Fittest at 50? The run that changed me.

This idea came to me during a lunch hour run.

I went on a rather routine slow run but it was extremely hot and uncomfortable. I made it only 1.44 miles at just over 13 minutes and I felt, body-wise, that I had had enough.

If there’s anything I have been pretty good about this year it is listening to my body and paying attention.  Feeling my body.  Could I have pushed on? Absolutely, it would’ve been easy.  In fact, I often do.   And have for years.   I’m one of those that love the uncomfortable.  Maybe it’s the accomplishment, the ability to push, maybe it’s just knowing I am doing something 95% of those out there wouldn’t.    I’ve even thought during one of my grueling, “carry an atlas stone a mile” workouts that GOD gave me this body to use.  It’s in honor of Him and the Universe that I push it to the max.

The biggest change that I have made since the beginning of this year is constantly asking myself if this exercise, food, shoes, drink, and decision is a:

Benefit or Detriment.

I had a decent Galloway method run today of about a mile and a half.  I feel like that was a huge benefit.  An asset to my body.  Because of the heat, my stress level, heart rate, or “whatever” that, today, anything additional and over would have been a detriment -accumulating to a net wash or perhaps even in a loss to my fitness.    I paid attention.   I want to continue to move upward.   It’s Jeff Olson’s “Slight Edge” in practice.   So I stopped and walked the rest of the way back to work.   I continued a 30-minute sweat and exercise but didn’t kick my own ass today.

I’m sure you guys feel this too but I will often come up with my best ideas or problem-solving while I am out for a walk or a run.

I really think it would be cool too, during the next year:

Get in the best shape I ever have been in.  Not just push and test my willpower.  Not power through in an endless year of peaks and valleys, PRs, and Injuries.   I told my audience in a lecture last month, “If I’m going to spend a year or more doing something, I want to see some results, not just look and feel the same!”  That’s too much effort to stay neutral. a waste of time.

Look.  I love to train randomly.   I tell people, “I’m a CrossFit circa 2008 guy.   Run a lap, jump over a fence, avoid the dog, do 15 burpees, climb a rope and repeat 4x.”

But yesterday I saw something.

“Being Prepared for any Random Event is not the same as Randomly Preparing.”

I need a true system, not just a method if I’m going to get there.

My resolution comes after my birthday, not the new year.

1) Best shape eva’

2) Document the progress fails, ideas, and tweaks

3) Team up with the smartest guys I know to develop a world-class training protocol for an athletic individual with the focus being never getting old.

I think it would be a really cool book. The blogs would set themselves.   Who’s in with me?

The absolute First thing we need to tackle is.

What does old mean?  Because this will be used against us eventually.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about is just the whole idea of age. I hate, fear and100% plan on- NOT getting old.  Look, I get it – we still fly around the sun every year, I can’t stop that.

But I don’t think that really makes much difference.   The number?  c’mon?!

Because if it’s just the number? If that’s all,  I just am going to continue to do what I do.  Lie about my age. I’m turning 40 again this year.  I like the way that feels.

My thought is, that the number is not what makes you feel old.  So why do I dread the number so much?  It’s the cop-out, easy excuse, easy patsy.   I hear everybody in my clinic tell me and ask me if what they are feeling is “because they are getting older.”

“I know I’m getting older doc, but…”

“Do you think it’s because I’m getting older?

“My mom had this same sciatic issue when she was older, is that why…?”

and this is 80-year-olds to 23-year-olds.  Seriously.   I’m the team doc for our local university.  The senior athletes THINK their back hurts because they’re “getting older!”

Look.  I’m a bona fide sports-based chiropractor. A doctor specializing in Musculoskeletal issues.  A really good one.   It’s about time someone in my field just straight-up told you.

It’s not your number that makes you feel old.

It’s your;

Low back pain

Your fat gut

Because you can’t get out of bed in the morning

Because you’re grouchy and tired

Because of politics and scary news articles

Because your kids are stressing out you

You don’t have enough time.

You drink too much

Eat crappy stuff

or injury or poor circumstances and tragedy

and it’s a combination and compilation of all of these things compounded by years of piling them on top of each other.   and the fact that you think you should slow down because of a damn number.   Black balloons, jokes, and TV ads – they are making us feel a certain way.   I tell my kids all the time, “it’s not what is said or done,  It’s how you feel about that that matters to your attitude.”

What I’m saying is, when someone says, “I’m getting old.” they aren’t talking about their age. It’s other parameters.

Let’s identify those parameters and reverse them while at the same time doing the positive things that we know will help us to get better.

Please, for just a second read all of those things one more time.  They could happen to anyone, anytime, at any age.  Some are fixable, some you can physically change, it might take a new habit or a need a new perspective and awareness to own up to it and move on.   You can fix this, no matter how hard it seems.

One thing I hate is hypocrites. Now we all have some type of hypocrisy in our life but it’s a major stressor for me.
I think it’s one of the deadly sins and is a HUGE part of what is wrong with our planet.  It blinds of to integrity and resilience.

I can’t stand it.  So, if I’m going to go on and state that in one year YOU could radically change your life, as I have said in multiple seminars, lectures, and patient visits then it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and make sure I do it.

So today: Your new goal is to start to pay attention to how you feel.

Is this thing “X” an asset, benefit, time waster, or detriment?  Is it low yield when another option would be high yield?  Don’t be a hypocrite, especially yourself!

What needs to change to feel younger and healthier next year? Where can you get the biggest bang for your buck?  Start there and compound it when you’ve got it rolling.

My part of a seminar I taught this weekend was how the terminology warm-up/workout is a big part of what is sabotaging our ability to get ahead. Especially in sports, what we look at as a “warm-up” is probably much more important for performance than what is considered the “workout.”  My idea was to substitute the words warm-up/workout for:

Mobility, activation, speed, power, strength, recovery phase, etc.  Don’t give priority to one area over the other with lame words like a warm-up that won’t be taken seriously or will be the first part to be skipped when we are inevitably pressed for time.

If I feel old because my hips don’t move like they are supposed to and my back is always sore, the mobility part of the workout for my hips is probably 10 to 20x more important than how much I can squat for strength.  Or even squats at this point!   Squats might be a detriment because your hip doesn’t move right!

This year, make that change.    It’s 10x more important, The problem is- it’s just not sexy.

It’s way easier for me to just pound through a six-mile run than take the time to do all sorts of foot, ankle, and toe mobility, strengthen my soleus and check my overstride.  But that 6 miler will add up through the year(s).   Get the body moving and working correctly.   It’s the same analogy as driving with bad shocks, or poor tires.  Something else is going to give as well.   Problems compound and stuff get OLD!

Imagine the change if you were told, “You can only have this one car for your entire lifetime?”  1973 Chevrolet Camaro |

Your fatness is making you feel old?  You know damn well diet trumps workout for fat loss, so fix it this time.  Your hour at the gym would be better utilized creating food options that spring you forward.   1 hour?  Well, 45 minutes goes to the food prep part and 15 to the workout, which would yield better results.   It’s true.   The reality is once you get that food part down you’ll have the time to figure out the workout.   I’m simply wanting you to get results, stop wasting time on stuff that isn’t getting you anywhere.

Can’t get up off the floor?  When was the last time you practiced?  Yep.  Just lie down on your back and get up.  Do it 10x.   You’ll get better at it I guarantee it.   Did you know the “get up test” is one of the best assessments of morbidity?  as in – how soon you’ll die?   Yet, I never see doctors performing this one.  Get up already.

Emotional and mental issues?   get some help – it’s a burden you can help alleviate.

It’s not the number guys.   It’s not!   If so, why are there those outliers that look and feel fit, sexy, and fun well into their 60s, 70s, and plus?  Outliers?  Or do they know a secret?   Because I ask them when I see them and it’s always the same answer.

“I just never let myself get old.”

I said it earlier, I don’t like hypocrisy. It’s time for me to do it.  I’ve already started by changing some major flaws in my attack plan over the last 20 years that were both a combination of getting better intel and science as well as a real ego check.

Look again at my workout of just over 13 minutes. What if I told you that I walked back for another 20 minutes, absolutely sweating Bullets with an increased heart rate but low intensity?

I also had a mobility phase that day and even a mini plyometric jumping phase like high school track workouts of high knees, butt kicks, A skips, etc.  I started to help work on my landing and takeoff which was sabotaging my running the last year.  Repeat ankle and foot pain that needed a true ego check just to admit, let alone slow down to treat.   All in all, an additional 15 to 20 minutes of work before I even go for the run.

In all reality, it was probably an absolutely perfect 45 -55 minute workout.

I’m going to cool down by using some stability through my shoulders and thoracic as I’ve been having a small issue with a rib that isn’t getting better. Overall a damn near perfect workout, although completely different than anything I have really considered “manly workout type stuff” Despite being the guy that teaches this.   I wasn’t living what I was preaching.  Hypocrite.

Change Takes Time aka The Reality of The Slight Edge | by MichaƂ Stawicki |  Thrive Global | Medium

And look, the old way wasn’t hurting me.  I look and feel good.   I’m in better shape and can do more than my friends.  Comparison is easy, but it’s such a liar.

I’ve spent the last 20 years working out pretty hard and eating pretty decent and I look and feel the same as I did back then.  Many would look and say, “Great work kid, you’ve stopped father time, good job.”   My problem is that if I’m going to put 20 years into something I should look and feel way better – tremendously better than the same.”  I think I can out perform the last 20 years this year alone.

If you gave me a year to change my life. A year.   I could grow a beard, gain a dark tan, learn a new language, and practice an accent and walk.  I could become virtually unrecognizable to those that know me now.   UNRECOGNIZABLE!   a year!   yet, I hear clients in my clinic every day telling me they’ve had the same shoulder pain for 3 years.  or the plantar fascia issue for 18 months.   Or their mile time is only 30 seconds slower and they simply cant take a few weeks off to fix the issue, they’ll lose their cardio.   It’s tough to tell them they are primed to lose their cardio and gains for a lot longer than that when the wheels fall off.

It’s time to change the parameters of what makes us feel old to our favor.

Another trip around the sun is either another opportunity for the slow steady decline that we either submit and give up, fight tooth and nail to hold on to or fool ourselves with a number.


An opportunity to make the appropriate changes to start to climb.  Growth, experience, and Improvements.    I know where I’m going this year.

See you on the other side!

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