The Reaper is out there. He is coming for everyone. Eventually, he’ll get all of us. But you have some say in how it all goes down. You can go out on your own terms.
There are choices we can make. We can choose to live a healthy, high-performing lifestyle and maintain wellness over a potentially longer and certainly higher-quality timeline. Or we can select less optimal patterns of living and actually exemplify an accelerated path to dying. This is a choice.
You can live into your 80’s and 90’s, kicking ass at relationships, joy, work, family, sports, functional independence, and vitality. You can stay healthy until nearly the very end…then go quickly in your sleep (or at least somewhat expediently). Or you could have your first stroke, heart attack, or organ failure in your 40’s or 50’s, get started on a series of surgeries and hospitalizations, and begin a daily regimen of double-digit pill intake. You might last for several decades but they will inevitably involve decreased capacity, enjoyment, and participation in life and an institution-based, protracted ending.
The very same practices that lead to peak performance in our teens and twenties are the ones that shore us up and keep us going toward 100. The rules of biology are consistent. No one is immune to them. Humans are genetically programmed to be athletic. The high-performing beast just works better and lasts longer…in mind, body, and spirit.
Many experts suggest that human organs are designed to last about 125 years. That may be a bit of a stretch for most of us but 95 is certainly a reasonable target. As wonderful as modern life is, we may have to accept that our relatively chronic exposure to unnatural stress, food, environmental toxins, and other challenges might shave off thirty or so years from the “git-go.”
As I indicated initially, we are all going to die — let’s not be delusional about that fact. Most thought leaders in wellness, medicine, and longevity are promoting the concept that humans die from the same thing: heart attacks, strokes, cancer, organ failure, and a loss of resistance to pathogens/diseases. It’s just that healthy people die of these things much later in life, and usually more rapidly. The onset of the problems tends to be much later and the outcome more rapid. Lifetime Athletes are able to participate in — and contribute to — LIFE…to the greatest degree.
Most of the infirmities mentioned above are currently recognized as disorders of lifestyle and metabolism…at least when they occur too soon in life. Genetics were once thought to be static and unapproachable in terms of the “hand of cards we are dealt” with respect to disease and death. However, new science has taken on a slightly different understanding. Genetics are powerful and they do matter, but lifestyle, or epigenetics, plays the dominant role in how specific genes are either expressed or suppressed. As some will say, “genetics loads the gun, but lifestyle fires it.”
This is where the Lifetime Athlete System comes into play. Establishing a foundation of lifelong health, through simple practices in nutrition, sleep, movement, and other lifestyle factors…removes obstacles from a great healthspan. And then applying the essential elements of peak performance (training, recovery, and mindset) allows the human beast to get that final 20% in awesomeness. You can’t really be your absolute best by just being healthy alone…you need to be athletic (at least to some degree and according to your own definition).
Being a peak-performing athlete for life is representation of the human experience maximized. Crushing sports goals at any age, staying fit and capable of doing whatever you want, being able to pick up your grandkids or even take care of your home independently…these are the definitions of a Lifetime Athlete. A person who can keep The Reaper at bay for as long as possible. Someone who really is HARD TO KILL!
If you’d like to learn more about how to do all of this, come to the HARD TO KILL WORKSHOP in Bozeman, Montana on February 29th. Or, if that doesn’t fit your schedule, reach out to me to inquire about how you can bring this masterclass to your organization or workplace.