Monday, August 29, 2011

DEBATING AGE: Youth vs. Wisdom

Yesterday at the World Championship in Daegu, Korea the disqualification of Usain Bolt in the 100m final was a huge surprise, but what also gained attention was the spectacular Bronze Medal run by Kim Colins who is 35 years young.  Now if you have been watching Kim's performance all year, including his multiple personal best performances, his medal win should not have been a surprise. 

The problem is Kim is in a track event where athletes are understood to peak in their mid to late 20' says the limited mind thinker.  But, as I've said before the face of elite athletes is changing, thanks in part to better training knowledge.  I believe the real limitations in athletic performances is not necessarily the age of an athlete but the limited thinking/perception of capability an athlete has because of their age. 

The topic of age is an interesting one... For adults it is considered taboo to ask someone their age (unless of course they are an athlete or celebrity at which point their age is common knowledge).  Often aging is associated with negativity while youth is celebrated. 

Tied to nostalgia, youth represents boundless possibilities and potential – a better tomorrow. Ironically, when we’re young we are bombarded with unique images of beautiful, airbrushed models and Ads advocating a new and improved version of ourselves . We are constantly told through various mediums that what one is not wise enough, thin enough, or beautiful enough – simply put “just not enough". And as that person ages, that message becomes – “You are too old! Better hurry, life is passing you by!” Certain standards of life are put into place as measuring, how far you’ve come in life, and where you’ll end up.

At what moment in life will the message be to be content?

Personally, I can’t help but think of how much naivety I held about age, when I was younger and my lack of comfort of being in my own skin. But, I’m growing up and getting a little bit wiser, day by day and loving the skin I'm in. As my mom says ‘You can’t get wiser without getting older.’

I believe the physical impact of aging is merely a reflection of how we take care of ourselves along the way. Most people are so busy taking care of everybody else that they forget to take care of themselves, and physical aging can bare its truth. However, to paint everyone with the same brush for being old because of a simple number, reflecting one’s age is not accurate. Life is an individual experience and so are the effects of growing old.

Life is beautiful and it should be. It’s about daily self-discovery – daring to fail and daring to succeed. We should never give anyone the power to decide our expiration on potential. If your not where you want to be, when would NOW be a good time to start?

Remember -- “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it!” ~ Anne Shirley (from the movie Anne of Green Gables)