Physical Strength and Dexterity the Key To Good Mental Health [in Boomers]

maxresdefaultSylvester Stallone, 70.

Ever read a story along the lines of … “61 year old man knocked to the ground by two teenage girls?”

When you’re in that chronological ballpark, the story becomes more about you than it does what happened to someone in some small town far, far away.

Could I have defended myself in that situation?

Would the teens have even dared approach me, given my physical condition and size?

What would happen if I somehow lost my ability to defend myself in a situation like this?

Would life even be worth living?

Would I have to move to some gated retirement community with 24-hopur armed security to protect me?

As weird as this may sound, the right answers to these questions are at the core of good mental health for men my age.

I have always been very athletic.

To this day I hold the USAPL Texas State record in the Power lift.

I can still run, jump, climb, swim, bike, throw a football…all the things I could do 30 years ago.

But it isn’t 30 years ago. Now I have to warm up, stretch, prepare for battle.

No longer are the days when I went from idle to full bore without missing a beat.

See, no matter what you do to maintain yourself, there’s always a price to pay.

This is why so many older men do stupid shit.

You can fill in the blanks here. I don’t need to reiterate what I’ve said a thousand times before.

In the end, what all older men fear most is Indignity.

Once you understand that, you begin to understand older men.

Time Waits for No One, Especially Older Men Who Spend Their Lives on a Couch [at home]

time-knows-no-time-and-waits-for-no-one-255x327As we age, we fall apart.

This is normal and natural.

Falling apart is life’s way of preparing us for death, when we look at our situation and decide it’s better to die than go through any more of the crap we may be facing.

You think back to a time when playing flag football on a beach was no big deal. You walked out to the beach and started throwing the damn ball. Done. if there was no ball, there was a Frisbee. If not that then rocks. Whatever.

There was no shoulder pain, no need to warm up. The joints were healthy, the mind free of all the bullshit that accumulates over time, like clothing you never wear but never seem to get rid of.

Stay in this mindset long enough and you fall into the rumination pit. So get out before it’s too late.

You know where you are, what the situation is, where you are in the scheme of life. The best you can do is mitigate the damage.

How?

By changing everything about your life, excluding nothing.

You will transition from loving meals to hating them. Taking its place will be the shrinking waistline, improved mobility, and absence of adult onset diabetes.

This is why older people are so often heard ordering “fabulous salads” at dinner, when you know they want that rib-eye and mashed potatoes.

It’s a mind trick we all ply on ourselves to get through the payment process to good health.

Then there’s the gym. Yea, the gym. As in you’ll have to go to the gym all the time – and I mean all the time – because anything less than 5 days a week constitutes weekend warrior status, which is worse than not doing anything at all.

If you don’t believe me, try it.

And don’t get me started on how much sleep you’ll need to recover or how much you’ll have to pay a personal trainer to keep you on track.

And did I mention friends, wives and/or girlfriends?

Yea, that too. You’ll need new friends who live healthy lifestyles or you will drop your fitness routine faster than your next heart attack.

And this applies to the significant other in your life. If she’s a fat-ass, you’ll follow suit.

Fitness couples are like codependents. Some think of AA sponsors.

It’s that important.

So now you hate to eat, must face a gym 5 days a week, establish new friendships, and perhaps, find a new wife.

This is when many older men find a therapist and buy an apartment for a stripper.

After all of this is done, you have to be able to let go.

Of everything. Of fate. Inevitability.

You have to accept where you are and go out doing things you love…even if doing them will kill you.

It’s not like you wouldn’t be there already of you hadn’t paid the aforementioned price.

The Forensics of Rich Older Men and the Young Women in Their Lives

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“Hell yes, I’m down. No money. Psychiatric problems I can’t even pronounce. No job prospects. One foot in the gutter. So yea, that old man looks damn good at this point. What other choice do I have? It’s hell out here and I’m not getting any younger…”

…………..

After a certain point, relationships tend to be more about conscious asset balancing. This is not cynicism. It’s just another door to love, rather than the one we used when we were in our twenties.

Thus, when people see young women in the company of much older men, they see a very specific equation. But there’s often a lot more to it.

For example, let’s say an affluent man of 65 begins to see a woman of 35.

He may be in excellent physical health while she’s one foot under a bridge.

Men her age aren’t interested in her because she’s fallen through the cracks, in spite of a lingering beauty, unmistakable from days gone by.

Such men easily find others their own age who are successful attorneys, doctors, engineers and other gainfully employed professionals without the physical and psychiatric disabilities.

So she makes a conscious decision to do something about it by leveraging what she does have [youth and lingering beauty] against everything she doesn’t [the list is endless], and comes up with a man 30 years her senior willing to take her on in exchange for companionship and the prospect of real love.

He’s old and successful, she’s relatively young and broken, but with the proper care and financial resources he can rebuild a broken soul while satisfying his own needs at the same time.

She gets elaborate shelter, a constant resupply of meds, funds for medical check-ups, plastic surgery, fillers, Botox, travel and a closet full of designer clothing.

What’s not to love?

Over time she reemerges as someone else, a better her, the one she left behind a decade ago now on top of the human food chain.

And while she did, in fact, “sacrifice” years [Read: work], her efforts paid off handsomely.

Now you know why so many young women are in the company of rich older men, and why money is only part of the equation.

Baby Boomers Finding Fitness Groove in Houston

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/health/article/Baby-boomers-find-a-new-fitness-groove-as-they-age-8351062.php

The article makes some good points about aging and athletics.

But there is far more to the story as I will detail shortly, blow by blow.

…………

By the time most people hit 60, it’s pretty much game over as far as living life to its fullest is concerned.

Most of that’s in the past, the memories, when a good night’s sleep was irrelevant.

These days, it’s more about a nice place near a beach, and plenty of whiskey.

Of course, I don’t know any of these people.

The people I do know are still semi-active in their careers, and regulars in the gym.

But I live in a bog city where the bar is set sky high.

In other words, people don’t see 60 as the end of days, but rather the beginning of a new dawn where even actuarial tables are considered abstractions.

Statistics

The Baby Boom is a period in history between 1946 and 1964.

There are roughly 77 million of us between the ages of 52 and 70.

We’re facing body changes that include a slower metabolism, arthritis, menopause, weakening joints, and, of course, depression.

…………..

THE REALITIES OF A FITNESS LIFESTYLE AT 60

People at this age, with time to focus on workouts and the lifestyle that goes with it, are already successful in their careers.

Money buys the time, and this is a big deal because fitness is not just what happens in the gym.

So rule #1 is to have reasonable degree of financial independence.

Once you pass this initial test, you’re ready to start –– or continue, as the case may be.

As a lifelong athlete, I can tell you unequivocally that even for someone like myself with decades of training behind me, shit changes…and it feels like it comes in the night and takes what the hell it wants.

I wake up exhausted most days. Even the days I don’t, I’m still exhausted, relatively speaking.

It’s part physical, part existential [psychological].

I don’t know whether I want to get up and be productive or surf beachfront properties.

There’s this push-pull dynamic that I don’t recall experiencing in my past.

Then there’s the endless inflammation, the rehab from anti-inflammatories to prevent liver failure, the weird little shit that pops up every 5 minutes for no apparent reason other than what comes across as taunts.

This is why you needs friends who help support your efforts, your lifestyle –– particularly if you’re just starting out.

So Rule #2 is to have friends who like to workout.

Without a support network you are dead in the water, because, at some point, you’re going to give up without encouragement.

No 60-year-old in his right mind is going to workout unless he can share the journey with like minded friends, people who prop him up like AA sponsors.

Then there’s the whole low testosterone things, which, on some level, affects all of us at some point.

Many guys I know are on testosterone supplements, which is not without risks, but worth it if you don’t care what happens to you in 10 years.

To them, it’s the next 10 years that matter. You’ll have to decide for yourself if the risks outweigh the rewards.

Rule #3 is to get your Tes levels checked.

If they are ridiculously low, Prada makes beautiful syringe cases for your drugs.

There are also countless physicians who make handsome livings prescribing steroids to successful older men.

Rule #4 is to get more rest than you think you need no matter how little time you think you have left.

With or without the drugs, you’re going to need extra rest to recover from tough workouts…and, by the way, those are the only workouts you should ever have if you want to get anywhere.

If you’re going to piddle around, just stay home. Gym workouts are not for the faint-hearted, which brings me to Rule #5.

Rule #5 is to find a therapist if you don’t already have one.

Most older men get depressed, and without a healthy outlet beyond the gym, we tend to do stupid shit like buy motorcycles or bring in a hooker.

The best approach is to get help for the inevitable existential drear that comes with aging, and combine it with tough physical training.

If these two don’t nail it, call a priest.

In a way, staying fit at 60 is like boot camp used to be, only this time around you get to the final chapter in one piece

Another upside is that you’re not training for actual war, though it may feel like it.

Too Much Rumination Is Costly, Believe Me

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Okay, so I’ve been on the road a while –– business meetings, photo-shoots, family gatherings and such, so posting to this blog has not been my first priority, though I’m told by mental health professionals that it should be.

They always tell you this because thinking too little is bad for their business model.

Thus, ruminate as little as possible if you want to avoid therapy bills.

I’ll leave it at that. Like I said, I’m on the road.

Back shortly…

How Do We [Baby Boomers] Appear to Those Around Us?

jaymodel“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.”
Oscar Wilde

When I was in my 20’s I knew exactly what I looked like to people around me.

I knew that i was relatively handsome, fit and young.

This was affirmed everywhere I went. I wasn’t deluded, unlike most people I know these days.

Then time passed – a lot of it, actually – and I no longer knew.

People started to see and interact with me differently…or not acknowledge me at all.

WTF?

Some refer to this as invisibility, but I prefer other words that don’t provoke ego annihilation.

The weird thing about all this is that I still feel young. Or youngish.

My knees ache a little in the mornings, and my joints are tighter than at any time in memory.

But the truth is I don’t remember what 25 felt like, but I have to assume that no matter what it felt like was irrelevant in the scheme of things.

A childhood friend described a moment recently where he was strolling along the beach and a beautiful young woman passed him by without noticing him.

“I though she might at least glance over…”

“It wasn’t that long ago when we would both smile and maybe look back at one another, and everything would be exactly where it belonged.”

But there is no normal any more.

Getting older requires a constant re-acquaintance with oneself.

But this is easier said than done, particularly for people who spent their lives doing exactly what they wanted to do and remaining child-free.

And people wonder why big corporations want their employees married with children.

Child-Free and Deluded

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As a 60-year-old man, I’m the first to admit that I’m neither comfortable with, nor accepting of, my age.

But I’m also not so out of touch with reality that I think I can do a damn thing about it.

This awareness, however, doesn’t make things any better.

I look in the mirror and i see someone who bears only a vague resemblance to the handsome young man who relied on his appearance and charm to open doors.

Now such cavalier behavior comes across as creepy and deluded.

This “old guy” just flirted with me!

Wow. That might have been me.

See, I feel trapped in a body that no longer feels like my own. I’m inside of it bouncing around, unhinged and spiraling.

Who is this person I’ve become?

My 84-year-old mother confessed to me the other day that she still feels like a kid, but knows it’s just life’s way of  doing what it does to maintain our instinct for survival.

As many of you who read my blog and know me personally are already aware, I live with a woman half my age.

In another reality, she might very well be my daughter. She is also child-free and rebellious like I was at her age.

Together, we live in a kind of cocoon of art, entertainment and fitness, the later of which being the primary outlet for our interaction with others.

Other men my age have children in the workforce with wives and children of their own. A few are married to the same women they met back in college.

This is normal.

The reason I bring this up is because the only way that men like me mature properly is to deny ourselves introspection through chaos [i.e., distraction].

But because there is no chaos in the form of “a boss,” “children,” an “age-relevant wife” and a culture group built on conformity, I’m like a wild animal that that digs deeper with every step, making my journey more conscious, more aware, and less resilient where acceptance is concerned.

The truth is most people don’t think about any of this to the point of distraction bordering on preoccupation.

They live vicariously through their children, and allow themselves to be swept up into the mindset of friends, wives, country clubs and common vacation destinations.

They throw up their hands, get into the hospital system, and disappear into enclaves populated by others of their kind until they fall ill and die.

This is also normal.

But guess what?

There are others of my kind who fight this every step of the way. Not that it gets us anywhere, but we do it anyway.

God did this to us.

He put us here to do a couple of things and then die.

But many of us refuse to die under any circumstances, so we’re forced to suffer through a kind of extended Purgatory of the mind.

There are books and drugs to calm the mind, both natural and otherwise, but in the end we’re stuck here in these distraction-free zones cannibalizing our innards.

Here are the only ways I know to fight back with a reasonable expectation of success:

1] Travel constantly, or at least every other weekend. While it is nerve-wracking, it usually doesn’t kill us, which makes us stronger, psychologically.

2] Go to the damn gym no matter how crappy you feel because after a workout, you will again find yourself full of enough endorphin high to get you through the next 12 hours. For extra endorphins, lift very heavy weight. There’s nothing like it to get your head back to ground level.

3] Laugh as much as possible. Even if you’re depressed, laughter is a sure-fire way of exorcising noonday demons without the help of a Catholic priest.

4] Retail therapy is an integral part of happiness as we age. Yesterday I bought some new Bose Noise Reduction headphones and it did me good all through last night.

5] Have passionate interests. I’m never bored because I love to play musical instruments, write, read, take photographs go to the gym and watch commercial-free television shows on my Macbook Pro. If you’re not passionate about anything, you’re toast. 

6] Spend time each day around normal people so you can appreciate just how wonderful abnormality really is…no matter how bad it can often seem. 

7] Spend a lot of time in water. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a shower, bathtub, ocean or swimming pool. There’s something about it that feels cathartic. Yesterday I took three showers, one whirlpool and 20 laps in the swimming pool.

8] Go back to your music collection and play something you really love as loud as possible for 10 minutes, preferably after a glass of wine or a joint if you happen to live in Colorado.

9] Find a massage therapist who actually performs massage, not trigger point. The idea is to feel good, and therefore, escape. this usually works for a good 24 hours.

10] Have erotic sex as often as possible no matter how much it may irritate your lower back. The absence of depression will more than make up for it and keep you feeling relevant and alive.

and last, but not least…

11] Nurture those closest to you. The rest are irrelevant at this point.

You’re welcome.

Final Comment

If you still wonder if or why people don’t see the same young man they saw when you were a young man, please reread this.

 

Fame, Power, Money and SEX in Entertainment

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3754559/Fox-News-host-Andrea-Tantaros-files-suit-claiming-network-operates-like-sex-fueled-Playboy-Mansion-like-cult-Roger-Ailes-Bill-O-Reilly-unwanted-sexual-advances.html

Newsflash: It’s not just Fox, and it’s not just entertainment, but mostly entertainment because people who choose this route are most often dealing with some form of psychiatric disability.

This aside, when I was a budding young actor in NYC [and before i chose photography and writing], this kind of thing was commonplace.

If you wanted something, you have to surrender something – usually your dignity.

I mean, come on! You weren’t just asking for a job as a bagger at Whole Foods for god’s sake.

You wanted fame and fortune and everything that goes with it.

That was then.

The great thing about being older is that you can look back at all the shit you had to swallow to get ahead and know that no one will ever pull that shit on you again, not least of which because you’re no longer a hot 22-year-old model with your hands out.

My ‘Private Idaho’ of Gym Eccentrics

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My health club is like an outpatient psychiatric facility where patients attend daily group therapy sessions between med checks.

It’s a free-floating phantasm we all play a role in creating.

The list of characters that make up this world are as colorful as the disorders that drive them.

Here are my top 10:

1] …

[up next]

 

 

 

The Urban Dystrophy Virus Spreading Among Millennials

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Mason [on the right] wears the mark of truth [Urban Dystrophy t-shirt].

He is also 1/3rd my age and already gets it. 

Hopefully, the general narrative will serve he and others of his generation well.

proof1-1~~~

I’m the first to admit – brag, frankly – that I don’t cavort with a politically sensitive crowd no matter what their ages happen to be. 

Nobody places boundaries on free speech and/or expression.

If someone is offended by something someone says, they let them know it and just move on.

I find this refreshing.

Every human being, both old and young, knows what’s acceptable and what’s back from the time they were kids — not since the last political convention.

As a parent to animals, I don’t know much about raising human babies. But what I do know is that the way I was raised didn’t kill me, and, in fact, probably led to my avoidance of federal prison.

With this in mind, here are 10 lessons parents should hammer into their kids heads before it’s too late:

1] Corporal punishment is a good thing when kids act up. As long as you don’t put your kid in the hospital, beating them with belts, paddles and boxing gloves is the way to go.

2] Tell your kids the truth about everything. If he or she looks like a tramp  – or complete idiot – let them know in no uncertain terms before they learn about it on the playground where wolves will be wolves.

3] Hammer into their heads that the most important thing in life is financial security followed by health…and then love.

4] Life is a food chain. Everything you say and do can and will be used against you in the court of popular opinion, including job applications.

5] Take care of your health using exercise, particularly weight lifting, to help mitigate your psychiatric problems.

6] Sex is good. More of it is better.

7] If you have sex with someone, just know that they now have leverage over you, so always keep #4 in mind.

8] People are rarely altruistic unless it benefits them, which may also benefit you. So there’s that.

9] When guys get older, they don’t necessarily get weaker. So keep that in mind when you decide to fuck with a guy 3 times your age.

10] Holding onto money is always tougher than earning it, so earn a lot so you can play the odds without ending up under a bridge.

🙂