A few years ago I was very infatuated with motorcycles. My best friend and neighbor who was the same age as me, was also a rider. We enjoyed hitting the trails in sun and sand or rain and mud.
We often rode our bikes to work and hit the trail on the way home. Sometimes we would not find home until well after the sun went down. It was the thrill of the ride, the speed, the jumps, the slips and slides and of course, even the spills and tumbles.
As young riders we would loose ourselves in all the excitement. We were unstoppable.
After a few years of riding my friend decided to sell his machine and stop riding. He said he was getting too old for such things. He thought he was getting too old to be riding motorcycles. Too old for the possible danger. It was his decision and I respected him for knowing his limits.
I, however, continued to ride. I still ride to this day. My tastes have changed, but I still enjoy the feel of the open road. Instead of riding the dirt bikes on the back woods trails I enjoy the ride on a Big Harley.
At 37 years old my friend felt he was getting too old for many things. At 67 years I am still enjoying a much fuller lifestyle and still riding. Why do two people who are so much alike find old age in such different ways.
What is it that defines when we are too old for something? What is it that makes us feel that we can no longer perform a specified task? Age is just a number, not a deadline.
What is it that lets one person get old and keeps another young? Two people of the same actual age and yet two who are so far apart in active age.
My friend and I are still the best of friends and still live in the same town. We are no longer neighbors, but we live less than 1/2 mile apart. We still spend time together but we never do anything strenuous or with any sign of potential danger.
I may be wrong, but I believe the difference in our active age is simply attitude. My attitude says there is a lot of daylight to be enjoyed, a lot of sights to see and a lot of things left to be done.
There are still many things I have not yet accomplished and intend to before it is too late. As long as I can see the sun shine I will pursue my ambitions.
My friend, on the other hand, has it in his mind that there is not much left that he can accomplish. He has assumed that his mind and body can not handle the unknown way before he even knows what it is.
As of today my mind and body has not failed me. My Harley weighs in at over 850 lbs. and on occasion I do accidentally lay it over on its side. Even at my old age I am still able to bring it back to an upright position.
So, I ask you, is our generation getting older or do we just talk ourselves into thinking we are? I may look old, but I still feel like a 30 year old.
And after all, isn’t it all about how you feel?