Be A Master Athlete, Not An Aging Athlete

It is well understood that in any athletic activity, we reach our peak capability at a particular age and begin to decline. For endurance athletes this can take place as late as our 40s, but after that our peak days are behind us. We can combat to slow down decrease, but not stop it, even with continued solid training. Shane refers to this as pushing versus “the aerobic wall” which can be discouraging.

This is from Shanes motivating book Kaizen-durance. Kaizen (Japanese) or Gai-shan (Chinese) is the concept of lifelong enhancement.

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February 17, 2021February 16, 2021.

It is well known that in any athletic activity, we reach our peak ability at a particular age and start to decrease. For endurance professional athletes this can take place as late as our 40s, but after that our peak days are behind us. We can combat to slow down decrease, however not stop it, even with continued strong training. Shane refers to this as pressing versus “the aerobic wall” which can be aggravating. I need to understand, Ive been pressing for close to 3 decades.

Master Po and his student “grasshopper” (young Kwai Chang Caine).

I am a Mechanical Engineer born in 1953, Ph. D, Stanford, 1980. I likewise have a lifelong interest in outdoor activities and fitness.
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Then he provides us the example of elders who are plainly masters, like Master Po in the Kung Fu TV series, or Mister Miyagi in the Karate Kid movies, who can easily defeat much younger challengers since their skills transcend physical restrictions. Shane presents the term “neural potential” to illustrate what the magic is that masters have, and makes the motivating assertion that it continues to grow as long as we are discovering, even with the decline of our physical expertise:.

The rest of the book goes on to teach us methods to pursue this lifelong enhancement, among which is being persistent about mindfulness throughout training as well as everyday life. Just the concept is encouraging enough for me.
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No longer are we needed to be the “aging athlete”. From now on, we can choose to be the “master athlete”- Shane Eversfield

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