In 2013 I trained for Kilimanjaro. I was sixty at the time, no slouch, but that year I trained four hours every single day. It was a very extended challenge. By the time I got to the top of that mountain, I was in extraordinary condition. I’d also suffered plenty of overuse injuries.
What I learned, and again to your point, is that not only was this not sustainable, any time that I train hard for a particularly difficult adventure, I have got to keep in mind that there is a post-event life. I don’t want to train so hard I injure. I don’t want to train so hard I resent the process. And, I don’t want to get addicted to the training process itself, which then becomes just another OCD that I need treatment for later on, like a heroin addiction or alcohol problem. Anything done to extreme is a problem. Period.
Because as you point out, its ridiculously expensive (200 pounds a month? MY GOD) the food is ridiculously expensive, the time commitment is ..well, you get the point.
These days, seven years later, as I continue to stay in shape and train regularly, I have much moderated my program, and it’s a lot more fun. I no longer injure myself through brutal gym sessions. It’s sustainable. So is my eating. I don’t castigate myself for a goddamned donut, nor do I much worry that my body has packed on an extra pound or two. I am in incredible shape, period, not just for 67 but for any age. I can sustain that because I do not engage in fitness fads. I found what works for my body and my commitment level. That’s a very individual journey. What I do isn’t for everyone. Because my work requires that I be fit (and happily that’s one hell of a nice side benefit), it’s a lifestyle. Not a bad setup.
However when being fit demands specialty foods, specialty programs, specialty (read VERY EXPENSIVE AND TIME INTENSIVE) whatever, then fit increasingly becomes the realm of the rich. That’s balderdash. We don’t need all that. What we do need is a commitment, a willingness, a set of reasonable goals. Some of us need peeps. I don’t,being very solo in my fitness endeavors. It’s fun to find fellow riders, but for the most part, my early am runs and gym visits are very private.