At Forge, we did the annual horror known as 12 Days of Christmas yesterday. After we were finished killing ourselves we went out to eat together. It was a fun morning and no one actually died. At least, not that I know of.

Lisa and I were in the first heat and she said something about the old, slow people going first. I agreed with her and then the next thing she said made me think that she thought she was older than me. I knew she wasn’t because we just celebrated her 60th birthday. I said I was much older and she asked how old. I said I was turning 66 in two weeks. She then said she didn’t know if she would still be doing this at 66. I told her she would be because she is doing it now.

It is so much easier to keep going than it is to start. We are the only two people at Forge in the 60 decade. There are a few more in their 50s. One of them is Chuck. As we were waiting for our orders to arrive for our feast, Chuck said he was the oldest person there.

Lisa and I were sitting nearly directly opposite him. We looked at each other and then looked at him and told him he wasn’t even close. He laughed and then nodded in agreement.

The point? The older you get, the harder it is and the more badass you are for even getting into the ring. This is really a young person’s game. That’s why in competitions, they start scaling around 30 or 35. Those people can’t compete with the 20 year olds. It is just a fact that we peak early and then there is the rest of our lives to slowly go downhill.

The good part is, if you do stuff like take the risk and hit the gym, that downhill slide is slowed. Not just a little, but by leaps and bounds.

It took me six years and I had given up trying to get Dick to go to the gym with me. He’s pushing 70 and feeling the years creeping up on him faster and faster. There was a great special going on and he took the risk. He has a personal trainer who is helping him defeat his demons.

On the first trip to the gym, he was given an assessment. He had thought he wasn’t in too bad of shape because he walks the golf course. I did not sneer when he said such things to me, but I knew. And after his assessment was over, he knew, too. His balance was terrible. His core strength was minimal. He came home “humbled” by the experience.

But he did not give up. He goes to the gym twice a week, once with a personal trainer and once on his own, following his own path. His balance is improved. His core strength is improved. His range of motion is improved. His attitude is improved. And as a benefit, his golf game is improved, due to all those other factors.

We old farts are in a precarious position. It is beyond difficult to start. But once we get going, we are forces to reckon with. We know that nothing happens instantly. We know we don’t win every game. We have a lifetime of experience behind us. And we know this crap is difficult for everyone and even more so for us oldies but goodies. We are truly special and in a very good way.

We put in the effort and eventually reap results. We astound our peers. We encourage those younger than us who are fearing the aging process. We aren’t younger than our years, we are fitter than our peers. It shows. We do the things. We may not do all of them and we may have to accommodate our own slipping health. We give a nod to our old bodies while pushing them to the limits, and often beyond. We are the shining examples of what can happen when you make the effort.