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No One Is Fading Away Here

[/caption] The Headstones, one of my favourite bands, dissolved in 2003 after 10 years of offending people in clubs around Canada. Lead singer Hugh Dillon then embarked on a career as an actor, and you can see him regularly in Flashpoint and a bunch of CTV programs. A few days ago, the Headstones released a new track after a small reunion tour brought them back together for a few nights. Binthiswayforyears is not safe for work or families, but most good rock isn’t. The best line of the song comes before the chorus, and it immediately made me think of CrossFit 204: “There’s nobody fading away here.” I’m 34, and it’s disappointing when friends my age start talking as if their physical life ended several years ago. “I’m too old for this stuff,” some say regretfully. “I’m not 20 anymore,” others moan. “This was easier when I was younger.” It gets worse when people go past 40, and past 50 people give themselves every possible excuse for not being active: too busy, too tired, too stiff, too weak, too old—too whatever. I don’t really care what age you are. Whether you’re 28 or 68, you are not too old for physical activity. You might be too lazy, but you are not too old. In fact, don’t even mention old in our gym. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Here’s the thing: sports science shows that there are some inevitable declines in performance as you age. Athletes, for instance, lose peak power output as they age, and they lose it slowly. Big deal. Most can afford a percent or two over the years. The NSCA’s  Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning will also give you a list of things that decrease as you age: strength, power, endurance, muscle mass, muscle fibre size, metabolic capacity, resting metabolic rate, bone mineral density and overall physical function. Aging does increase one thing: body fat. Now before you throw out your sneakers, get this: resistance training—let’s just call it “physical activity”—will increase every single thing on the list above. Except body fat. Training decreases that. Nice. If you think about it, most performance declines are probably the result of just not doing anything. They aren’t the result of aging but of inactivity. Again, sports science says you can actually stave off most of the physical effects of aging if you stop being lazy and start doing something. Don’t sit there and complain that age is taking something from you. It’s not stealing if you’re giving it away. I’ll admit that when I feel tired and sore, I sometimes wish I was 24 and still invincible. But that’s nonsense. I’m just making excuses for being lazy. To get my mind right, all I need to do is watch any of our members work out. We have a wide variety of ages at CrossFit 204, and age hasn’t stopped any of them from getting stronger, faster and healthier. They’re basically waving a middle finger at aging and laziness, and their lives are better for it. If the scientists are unsure of which physical declines are related to simple aging and which are related to the inactivity that comes with laziness, they can feel free to stop by our gym and study active people who are clawing things back from Father Time. And if Father Time wants to rob me and our members of our strength and endurance, he knows where to find us. We’ll be running fast and squatting heavy at CrossFit 204, and he’ll be in for one hell of a fight. No one is fading away here.

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