Who Needs Numbers?

Who Needs Numbers?

by Bill Hartman, PT, CSCS, ART, "Your Golf Fitness Coach"

Baseball pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige once asked, "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?"

I love that quote. With one question, Paige eliminated any limitations or excuses his age placed upon him. It all came down to what he was capable of, right at that moment.

Satchel played his last game in 1965, pitching three shutout innings. It's estimated that, at the time, he was a spry and vigorous 59 years old. I say "estimated" because Satchel never knew his real birthday.

Now, just in case you think that was a typo, I'll say it again. He was 59 years old.

If I may borrow a line from Mr. Paige, how old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? What limitations have you placed on yourself simply because of the number of years you've spent on this Earth? Why have you done that? Because society says so? What do they know!

Sure, we all have limits. For instance, because of an "old football injury" (I've always wanted to use that line somehow), I'll never throw a football 50 yards like I did when I was seventeen years old. I do, however, still consider myself an athlete. Although I no longer compete on the field, I continue to compete with myself. I challenge myself to do my best physically every day in my workouts and in setting an example for my clients.

Let me leave you with a great example of someone living life without the limitations of age. His name is familiar to you. It's Tom Hardin, author of Never Too Old to Rock and Roll.

Tom doesn't see his birthday as getting another year older, but rather as a challenge to see how much better he is now than he was a year ago. On his 50th birthday, Tom played a round of golf, a tennis match, and then had a terrific workout where he attempted to bench press his body weight. He didn't make his bench press goal that day, but he kept working and training and accomplished it this year, shortly after his 51st birthday. Today, he's stronger than ever and looking forward to setting and accomplishing ever-increasing goals. I think someone forgot to tell Tom how old he is...and let's keep it that way!

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