If 30 is Old, then what is 60?
An old man at 30. That’s what they have been thinking and saying about world class tennis champion Roger Federer – until Sunday, July 8, 2012. That’s when he captured his 7th Wimbledon Men’s Singles Championship Title, his 17th Grand Slam Title. This brought his ranking back to #1 in the world.
Her tennis playing is over. That’s what everyone thought about the bed-ridden 30 year old tennis champion, Serena Williams. Ten months ago, Serena could hardly breathe and found herself fighting for her life in a hospital bed, surrounded by caring family members. At that point she probably thought it was all over for her physically, that she would never play tennis again, and that she would certainly not compete at the highest level. Her ranking had dropped from #1 in the world to # 175! Ten months later, however, at almost 31 years of age – an old lady by tennis standards – Serena Williams won her 5th Wimbledon Women’s Singles Title. She held that trophy high, beamed for all to see her joy and jumped up into the stands to hug her beloved family.
Who created the myth that we are victims of our age or even of our current health? Age is truly just a number and the sooner we realize this, the more healthful joy we will experience. Medical doctors are notorious for labeling their patients’ symptoms as “incurable disease,” hereditary, chronic, and caused by some uncontrollable virus, germ or autoimmune response. The media add to this sense of pre-determination and helplessness in the face of illness. We see so many advertisements claiming that if we have chronic debilitating symptoms, the only solution is to live with it and alleviate the pain with pharmaceuticals.
The pharmaceutical industry is booming. Doctors who place their “sick” patients on medications are able to secure their patient load. Once a patient begins a course of medication, that person must be monitored regularly by the doctor. And this is not free – it costs money. The patient often feels cared for and the doctor feels as if he or she is doing a service for this ill person.
However, there are many alternative practitioners and medical professionals who are beginning to accept a different paradigm. Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, offers a new perspective. Through his study of the cell, the cell nucleus, the DNA and the cell membrane, in animals and in humans, he has discovered that perception, our thoughts and beliefs, are more powerful than any medication or any disease process. There are countless people who have miraculously “cured” themselves from even the most deadly and serious illnesses through a change in consciousness.
Now, this is not easy. When we have physical symptoms, those around us may be rightfully concerned and may encourage us to take the traditional treatments. And the medical professionals will sometimes be very harsh and judgmental when we tell them we want to learn all we can to improve the healing process within our own body.
But the times they are a-changing. The numbers continue to grow of men and women using CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and lifestyle changes to improve their health and who have derailed the myth that age is really an accurate predictor of one’s athletic performance or overall health. A 2007 report by The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), revealed that baby boomers, those with higher income and those with higher education, are more likely to use CAM therapies:
- Persons age 50 to 54 years (69%) and 55 to 64 years (70%) were more
likely to have used a CAM therapy or practice than those age 65 and
- Seventy-seven percent of those with an income of $75,000 or more have
used CAM, compared to 55% of those with an income below $25,000.
- Higher percentages of those with some college (73%) or a college degree
or more (71%) have used CAM compared to high school graduates (56%).
We now know so much more about the mind body connection and the power of an overload of stress to literally destroy our health and well-being. Isn’t it time we reconsidered the concepts we have about normal aging, health and illness, and the human potential. What these two great tennis champions, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, have shown us, if nothing else, is that the power of our hunger and drive, belief and determination is more important than any physical limitations that appear to be blocking our success in life.
Baby boomers have worked hard to change the general perception of aging. Some of us feel old at 30 or 40, yet many baby boomers feel as if they are coming of age in their 60’s and 70’s. How do YOU feel about your current age and the aging process in your life? Do you believe that life can and does get better with age, with the accumulation of life experiences, wisdom and a renewed sense of how precious every moment is.
Could you use an emotional boost? Would you like your body to feel better? Schedule a counseling or coaching session.