It is not at all my place to offer you advice or make any kind of judgment about your choices (since I have also overtrained, which it sounds like you might have done, but again I don’t know). Some of the research I’ve done indicates that too much does indeed wear down body parts, and a lot faster. So it might be fair to say that there is a balance, completely different for you than it is for me. When my body starts to get too weary, I rest, rather than try to push through. Again, this is not a criticism of you, it is more a statement that for each of us there is a point past benefit and into damage.

Middle aged folks headed wholeheartedly into endurance training, and I think we are just starting to understand what can happen to certain of us, if for no other reason than some bodies aren’t made for that kind of demand. I also seriously dislike the whole notion of “clean eating,” which may well mean something very different to each of us, but it has a new name in some circles: orthorexia. I am not saying you have it, but I do know that there is a growing obsession with clean eating, and like most things that we sometimes overdo, that can backfire.

Your journey is similar in some ways to mine, albeit we chose different routes. I have taken far better care of myself as I have aged, but I still push hard. I push hard differently- I am just as enthusiastic, just as committed, but I have injuries to work around just as you do. And I want to continue to ride superb horses, climb big mountains, kayak, bungee jump and skydive. I don’t have to be fitness trainer to do all those things. I just need to be very fit, limber and strong.

I admire your commitment to the competition. Those weren’t my cuppa. What I wanted to do was play hard. I can still do that. While I agree with you wholeheartedly that age is not just a number, how we train, and how hard we push when the body might rather need rest is likely to age us a whole lot faster. That’s not just an opinion. There’s a growing body of research around that.

In truth I didn’t even begin to take on a much more serious and focused training regime until I trained for Kilimanjaro. I’d always lifted, but that changed everything. What I do isn’t for everyone, any more that your focus wasn’t for everyone. I don’t have your skills.

I have no clue on earth if your physical issues stem from overwork or over-training, Lisa. I have no idea and I won’t insult your intelligence by guessing. I know damned good and well what it feels like to injuries derail a sport or two or all of them. I most assuredly do. Which is one reason why I try harder these days to find that delicate balance between training hard and training too hard, which years ago I was clueless about. I always believed if more was better, than WAY MORE was the best. I inevitably paid a nasty price.

I really value your input. It’s important to hear the other side of it, albeit as I’m sure you can tell I was focusing more on those coming up with excuse not to get active. Your points are most valid. Thanks.

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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