Lifestyle Decisions

Men’s Health and Fitness after 50

Throughout most of my adult life I had never really given much consideration to fitness and exercise other than that it was a means to an end.  What I mean is that some of the things I wanted to accomplish required a certain level of physical fitness, like being a Navy Diver e.g. After maintaining the necessary fitness level for all of my naval career I was kind of over it in the end and so I became less concerned about maintaining my physical condition.  Now don’t get me wrong I could still run, swim, and perform well enough to pass any required physical tests if needed, but it was no longer at the top of my to do list.  After retirement I started a business which chewed up nearly all of my time and what time was left went to the family and our newborn daughter.  So the business, the family and the stress provided me with a good enough excuse to drop exercise altogether.  Now I’ve made some really poor decisions before, but this is one of the few that I truly wish I could go back in time and undo.


After 8 years of being out of an exercise routine it was really starting to show and I knew it.  I had low energy, my health was in decline and physically, I probably looked like a bullfrog standing up when undressed…yuck.  I reached a top weight of 175, my optimum weight is around 150-155.  Now I’m 160.  Maybe it was hitting the FIVE-O that got me off my third point of contact (Airborne for arse), but I really think it was a few things, collectively, that got me going.

Of course turning 50 is enough to make anyone pause and assess one’s self in the life cycle and it did. However, watching my wife workout all the time and continually push to improve herself was a motivator for sure and it still is.  Now these two things got me going but there was still an inspirational void that needed sorting and that one thing I did not see coming.

It was last year when I had the opportunity to work with some of Red Bull’s extreme athletes, by way of a good friend and SEAL buddy, that really changed my perspective.  Most of Red Bull’s extreme athletes do very dangerous things for a living which I can relate to, but their energy is always very positive and light.  I respect them all tremendously, at least the ones I meant and got to know, and I honestly think they respect what I’ve done and some things I still do.  I mean let’s face it, I’m old enough to be their parent and on occasion a grandparent and the generational gap, I feel, usually keeps people apart when there’s a large age disparity.  Maybe it was the mutual respect for each other’s discipline that bridged the gap; it’s something I think about.  I made some new friends last year and this year too as I’m still working with Red Bull on occasion.  It’s changed my outlook and it’s changed me…for the better I believe and possibly forever.

I haven’t been this motivated and dedicated in years.  It’s different this time than before and I find that very interesting.  While exercising before as a Navy Diver/Bomb Tech was part of the job and for a very good reason, however it’s different now.  Instead of exercise being the means to an end, now it’s the means AND the end I believe.  I have a very attractive and active wife and two beautiful young girls that need me and want me around.  That in itself is enough, but now I have to have the self-discipline to push myself quite possibly harder than ever before.  I do know this now  so very well…I should have NEVER, EVER have taken 8 years off from exercising, period.  Now I am climbing out of the proverbial grave and it’s difficult.



© Perry Sasnett

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