From personal experience, I can tell you this list is essential to a productive, long term professional relationship.
Since my last post [forever ago in the context of instant and immediate everything], I have been immersed in a new book project that’s drawn most of my available energy, which was already in short supply after coming down with the flu this past December. My particular strain has its own designation, H3N2. Some on the Internet tell me it’s an interstellar bug that escaped government protection, while others claim the government manufactured it to use on millennials. Either way, the shit got loose and found a home in a Baby-Boomer.
The lingering effects are legion: Fatigue, weakness, low appetite, cough, airway irritation that affects how long you can be active, loss of sense of smell [which in rare cases becomes permanent], and, in my case, you can tack on paranoia, depression, nightmares and mild dissociative states…among others.
Anyway, once the worst of it had passed, my idea was to take things slowly, not try to rush back to the gym until my stamina was rebuilt. At this writing, however, I’m still waiting.
When I was 23 the flu was an abstraction. I got sick, hung out at home, healed in three days, and met friends out for celebratory drinks. I won. There were no extenuating circumstances, no complications, nothing I gave much consideration to because none of it was particularly relevant. Nobody died back then, at least not until they were too old to live, which was fine since we all agreed that growing that old was like experiencing death in slow motion.
Now I see the extenuating circumstances, the potential for complications, and the shorter life expectancy in real time.
Having run down all of this down with you, I’m not dying. I didn’t contract cancer or have a stroke or brain aneurism or spinal injury. I got the flu and developed psychiatric problems from extended exposure to Webmd.com.
The point in all of this is that at this stage of life you’re in a steady state of low-level paranoia, coupled with reflection and denial. Put another way, what’s reflected is usually denied. So you have to come to a place of acceptance, which requires decades of therapy.
You’re no longer physically beautiful, unless of course, you’re Robert Plant, which you’re not. And death is closer than ever, virus or no virus. Your sense of relevance is constantly under siege no matter what you did to become the person you are which, like I said, is closer to death. For many of you this is the end of mental health, especially you guys on the precipice of 50 squeezing out that last hurrah before staring down the barrel of aesthetic annihilation. One steroid shot after the next, week after week, in tandem with the endless runs, swims, bike rides and weight training sessions that collectively earn one that bronzed wrap, star white teeth and endless string of broken marriages, all in favor of the drug of self. Your time is around the corner. Buckle up.
So here I am, starting the New Year with a bang. In truth, I have nothing to bitch about that doesn’t embarrass me. I have financial security, a family of animals…and a wonderful, loving and reasonably sane woman half my age that puts up with me. What’s not to love?
In this spirit, my blog posts begin anew for 2018.
MORALS OF THE STORY
1] Money does, in fact, buy happiness as long as you’re physically healthy, which money enables you to maintain.
2] Psychiatry is a noble profession.
3] Looks fade, but not heart. In this sense, relevance is eternal.
Obviously, people have nothing better to do with their time.
One of the biggest hurdles we older guys face when trying to maintain our health and fitness goals is finding a core group to keep us on track.
By the time we’ve hit our mid to late 50’s, pretty much everyone our age is gone.
Not dead, necessarily, though you do start hearing more and more about that.
Point is, nowhere near a gym..
We’re already in the .01% of men our age just stepping foot in a gym, so imagine how preposterous a challenge it would be to call your old college buddies in for a 2 hour workout?
So our new support group is now comprised of people of all ages.?
Long story short, my gym-rat cohorts are anywhere from their teens and to their early 80’s.
This is something you get used to, and for many of us, it’s the lifeblood of motivation and good health.
Pretty much everything.
There is a certain aesthetic to which women who date – or aspire to date – successful men adhere. It is very specific.
Adjectives used to describe the look are as follows: “Long, lean, timeless and elegant.”
In order to achieve this look you must first be structurally proportionate and blessed with high cheek bones and solid jawline.
Then you have to diet, which looks a lot like that of Jennifer Lopez when she’s touring.
So 1350 total calories per day. All organic, non-GMO, gluten-free blah blah blah, plus exercise.
So, #1 is appearance.
If you want a rich man, you have to put in the work.
Think of it as a job interview [because it is a job interview] where your new prospective employer has a list of line items you have to meet in order to get a new Mercedes.
#2 is proper grammar.
If you haven’t mastered the Queens English, you have no business at galas and cocktail functions. In bed, you can go back to the streets.
#3 is attire.
You should already know the name of every clothing designer on the planet because he’ll expect you to dress the part after you’ve burned up his credit cards.
#4 Sexual fluidity with a certain uncontrollable darkness, or dark side as it’s often referred.
What this means is that there has to be something about you that he cannot completely conquer, which keeps him off guard and curious.
#5 is interests, as in, you have to have some beyond him or he will assume you have less value than he thought you did after he checked off the last 4 items.
Successful men want reflections of themselves in the women in their lives, so imagine yourself a successful, powerful man in thigh-highs and you’re on the right track.
A relatively new website, http://www.agingevolution.com, extols the virtues of good old fashion clean living and hard work in order to achieve what, for all intents and purposes, is eternal youth.
The site’s tag line is — “It’s Never TOO LATE To Be Great”
Okay. So now you know the hook. So here’s the line and sinker part…
If hard work and clean living are all you have going for you, you’re not getting close to the guy in the above image.
The other part of the equation is never mentioned.
The most important part.
As a 61-year-old man with a lifetime of physical fitness under my belt, I know what it takes to be in top shape.
But I still don’t look like the guy in the above photograph.
Because 61 is not 21 no matter how hard you train.
There is an important distinction to be made between what is naturally achievable at 61, and what is required to achieve what was only possible 40 years ago.
Suffice to say, you can’t pound it out in the gym, prepare it in kitchen, or buy it at GNC or Walgreens.
It comes from a physician at considerable price, both financially and physically.
And people wonder why body dysmorphia’s as common as the flu.
Yes, it’s tempting to fall for all the ads, radio shows and endless infomercials about the merits and virtues of “hormone replacement.”
But just know that this term is a more soft-peddled way of saying “steroid use.”
The following 10 steroids are the most commonly used [and prescribed] since their introduction into the world of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs:
Also known as Clen and Clenbuterol is an anti-catabolic anabolic product that helps users reduce the extra kilos under the belt. This selective beta-agonist 2 symphatonimetric is available in the form of syrups, tablets and injections and has an active life of about 35-40 hours. He is admired by sportsmen, particularly bodybuilders and strength athletes, especially for its benefits when it comes to achieving a lean body appearance without losing muscle mass or muscle size. The use of clenbuterol does not produce side effects such as gynecomastia or water retention, which are common problems with most steroids. The recommended dose is 140 mcg of Clen (micrograms) per day for men and 120 mcg per day for women (doses can be taken with or without meals) unless otherwise recommended by a qualified doctor. Clenbuterol is usually associated with other anabolics such as Dianabol, Deca-Durabolin, Dianabol, Winstrol and during a steroid cycle for optimizing benefits of all atthe same time.
Also known as Oxandrolone Anavar is one of the most used and recommended anabolic steroids. This anabolic drug is second to none when it comes to facilitating speedy recovery after surgery or in case of recurring infection and is equally effective for promoting strength gains without weight gain. It is available in oral and injectable forms, Anavar is a step ahead of other anabolics in the sense that it does not aromatize into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and has no effect on the liver. As regards Anavar cycles,the recommended dose is 20-40 mg per day for men and 10-20 mg daily for women; the doses can be taken with or without meals. It is generally associated with anabolic steroids as Dianabol, Winstrol, Primobolan, and Sustanon 250 during a steroid cycle.
When it comes to staying ahead of the competition without feeling any heat, Oral Winstrol or Injectable Winstrol or Winny inevitably makes the list of top 10 steroids. This is because this drug produces exemplary performance and is very effective when it comes to promoting improvements in terms of mass and strength. The fact that taking Winstrol does not expose users to steroid side effects that are common with most anabolics assures users they can be confident of making tremendous gains. This derivative of testosterone, the male sex hormone, effectively stimulates the production of stromelysin, prostaglandin E2, and matrix metalloproteinases collegenase to promote a solid muscle building process. The recommended dose of this anabolic, available in oral and injectable form, is 15-25 mg (milligram) per day, which can be taken with or without meals. Winstrol is generally supplemented with other anabolics such as Deca-Durabolin, Primobolan, Testosterone Propionate, Dianabol, Trenbolone, and Clenbuterol during a steroid cycle.
Also known as Methandrostenolone or d-bol, it is one of those potent anabolic steroids that can bring dramatic results in a short period of time. This powerful androgenic anabolic product promotes the protein synthesis process that helps in the development of muscle mass and muscle size. It is also effective in maintaining glycogen during a bulking cycle when it comes to developing solid muscle mass. Dianabol can have adverse effects on the liver (protection: Samarin, Legalon …). There can be a water retention rate of up to 30% with Dianabol Pink and Blue, as opposed to only 10% for the Yellow Dianabol. The recommended dose of Dianabol is 20 80-mg daily , which can be taken with or without meals. This anabolic is generally supplemented with anabolics like Anavar, Deca Durabolin, Winstrol, and Clenbuterol during a steroid cycle.
Also known as Deca or nandrolone decanoate, it is an anabolic steroid that can find its place on any list of top 10 steroids. This anabolic product offers powerful anabolic effects and minimal androgen side effects, so users can easily enjoy its benefits without being exposed to side effects commonly associated with steroids. Having no adverse effects on the liver, Deca is very effective in treating blood disorders and developing muscle cells. The recommended dose of Deca Durabolin is 200-400 mg per week for men and 100-200 mg weekly for women. Deca Durabolin can be taken with or without meals. This anabolic is often associated with other anabolics such as Dianabol, Anavar, Clenbuterol, and Winstrol.
Primobolan, or Primo, is one of those potent anabolic steroids that have helped thousands of professional sportsmen and celebrities to realize their dreams. Having no effect on the liver, this anabolic product helps users redefine performance improvements on a continuous basis. It has the ability to stimulate the body to produce more active testosterone. In addition, it is also effective in reducing the levels of androgenic DHT and female estrogen. The recommended dose of this medication from our list of best steroids is 10, 2-3 mg per kilogram per week. The doses can be taken with or without meals. This drug is not recommended for girls and women unless otherwise recommended by a physician. Primobolan is usually stacked with Dianabol, Clenbuterol, and Anadrol during a steroid cycle.
Also known as Oxymetholone, Anadrol finds an important place in this list of top 10 best steroids. This is simply because this steroid is one of the most effective of all oral steroids when it comes to improving muscle size and helping athletes facing injuries. Not only that, it is equally effective in improving the number of red blood cells and helps the body to absorb more oxygen. This drug is medically recommended for persons suffering from congenital anemia (aplastic anemia, acquired aplastic anemia or hypoplastic anemia). The recommended daily dose of this medication is 1-5 mg per kilogram of body weight. It is often stacked with Deca-Durabolin and Primobolan during a steroid cycle.
When it comes to improveing performance, the best anabolic steroid may be Sustanon 250. This performance-enhancing drug is a combination of four types of testosterone: testosterone propionate (30 mg), testosterone phenylpropionate (60 mg) isocaproate testosterone (60 mg), and testosterone decanoate (100 mg). It is very effective when it comes to ensuring improvements in endurance, muscle mass, strength, and of course performance. A unique property of Sustanon is its ability to provide a solid basis for unparalleled quality muscle mass. The recommended dose of Sustanon is 250-750 mg per week for men and can be taken with or without meals. This drug is not recommended for women. It is generally stacked with other anabolics such as Dianabol, Anadrol, and Winstrol.
Success is not far from you when testosterone cypionate is nearby. This derivative of testosterone is hailed as an exemplary anabolic steroid that facilitates peak performance on a regular basis. This anabolic is also useful for ensuring improvements in terms of physical strength, muscle mass, and endurance. The recommended dose of testosterone cypionate is 200-800mg weekly; the doses can be taken with or without meals. It is generally associated with anabolic products such as Dianabol, Primobolan, and Clenbuterol during a steroid cycle.
This derivative of Testosterone is considered by many as the most effective of all testosterone compounds. When used for a period of 8-10 weeks at doses of 500-1000 mg per week, testosterone enanthate offers unmatched advantages in terms of strength gains and also in terms of gains in muscle mass. The derivative of testosterone (testosterone enanthate) is generally added with anabolics like Anavar, Clenbuterol, Dianabol, Deca Durabolin, and Primobolan.
So there you have it.
I have seen each and every one of these drugs used at my gym, and it is NOT a hardcore bodybuilding gym by a long shot.
It’s a luxury family fitness center filled to the rafters with affluent older men and women who want whatever money can buy back from father time.
Now you know why my area of town is rife with ex-Internists turned testosterone pushers.
I’m going to say some things here that are going to seriously piss off a lot of people.
Not that you aren’t used to it by now, but I’m really going in on this one.
Seat belts please…
The article above from www.yourtango.com appeared earlier this year, but brings up certain realities that mirror my own world.
It was penned by a matchmaker who refuses to handle female clients because, as she puts it, “successful older men prefer to date younger women is because THEY CAN.”
“In this tough singles market, if a man pays top dollar for a matchmaker, he expects nothing less than a 29-year-old model.”
And since women are attracted to confidence and power, they embrace older men who are in possession of both…in abundance.
This is not to say that some younger men aren’t filthy rich.
But if a woman is also looking for security, get in line.
Odds are young men have youth and beauty and nothing more, which is why they don’t need matchmakers. They need bodyguards.
Around Houston, it’s commonplace to see drop-dead beautiful young women in the arms of wealthy older men.
In fact, it’s kind of weird not to, unless the couple have been together a long time and she still looks great courtesy of surgeons and cash.
Is any of this fair? In a certain sense, no.
But in the context of commodities in a world of demand and supply, it’s as fair as it gets.
One guy I know has a list of attributes all women he dates must be in possession of…or the “relationship” will last about an hour.
1] Straight white teeth and healthy gums.
2] Clear complexion.
3] Height/weight proportionate [like a fitness model].
4] Fit [like a fitness model].
5] Breasts and butt perky and proportionate [like a fitness model].
Now, as everyone knows, this woman does no exist. So what many men do is divvy up the attributes to see if whatever is missing can be improved upon.
For example, if a given candidate is small chested, breast augmentation is a slam dunk.
If she needs a little toning up, a personal trainer can get right on that.
If her teeth aren’t perfectly straight – or white – there’s a cosmetic dentist on every street corner.
But not everything can be fixed, so he throws the dice and hope she changes.
But most men of true means don’t have to hope for change because they can afford to purchase love like Gucci handbags.
It’s the guys who don’t have quite enough juice to keep the dice from bouncing of the walls every which way who sleep with one eye open.
Understand that the more money and power a man has, the more line items he can check.
As for these young women, did you know that most Americans haven’t been to Rome?
I know. It’s hard to believe.
The same applies to Aspen, Monaco, Paris and the Amalfi Coast.
Did you know that most young women do not own a Hermes handbag?
So let’s say you’re a 29-year-old woman with looks to burn for the next 3 or 4 years, in a dead-end job, and dating a hot guy who’s sleeping with your best friend, but only when he’s on furlough from prison?
The guy is a derelict. He’s going nowhere but down, and you with him.
Enter a 55-year-old investment banker with class and charm and wit – and yes, money – and the derelict is a very distant memory.
These older men know their positions in the human food chain. They know what they can and cannot do, can and cannot have, and the women are no different.
In the absence of a prominent background and trust fund, the culturally average woman must leverage what she does have in order to acquire what she otherwise never will.
This does not mean that young women who choose to date older men are in it purely for the money. In fact, many fall deeply in love with their daddies.
This is the ideal scenario and it’s more common than you might imagine.
Remember the old expression: “Men fall in love with their eyes, women with their ears.”
So what happens to divorced women in their mid-40’s with kids and a heavy mortgage?
What rich, powerful, handsome 45-year old guy wants a 45-year-old woman with kids?
He wants a 25-year-old fitness model with no kids and a penchant for travel.
The matchmaker offers these three alternatives:
1] Find a matchmaker who accepts women as clients
2] Join hobby groups
3] Get out of the house
I’ll add three more:
1] Get in the best shape of your life.
2] Make damn sure your teeth are straight and white
3] Find the best plastic surgeon in town for the necessary maintenance.
As I have said a millions times before, wealthy older women can always hire houseboys.
In fact, I have noticed an extraordinary rise in older women/younger men couplings due to lackluster economic conditions over the past 8 years.
It’s always great to see my contemporaries still kicking ass and taking names.
While Mickey is often maligned for his sense of style, I still see a lot of balls in his immutable swagger.
In the end, he’s having fun, and at this point, that’s all that matters.
As every older athlete knows, non-athletes are masters of projection.
Whatever they’d like to be doing – but can’t – they pretend is some sort of psychiatric disability in others.
With this in mind, here are 10 of the most often heard comments from older, non-athletic gym members.
I will dissect each of them in turn…
#1] Don’t overdo it!
Translation: I hope you sprain your knee doing all that stuff I wish i could do – or felt inclined, inspired or otherwise not too lazy to do – so I’d fell better about not doing it.
#2] You’re going to hurt your back doing all that weight!
Translation: I hurt my back working in the garden, so I’ll be damned if you get to lift 400 pounds without at least a strained tendon.
#3] You’re not 20 anymore!
Translation: I’m not 20 anymore and man do I feel it. So hell no! You’re not going to feel one bit younger then me!
#4] Are you trying to win a bodybuilding contest?
Translation: I resemble a human leviathan, so no, you don’t get to make me look and feel irrelevant!
#5] Doesn’t all that weight bother your joints?
Translation: I can’t get out of bed without bottle of Advil, so how can you possibly lift that much weight without swallowing two?
#6] Are you taking steroids?
Translation: Because I look like crap, he should look like crap. And if he doesn’t, it’s because he’s taking steroids, which doesn’t count.
#7] You’re my hero! [Back-handed compliment].
Translation: This is back-handed compliment that is both self-deprecating and dismissive. Sure, I’d like to look like that, but what ‘lunatic’ puts in that much effort without some psychiatric disability?
#8] Where do you get the energy to workout like that?
Translation: I have no energy to speak of, so why [or how] does he? This is also a way of putting me in my place through subtle innuendo that he knows I am, in fact, no longer 20.
#9] I know a man who ended up in the morgue doing that.
Translation: I’m afraid to anything physical anymore as I fear death more than I fear doing the things that I love. So basically, I’m already dead.
#10] Are you trying to live forever?
Translation: What difference does it make whether or not I work out? We’re all going to die. Of course, living better always trumps living longer, so there’s that.
There is no question that we Baby Boomers can no longer train the way we did at 20.
But this does not mean we can’t kick the average 20-year-old to the curb in the gym.
In order to do this, we must train smart.
If you can afford it, hire a qualified personal trainer with a degree in Kinesiology.
That’s what I did and it’s why I’m where I am today.
Your trainer can also offer tips on nutrition, and help keep you motivated.
The most common reason I hear from older men as to why they don’t hire a personal trainer is that they don’t want to commit to a certain time to train everyday.
Translation: I don’t really want to put myself through all this crap. Who am I kidding?
Researchers at University College London found a direct link between major health problems like heart disease, strokes and diabetes, and the amount of exercise done.
Those who regularly undertook moderate or vigorous physical activity at least once a week were much more likely to be “healthy agers” than those who remained inactive.
People who became physically active during the eight-year monitoring period were three times more likely to be healthy agers than those who remained inactive.
And those who engaged in regular physical activity for the whole eight years were seven times more likely to be healthy than those who did no exercise.
The authors wrote: “Sustained physical activity was prospectively associated with improved healthy ageing – absence of disease, freedom from disability, high cognitive and physical functioning, good mental health.
“Significant health benefits were even seen among participants who became physically active relatively late in life.
“The results support public health initiatives designed to engage older adults in physical activity.”
This week in the gym was a tough one for me.
I officially entered my 60’s last week and I didn’t take it well.
We stayed home, cooked, huddled together with the dogs and cats and waited for the 24 hour period to pass.
This was not the me I used to know.
That person would raise a middle finger to the wind and pull a gym PR.
This time it was different.
I felt depressed, vulnerable and perilously introspective.
Some call it rumination, a synonym for clinical depression in my book.
Instead of getting over it, I tried to walk through it.
The first day in the gym I suffered a nose bleed in the middle of my dead-lifts.
That blew my day because the bleeding wouldn’t stop.
The next day in the gym I suffered a a bout of hypoglycemia, which made me nauseous, forcing me to leave the gym to eat.
Then I started feeling these out of body experiences, coupled with extreme fatigue.
Yep, I was officially old and falling apart.
Life had it talons in me and I was completely and utterly fucked.
So I called my therapist who then told me that what I was experiencing was a late stage midlife crisis.
I’m beyond midlife by 15 years.
I think of it now as a late 3rd quarter reckoning.
I needed more facts to get through this, but I needed more hardcore facts to get through this so I called my Internist.
Blood work good. Arteries clear.
So what the hell was it?
I booked a 90 minute massage, talked to my girlfriend [who assumed I was losing my mind], then finally had a heart-to-heart with myself.
My nosebleed was caused by a strong anti-inflammatory that I happened to take the morning of a tough workout. Not advisable according to my physician it thins the blood, which can lead to nosebleeds under the pressure of heavy weights.
Note to self: If you want to take this drug, do so after a workout when blood pressure isn’t through the roof [with 450 pounds or more in my hands].
Done. No more nosebleeds.
Blood glucose levels fall when people like me don’t eat enough.
Was I not eating enough?
Not even close.
Subconsciously I have been cutting calories because I prefer to be extremely lean.
But it’s impossible to achieve the look I would like without the help of anabolic steroids, which I don’t take.
So I started concentrating on eating more, eating better, fueling my body in a very conscious and proactive way.
Suddenly, no more blood sugar crashes, fatigue gone, and I felt like myself again.
Funny how that works.
I bring all this up because a lot of things happen below the surface in men like me who feel like adolescents in the bodies of older men.
We’re forced to grow up again and again.
And that’s okay because constant maturity has never been a strong-suit of mine, and reality checks are just part of what keeps me going.
As most people know at this stage of the game, denial is the mother of misery.