Tuesday, November 16, 2021

First Person to 100 Who Doesn't Look 100

In recent weeks, there have been several reports of people at the pinnacle of bodybuilding distinction, dying unexpectedly and prematurely from heart failure of some sort --- which totally perplexes those who think that one cannot work the heart too hard or too much -- and that doing so, only makes one "invincible" -- which is apparently and obviously not the case.

As I had realized early on in the initial rush to marathon workouts without end -- the body is actually a precious, limited resource -- and there is nothing in God's universe, that benefits from increasing use, overuse, and outright abuse, that makes it infinitely better -- and observant thinkers have invariably remarked that there seems to be in all things, a point at which one no longer derives a benefit, but then begins to decline, and even dies from "more."  

Then the blame is shifted to something agreed upon to be the cause -- rather than recognizing the obviousness of the simple truth of the matter -- which is that stressing the heart unnecessarily more is not a good strategy for getting maximum longevity from the body, or any other resource.  In this case, "steroids" (drugs) are solely to blame, and not all the other confounders of unwise and adverse behaviors -- even while the overwhelming cause of death is some heart failure.  "How could the heart fail it if was being pushed to the maximum every day?"

That is the nature of things -- it works, until it fails -- and determining that fine line, is the art and science of living -- and not seeing how fast the body (or machine) can go before experiencing that fatal failure.  And so the question all should ask, is not how far and fast they can go before going out in a blaze of glory -- but how one can optimize that spark of life for the longest life possible -- and that is obviously the next frontier and challenge of living in these times -- or any other, for that matter.

Obviously the one still standing, sitting and lying -- at will, at 100, trumps all the young people reaching the pinnacle of their sport at 25, and then dying of a heart attack because of all the bad practices they had adopted to get there.  And it is not as though it is still a path untrodden -- when it has become predictable and endemic to such activities taken to such extremes without regard for any other practical considerations.  Life is a marathon in this sense -- rather than a sprint, or any particular fight to the finish.  Living another day in good health, is the proof of that wisdom and knowledge of life and everything in it, and not simply going out in a spectacular blaze of glory -- and taking as many out with them as possible.

That earns no bonus points in the next world -- or this one, for that matter.  But most take "optimal health" for granted -- as though it is a given -- rather than the goal.  "Optimal" is not "any," or anything one wishes it to be -- but that which proves the exception.  It is the difference between the exceptional and the ordinary -- especially in one's own life, and living.  That is all it has to be -- and that makes the difference.  That is the fine line upon which the balance of life is determined.  This or that, better or worse, and in those many tiny decisions, great lives are made or lost.  Can one tell the difference? -- or is everything one great big blur?

That journey begins not at the end but obviously at the beginning of each moment.  And while such an outlook seems admirable only for the conscientious, that's what it takes to get there -- just as every living thing must decide for itself.  There is no off the shelf product for achieving that end.  It is the summation of everything one does for an entire lifetime -- and that is the reward, as well as the outcome.  Of course, there is still no 100% guarantee of certainty and satisfaction as the marketing says it is -- but one takes their best chances, based on everything they know.

Obviously, what most know to be true isn't getting anyone there already -- or yet -- so what remains to be seen, is what does get one there.  That's simply the truth of the matter -- and not simply doing all the "right" things that produce the "wrong" results and outcomes -- and insisting that is what must be.  No, things turn out differently -- when people do different things -- than what they are told is the only thing that can be done, despite those famously poor outcomes.  That is malpractice of the worst sort -- convincing people they must sabotage themselves in order for that practitioner (adviser) to become rich.

Such advice doesn't work in every aspect of life -- but it is too late to change, and think they must suffer those consequences rather than changing for a more favorable outcome.  The better answer is seldom harder to adopt and implement -- and would invariably make their lives easier and less difficult, but their conditioning is to remain doing what they've done previously no matter how disastrous the results have been -- until they no longer try, and merely resign themselves to a poor fate -- despairing in the usefulness of trying.  New and better information just seems to bounce off of them as though ping pong balls of truth are being slammed into their faces -- no longer inquiring what hit them.

Those are invariably the people who won't make it -- and will have long given up along the way.  When that occurred is a moot point -- because it occurred at so many junctures and turning points untaken.  We all hope never to reach that point of no return.  But we all seem to lose that steadfastness at some point -- that hope that things can still turn around from the runaway train off the cliff.  

How that is achieved is a combination of everything -- and not just one thing -- no matter how prodigious or profligate.  Obviously, everything has to go right -- for a lifetime, or at least 100 years, for one to remain viable and robust at 100.  But those chances improve with an increasing population -- because it only takes one in a billion to get there.  And when that one does, everybody else will know about it -- if they want to.  That is now the world we live in.