Adrenaline Junkie Erica fights back!
As I discussed in my last blog I like to encourage people to push their limits a little every now and again. That’s probably why one of my most hated sentence in the English language is “I’m too old for that.”
OK – so there are some things that might be out of reach – like winning an Olympic medal for gymnastics or running a 100m in less than 10 seconds. However there’s nothing stopping us from doing gymnastics class at 40 or taking up running at 50… I didn’t start snowboarding until I was in my 30’s and I was nearly 40 when I started climbing.
I mean why the hell not?? What’s stopping you, REALLY? I wonder if when people say “I’m too old” what they really mean is – they find it hard to motivate themselves. When people say “Oh I’m not fit enough”, what they are thinking is that they’re afraid to put themselves out there to try new things.
“People are afraid to try new things”
But in the words of Obama “YES WE CAN”! Us humans are amazing, our bodies are fantastic pieces of engineering and we are designed to move and test our physical abilities. And the most amazing thing is the more you move, the better your body gets!
Around the age of 30, if we have a sedentary lifestyle, we can start to lose between 3-5% muscle mass per decade but if we exercise we can slow that right down. Once we hit 75, our muscle loss worsens again, but guess what minimises that? Yup, you guessed it. Exercise!
Contrary to what you might expect, the last thing I would recommend is hitting the gym.
I do use them, they have their place but I wouldn’t recommend them if you are new to exercise. The best way to a better, stronger life is to find a sport or active hobby that you enjoy and get stuck in. If you progress and if you need to, you can back that up with gym sessions. Basically, if your exercise is wrapped up in something you love and enjoy doing, then you will be a lot more motivated.
So if you think you are too old remember the 100 year old woman who abseils for a hobby, or the countless octogenarians I’ve seen doing tandem skydives, or my over 55 climbing buddies who are some of the best climbers in our club, or my mother’s Active Retirement Group (who we nicknamed the Overactive Retirement Group) who enjoy bowling, golf, dancing, yoga and whole host of other activities.
If we are here and not in our sick beds then we are never too old to give anything a bash.
Even the wilder stuff, as long as you have a good teacher who is safety conscious and well trained then there really isn’t anything stopping you. Next time the thought crosses your mind that you’re too old to try something new, make a decision. Do you want to get old faster, or stay feeling young? So OK, none of us will be beating beat Usain Bolt in the 100m, but by getting stuck in we will stave off the aging process, kick start our feel good endorphins and have a bit of fun!
Five adventures to try – at any age:
Skydiving. Skydive Ireland are based in Kilkenny and offers tandems and solo jumps for first timers. You can do it for a registered charity, or for yourself. It also makes a great and inspiring gift for friends. A voucher costs between €235 to €275.
Hillwalking: For loads of information about safe and awe inspiring walks around Ireland check out www.mountaineering.ie.
Supping: Stand up paddle boarding looks quite hard, but is actually such a lovely way to take to Ireland’s waters. We recommend a crew called SoulKite and they run SUP tours along Lough Derg. Check out their great pics on Facebook. The large, lightweight boards are more stable than they look and a sedate paddle works the core and upper body, while letting you enjoy the riverside views. Try some onboard yoga if you’re not afraid to get wet! They also run Kite Surfing classes from Lahinch, for the more robust adventurer. Www.iksa.ie also run loads of kite surfing schools around the country where you can learn.
Rock Climbing – We highly recommend Awesome Walls. All the BitchMittens are big fans of the Dublin climbing school. (In fact we might have to plan a Bitches day out!) From 8 to 98 – it’s a very safe and exciting way to get the adrenaline pumping and the body working. With the best walls in Europe for indoor climbing, there are routes for all levels of ability, with one on one private coaching. You’re fully harnessed the entire time and in very good hands. They run outdoor classes too!
Ziplining – There are at least three great Zipline parks in Ireland, Dublin Cork and Roscommon run by Zipit. Challenge your fear by speeding through the forest canopy! A great family day out that will get the blood flowing and give you something to remember.