Hey Ted (and others):
Yes, Old Man Time takes his toll from all of us, but fitness greatly slows the process.
I can't run a sub-3:00 marathon as I did at age 36, but at age 57, I can do better than most 36-year-old marathoners. (I will run a 3:35 marathon in two weeks.)
So what's happened to me in those 21 years? My hearing is going, my recovery is slower (but still as good as most men in their 40s), I'm obviously running slower, my weight is higher by 10-15 pounds, I can't do math in my head as quickly, my chess-playing ability has slipped, and I'm a recovering heart-disease victim.
On the other hand, I'm more loving and patient with family and students, I'm slower to judge others and quicker to give them the benefit of the doubt, I love running with my two daughters and two sons (all four are runners now), I'm wealthier (thanks to book royalties and my wife's salary as a professor), I have grandkids to play with, I'm in excellent health now (except for allergies this time of the year!), and I'm able to give meaningful service to family, church, and community.
Would I want to go back to age 36? Not on your life, friend.
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