A few years back I rode the chairlift at Waterville Valley, NH with an old guy. He looked to be in his mid sixties, and I was impressed that he was still out there skiing.Â On his jacket was a patch that subtly, yet proudly stated “85+”, something I thought nothing of it at first.Â We exchanged the common chairlift pleasantries — “how’s your day going?”, “are you on vacation?”, and so on.Â When the routine conversation reached the end of it’s lifecycle, I pointed to his patch and asked what “85+” was.Â Â To my amazement, he told me that it referred to his age!Â He was in the 85+ and still skiing club!
There I was a 28-year-old prone to complaining about sore knees or a bad back, when a man 3 times my age sat next to me on Waterville’s Quadzilla telling me about a race he had coming up that weekend.Â My God.Â I had to know what his secret was.Â In fact I asked him just that, “My God” I said, “what’s your secret?”Â A big grin came over his face, as he looked me dead in the eye and said, “I never stopped.”
“You never stopped what?” I said.Â “I never stopped moving,” he said.Â He told me of friends he had and friends he’d lost and how for one reason or another they all got old.Â Â They sat for too long behind desks or at bars and they just turned into old men.Â His theory is that once you stop being active it’s hard to ever get it back.Â You stiffen up for good.
I think of this conversation with that old man on the mountain every year around this time.Â It’s been three months since I left Mt. Hood, and I’ve been incubating in an office for too long.Â Portland’s rainy season has super-sized my indoor living time and I can feel myself getting stiff.
I tell ya — winter couldn’t have come any sooner.Â My early season dips into that frozen fountain of youth have felt good, and I look forward to a long cold season of “moving.”Â Hell, I might even get a “30+” patch for my jacket and start my collection early.
https://yobeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/oldman.jpg300575Preston Strouthttp://yobeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/yobeatdotcomsite.jpgPreston Strout2009-12-03 06:00:382012-08-18 18:57:5230's Thursday: The Old Man in the Mountain