Monday, September 28, 2009

Age Before Beauty

The title above comes from Rocky 2, which was uttered by Apollo Creed to Rocky Balboa as he invited the latter into the boxing-ring. These two variables are dipolar opposites, and have an inverse relationship to each other. Age increase, while beauty diminishes.

I have observed that in endurance sports, older competitors have beaten older ones – often by a large margin. Mind you, the older body does not recover as fast as a younger one. That is nature’s way of saying: Time is running out. Mid-life crisis, as is lived by most middle-aged men seems to be the point where men plunge into extreme lifestyle changes. It is not surprising that endurance sports like triathlons, marathons and fast-car driving are popular with that stratum of the population.

Does one get better with age? Comparing wine to people is one analogy. Yet, not all wines age gracefully, especially in a hot and humid climate. Vinegar is one by-product of aging (and oxidation).

In which ways do we age, with benefits?

1. Acquisition of wisdom (although it is finite)

2. Wider breadth of experience

3. Depth of knowledge in more subjects

4. More frames of references

5. Skillfulness (levels that are near mastery)

6. Aerobic fitness (ability to last physically longer, until fatigue sets in)

7. Maturity of thought

8. Enhanced reputation as a role model

Do you dispute with any of these?

By the way, congratulations to Joseph Ong who will represent Singapore in the 60-64 years age group for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida on 14 November. We wish him all the best!


Matty Wong said...

Like wine, with the right conditions i believe that one can age well into a more bodily nature with very nice fruity flavour. This translate into having more experiences in the races we prepare and participate in.

Maturity does assist in other areas; studies, decision making, organisational skills, etc.

Communications however deteroriate with age, we tend to get muddle with mental models and mindset. Children on the other hand are frank and open abt their opinions.

Enrico Varella said...

I enjoy wine; however, recently I have drifted naturally to white wines. Am I maturing, or acquiring a new taste. Maturity is an interesting process, whilst the body ages. You are correct in your observations that our ability to communicate changes, muddled and muddied by our habits and preferences. Leadership can evolve splendidly with age, learning from the wisdom of hindsight, and mistakes.

Thank you for your continued and active participation in these casual forums, Matt.