There comes a point in your athletic career where you either accept that you are "past your prime" or you adapt and find a way forward.
We have been fed countless headlines of how aging means slowing down, losing pace, and creaky bodies. Instead of figuring out a better route forward, many of us just fall in line and accept that our peak has passed. Have you made this decision? Why?
If you look at the research, humans generally see a 10% decline in strength and endurance every decade after 30. Want to know a little secret? Many of these studies do not look at people who have continued to regularly train. If you do not train, you get slower and weaker. Shocker.
What happens if you do continue to train? Let's not stop there. What happens if you continue to evolve your training to fit your needs and improve your limtations?
Let me introduce you to Siphiwe Baleka. Siphiwe swam at the D1 level in college and performed at a high level. Siphiwe swam faster at 46 compared to what he did in his college days in the 100 BR. He also was in striking distance to some of his other lifetime bests.
How? At 46 he should be "over the hill, right?
For Siphiwe, 46 was not even his endpoint. As is goal for turning 50, he wants to break the masters world record for his age group. He also aims to do it at the Olympics while representing Guinea Bissau.
Wait... but aging?
Here is some good news. We do not know what is possible as an athlete ages when proper training, nutrition, and recovery is maintained. We have seen glimpses of it with Dara Torres and other athletes, but the surface is just being scratched. Want to hear inside the mind of Siphiwe and what drives him to explore the peak of his ability?
This first conversation is one we did over a year ago. I still go back and listen to it regularly because it reminds me of a well-rooted path forward to performance success, regardless of age.
Once you are done digesting that information, progress to the next conversation we had a week ago. Siphiwe is having to adapt to a new training environment, altered plans, and adjusted goals like we all are right now. That being said, he has such a strong "why" that it allows him to continue to drive progress in quarantine. My hope for you is that by listening to these two conversations, you start to reprogram your thoughts on what is possible as you age. This second talk shows how there are so may bodily frontiers that we are just getting started with. The progression opportunity is endless.
While we get into some more advanced topics during the second talk, you can see that Siphiwe evolves to that level by starting with a foundation of the basics in the first discussion.
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Here you will find posts about the topics that come up during the journey to your best performance!