“It Sucks to Get Old.”…Really?

“It sucks to get old.”  This is a phrase I have been seeing quite often lately on social media. So, I have given it some thought. Old. If old means living, aged and infirm, in an elders’ home when the world has moved on without you and taken your sense of self-worth and value with it; when your friends have departed, your family too busy for you and you are living a life of increasingly slender and diminishing quality then yes, then getting old sucks. No one want this version of “old”.

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But most of the people who have expressed this “getting old sucks” are between the age of 35 and 45. So what are they thinking? Would they rather have died young?  The untimely death of a young person is one of life’s great tragedies.  All the promise, the potential lost and unrealized forever. No one wants to avoid getting old by dying young.

Are the people in this age group, where they are approaching “middle” age, starting to realize they are no longer sheltered in the impermeable immortality of youth?  Maybe even they will age and , worse still, eventually die? Is this what starts the “sucks to get old” mentality where each injury or physical setback is seen as an inevitable decline into the gloom of Old Age? I suspect that this has something to do with it. But I cannot be certain.

Most of the people who I have seen expressing this are equestrians. They are leading physical lives and are most likely tuned in to every ache and pain and are concerned that something may impinge on their ability to ride horses. I get that. But….

Get a grip fellow equestrians! We are in the one sport that people can continue to enjoy and also to compete well into our advancing years. Hiroshi Hoketsu, Japanese dressage rider, represented his country in London 2012 Olympics at the age of 71. Ian Millar, Captain Canada, is planning on being on the Canadian show jumping team for Tokyo 2020 and he just turned 70 in 2017 and is competing at the top international level.

 

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Ian Millar and the famous Big Ben

 

Janne Rumbough, the dressage rider I wrote about earlier this year, is 74 and still riding and competing at the most advanced level.

 

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Janne Rumbough competing a the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

 

I am 68 ,with both hips replaced, and I am still riding and competing.

 

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Biasini and me competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

 

The horse is the equalizer.  That is how in equestrian sport men and women can compete against each other. The horse is the equalizer.  And men and women can continue to compete into their 70s and to ride for even longer.  The horse is the equalizer.

So, for all of you concerned that “getting old sucks” I beg to differ.  Yes, you will have to work harder to stay fit. Yes, you will have to employ the services of a good physiotherapist or osteopath, or chiropractor, or massage therapist to keep in top fit condition. But you will still be able to ride.

We are lucky to be able to “get old”.  So let’s make the best of it  and RIDE ON!

 

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Connie Evans still rides everyday at 101 .

 

45 Comments Add yours

  1. starboundeq says:

    I’m only 38, but I love getting older! Especially in the equestrian world where I know that I have years of competition yet to come which means the sky is the limit!
    Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks and all the best to you for those riding years you have ahead of you!

      Like

  2. thiaBasilia says:

    Great! Old? Perish the thought! I’m 78 going on 17, just starting fresh on 2017! Not an equestrian, but! I’m riding the ‘White Horse” with the victory sign! Love your writing style. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Fabulous! You have the right spirit! Thank you for stopping by and for the follow.

      Like

  3. Irene says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Ride on! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! Thank ‘s for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post! I beg to differ as well. I haven’t reached my golden years yet but being an exercise enthusiast(dancer since the age of five, marathoner, yogi, etc.) I dreaded forsaking these things as I aged. But as your post has shown, our passions keep us young! We may not be a the level we were at 20 and 30 but still in the game at 60, 70, and even 80 achieving our passions. Thanks, Anne!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are most welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This post really makes you think. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well it is a long way off for you but it is always good to enjoy every day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, your more than 100% correct. Great post Anne, thank you so much.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so true Anne! Ageing is a privilege that not all are afforded.
    And as you point out we are so lucky to be able to ride (and do it well) until a very late age if we choose

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      We are lucky! Thank you for your lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Avery says:

    YES! Same page here. It is all about attitude. You are only as old as your mind thinks you are! You my friend, are young and reaping the benefits!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Avery! We will carry on carrying on!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hoping to Ride On for as long as I can!!!
    And, we should all remember what a difference it can make to surround ourselves with positive!!
    Nothing that’ll make us feel old and dragged down by someone who mostly seems to see things negatively!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are 100% right about the necessity of keeping only positive people around you. Especially as dressage can be populated with critics and not just the judges. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes… It is a sport of self critique, and at its best, self examination. Somehow though, it also tends to collect a lot of people who like to look at mostly the “negative” side of things. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same. Working hard on keeping things happy and light! 🙂 Which I know you do, too!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        You are right it does seem to attract a lot of Negative Nellies. At my age I have come to be quite ruthless about not having those people in my riding life. I’m with you Happy and Light!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. eyeforapic says:

    Brilliant post Anne!!! Age is all very subjective, but in most cases, if you feel that you are old, you will behave like an old person, but if you feel like a spring chicken, then you will not act old!! I’ve not put that very eloquently, but hopefully you get my drift!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      thank you and yes you are right. The mental attitude is very important.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. eyeforapic says:

        And thank you Anne, you put down in 5 words what took me a whole paragraph to try and say! I’ll definitely stick to taking photos, my writing skills are some what limited! Lol! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Olivia May says:

    Getting old is something beautiful ~~

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Olivia for this positive comment.

      Like

  11. What an inspiring post. I respect your spirit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. We ( in the West) live in a culture that does not really respect old people but there are many who are setting out to change the perception of “old age” .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Age is just a number. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        It is. In my mind the number is much smaller than the number of years my body has been on this earth! Thanks for your comment.

        Like

  12. Well said. I can understand the explanation that the horse is the equaliser.
    I am afraid of horses but can see that they keep you going no matter your age. Awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. Fear of horses is not uncommon and they can be dangerous animals. Even those of us who know and love them always keep that in mind. I’m glad you liked the post.

      Like

      1. It was very special your way of telling it!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Thank you I appreciate that comment!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. At 69, I have more stamina than ever. I love being old, including the aches and pains.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Bravo Susie! You are in such great shape and so active! I bet you have stamina in abundance! Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just wish I had had the opportunities I have now, 50 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Getting old and being disabled are only true in our mind if we let them be.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I appreciate this comment from you! You are proof of this!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And you as well!! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  15. nathaswami says:

    I totally agree with you. I’m past sixty. But don’t admit to being old. I don’t like to be addressed ‘old man’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Good ! Don’t let that “old” term into your life and I agree with you on the names we are called too!

      Like

  16. Great post with fact. Yes we age but do we have to be old….NO. With each passing page of life we become more real, more appreciative, more aware, more whole and more comfortable in our skin because we realize what is important in life. I can remember when in our 40’s thinking we’re getting old but heck at that age we are just finding our stride whether equestrian or mall walker. Get out and be young at heart!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you for this wonderful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lovely post and so true! A much better way at looking at life and getting old. I’ve never understood why everyone is so against getting older! xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I thought you might have a positive attitude toward aging. You manage to be positive despite dealing with MS and you appreciate all of life’s good moments.

      Liked by 1 person

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