Strength is a skill. All human movement is directed by strength. All sports and athletics involve movement. Skills are best developed over time. Elderly athletes have had incredibly unfair excesses of time to practice their skill.
I once had a client in his 60s bemoan his age, lamenting his various imagined limitations, and asking me, in all seriousness, "is it possible to do push-ups as you age; and what's the most a person can do in their 50s versus 60s versus 70s?" I looked at him like he was crazy. His obvious implied belief was that there is some sort of biological fatalism dictating that we magically gain strength for pushups when we're "young," and with every passing year the deities subtract a specific number of strength units from our life aura. I said, "how many more years has a 70 year old had to train pushups than I have?" The fact is, people 10, 20, 30 years older than me ought to be 10, 20, 30 years more skilled. That includes strength.
Pictured above is a woman now in her 90s who can nail a PLANCHE. This is harder than 50 pushups. This is harder than 500lb deadlifts. This is harder than 400lb benchpress. This takes more strength than all the bros at your local gym ever have had. Go ahead. Ask ten of your fittest young friends and colleagues to nail a planche. Ask your young nieces, nephews, kids, friends' kids. Their young age clearly makes ALL OF THEM super strong and capable of doing a planche, right? No? Oh. Weird. I thought that being young just magically made you skillful at strength. Hmm.
Age is an indication of how long we've had to practice any set of skills, including strength skill. If you don't practice, then yes, age is an indicator of weakness. That is solely due to many years of practicing weakness. That doesn't have a damn thing to do with the inherent nature of time passage. So let's stop pretending weakness, frailness, slowness, and loss of balance is about the inevitability of "aging," and take ownership and responsibility for our own targeted efforts at getting as weak as we possibly can. More importantly, take it in the opposite direction. Practice strength. The older you get, the more unfair advantage you'll have had.
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No more can't. No more not good enough. If you compete in a sport, let your mind no longer hold you back from being the greatest. If you don't, let your mind no longer hold you back from being the best version of you that you can be.
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