Midlife Fitness

I found this in my drafts folder. I wrote it four years ago and it’s a great summary of my late-40s approach to fitness.

Looking back, I had forgotten how many times I recovered from severe injury – three times in my 40s, each one a doozy! That’s about 65 weeks of rehab in the last decade.

Each time, I wondered “is this it?” Each time, I came back, eventually.

Avoid long gaps, rehab your injuries, keep it simple and persist.

Your future self will thank you.

What follows is from Sept 2016…

2016-09-16-12-31-17I finished summer by spending a week riding from Telluride to Moab.


I was coming off the most severe bike crash of the last five years and a summer of unstructured training. As such, I was pleasantly surprised by my fitness.

My current regime is simple…

  • get out the door twice a day
  • move in nature
  • strength train twice a week


The crash had me thinking about why orthopedic intervention often fails my friends.

#1 – Many athletes come to their doctor seeking relief so they can make a rapid return to the lifestyle that injured them in the first place.

#2 – How may of us are willing to undergo a sustained plan to strengthen the area that was hurt?

In my case, I landed hard on my left shoulder. Eight weeks after the crash, and six weeks into rehab, things have settled back to normal. By “normal,” I am a pain-free, slightly weaker, version of my prior self.

I find the lack of pain is reducing my motivation to strengthen myself.


Real taboos are evidenced by what we don’t talk about. As such, the topic of personal hormone supplementation rarely comes up in a group setting.

But I am asked in private and I share…

#1 – it takes a tremendous amount of effort, time and money to safely override Mother Nature. There are numerous examples of large-scale medical harms being caused with good intentions (interesting read linked). Steer clear of elective medication.

#2 – Separate from the risk of screwing up your health, my friends are at a place where judgement at work, and kindness at home, is a priority. Giving yourself the blood chemistry of a teenager greatly increases the likelihood of a massive unforced error.

Whether it’s sleeping pills, hormones or some other additive. Consider phasing it out.

As I age, what I truly value is time with good friends in nature.


We ended the trip with a nice dinner halfway between Moab and Boulder.

A buddy, in his early 30s, was celebrating his birthday. He’d been listening to the “nearly-50s” all week and asked what all this meant for his racing. Was he wasting his time?

When I was your age, the ONLY thing I cared about was training all day, every day. It cost me a few relationships but I had a blast. You’re doing great and there’s no rush to live like a middle aged man. Just keep your eyes open if things stop working so well.

I then launched into my spiel, which was my article on passion.


What were you talking about the last time you were the most animated person in the conversation?

There’s information inside your passion.

Write it down!

In my case, I was talking about trying to be a father within a successful marriage.

A young wife will have a portfolio of needs, biases and desires.

As a husband, and new father, you are going to have your own portfolio of ideas for success.

Avoid the error of seeking to change your spouse…

…instead, be the best person you can be, while seeking to understand your core needs.


When you are under stress, you are going to have a tendency to assign blame to your partner — stop this immediately — it is counterproductive. Try a week as a single parent and remember your family needs all the help it can get.

If you ask around (about your “problems”) then you will find out the parenting experience is universal. A better way to frame your household is your “new reality!”


Many of my friends have a tendency to frame fatherhood (and marriage) as a negotiation.

I think there is a more effective way, than trying to outwit, outplay and outlast your life partner.

  • Be clear and consistent about your own needs.
  • Be willing to work to get your needs met.
  • Support your partner’s needs.

Childcare is an area where couples stress themselves, and their marriage, to save from their family budget.

Most my peers have the ability to earn a multiple of their babysitter’s hourly pay. Allocate four hours of work per week — invest the incremental income in time spent as a couple and time spent alone.

A wise allocation of time can bring you closer as a couple and keep you from tipping over the edge with your kids.