a team declares “we WILL run the football,” they commit to guiding principles like: Having a more-patient approach to victory – not trying to “win quickly”…Depending less on flashy or gimmicky approaches – what you see is mainly what you get…and Reducing costly mistakes – fumbles are less common and less damaging than interceptions.

Let’s consider what lessons this holds for the pursuit of decades-long fitness. I see five of them.

3 Comments
  1. […] recent OlderBeast article (Midlife Crisis? Nah…It’s Just the Start of Your Longest Run) highlighted that we have an opportunity to enhance the direction and meaning of life, as we start […]

  2. […] for the 2nd half of life. If you’re not convinced, before continuing you may want to read this about our decades-to-come and the role of fitness, nutrition and wellness within […]

  3. […] So dedicate time and energy soon to this question: What possibilities open up for me if I’m in better physical shape and feel less stressed? For a few thoughts on the opportunity to re-imagine possibilities in the mid-life years, see “Mid-life Crisis? Nah — This is Just the Start of Your Longest Run.” […]

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