Do We Recover More Slowly As We Age?

Us thirty-somethings are probably already aware that the older you are, the more rest and recovery you need. Case and point, my thirtieth birthday hangover was the first two-day hangover I ever had. Sure, I partied hard, but two days? Is this what I have to look forward to?

Some evidence suggests that our biological and physical peak is between 25 and 35 and significant muscle loss begins after 40 (Keller and Engelhardt 2014). This is great news though I certainly didn’t feel at my peak after my recent three-day snowboarding adventure. Oh, the soreness!Image

 At 32 I should be well within my top-level of athletic performance and I want to use my physical accomplishments to push me forward in other areas in life. But this delayed muscle soreness has me worried about my ability to recover in other areas too.

What if I fail again and can’t recover?

 I used to have a “before thirty” list. Now I have a “before thirty-five” list and only three years to complete it. If this plan fails I only have three years to bounce back and start over before I am out of my window.  As if I didn’t feel the clock tick-tocking in my ear loudly enough…

 I know that the 25-35 thing is physical, but there is some physical strength to getting back on your feet emotionally. When I didn’t get into the grad school of my choice (both times), I lost it. Depressed for months I was a shell of myself. Getting back on track and finding my voice again was rough and extremely physically draining. Could I really do that again if I had to? Could my body take it?

When I finally settle down and stop the irrational negative self-talk I remember that just like an athlete, the more you train, the tougher you get and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Failure and even aging can be beat by listening to your body and going at your own pace to get anywhere you want.  Deep down I know this but sometimes I need a reminder when I’m covered head to toe in Biofreeze.

 What do you think? What helps to remind you to keep going?

 

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