Just like you, I love to spend long days in nature. Rock climbing and mountain biking are my favorites but any outdoor activity will light me up. I imagine you’d rather get up at 5:00 on a Saturday morning then stay out until 2:00 on a Friday night. Big fancy houses make me uncomfortable yet I feel right at home in a tent, gazing at the stars, and listening to the coyotes sing.
I also know how much it sucks to have declining health keep us from doing the things we love most. At first, extra coffee did the trick; both to combat the fatigue and get those bowels moving. Maybe it still does.
I have intimate experience with heavy fatigue, digestive upset, skin rashes, brain fog, achy joints, and frequent colds. Isn’t it frustrating to be given another set of antibiotics or steroids as though your experience is common & nothing to worry about? At some point, we start being told this is all part of aging. Really?!?
On the eve of my 32nd birthday, I’m taking some time to contemplate my health, happiness, and life goals. It’s a practice I’ve been doing for several years now. Taking a moment to acknowledge how I feel as another year goes by. It’s an opportunity to check-in and notice if there are any aches and pains that I’m unconsciously writing-off as “aging.”
You see, as a society, I think we believe a very dangerous idea. The idea goes something like this:
Do it while you can because once you are old you won’t be able to anymore.
Put another way:
When we are young we should enjoy eating junk, drinking a lot, and pulling all-nighters because somewhere around 30 our vitality, performance, and health will inevitably begin to decline. After that, we can expect aches & pains to become normal, fatigue to plague us, and illness to become more frequent. We might still be able to enjoy the outdoors but our days of peak performance are behind us.
I believe nothing could be further from the truth. Nutrition & lifestyle is critical to our health from the day we are born (before actually, but that’s a topic for another day). Our bodies have a certain amount of buffering capacity which most of us use up (by eating & drinking crap) by our late 20’s. The steady decline in health we experience isn’t an inevitable part of aging. It’s the predictable outcome of our over-stressed, under-nourished, and highly-toxic lifestyles.
Over the years, as my studies have led me deep into the workings of the human body, I am continually amazed by how much abuse our bodies can tolerate. How well, and how long, we can function in an environment devoid of the ingredients we need to survive. It’s equally impressive how quickly we can heal once our environment changes to one that promotes health.
Tribes like the Tarahumara show us that we can stay fit & healthy our entire lives. Wellness leaders, like Dr. Mark Hyman, tell us how they feel, look, and perform better now then they ever did in their 20’s & 30’s. And then there are athletes like Charles Eugster who is breaking world recordings at 96 years old!
As for me, with each passing year, my health continues to improve and I find myself stronger, happier, and better poised to accomplish my goals then ever before!