Monday, April 08, 2013

Old Man Syndrome (OMS)

Anyone else have this?  I hit the forty mark earlier this year - roughly mid-life give or take, and I feel pretty down and out with Old Man Syndrome (OMS).  Ever heard of it?

Technically speaking, I'm defining OMS as simply the recognition that one's aging body is not as resilient as it used to be, that somehow the years of abuse have left one with a tattered musculoskeletal system that seems so much more prone to injury and chronic ailments.

This post is a call-out to all the other 40+ windsurfers out there for advice!  I used to sail hard, and long!  How do I get back to that!?!?  Sometimes I wonder if my days of ad-nauseum repetition of freestyle trick attempts are over.  Maybe that's OK, maybe I am content with re-focusing on wave-sailing and old-school freestyle.

Clearly the simple answer is conditioning, but what activities do you guys do to keep yourselves in shape and keep yourselves maleable?  Yoga?  Swimming?  Weight training?  Anything windsurfing specific?  What works for you?  What doesn't?

I am currently in recovery mode from an arthroscopic shoulder surgery and hopefully going to get a grip on my 2-year long bout with tendonitis in both shoulders.  It'll be a while, but I am already dreaming ahead to the fall Sandbanks sessions, and not only that, there's my affinity for adventure racing, orienteering and mountain-biking.  Somehow I need to find that life balance that will keep me physically positioned to do my sports the way I want to do them, but still keep up with my 6-year old kiddies.  In other words, family commitments mean I've got minimal time and I need to figure out a good, yet simple cross-training routine that fits in with other priorities.

Any advice?

Oh, and I forgot to mention, I despise gyms.

Canadian-Hole loopage circa 2010.  Photo by Steve Slaby.

21 comments:

sdklfjasdlkfj said...

Road biking!
Worked for me...
Not the best when you have limited time, but is really great for cardio and is easy on the body - and you get buy lots of expensive carbon fiber stuff (just like windsurfing)
Joe

Funkysandman said...

Big fan of yoga and swimming here. Yoga has too many benefits to list. Can't beat swimming either - low impact, full body, cardio all in one. swimming may help men live longer

I may use OMS to justify buying a hot tub.. I'm also dealing with DOMS (dirty old man syndrome)

Fish said...

Thanks Joe, and thanks for that vision there Funkysandman - now I know who's trenchcoat I found at Mac's last year ;)

Joe - how frequent and long do you ride? Most of my activities are tough to fit in... I love MTB, so may I need to squeeze in more of that, which I'd be happy to do - just not that easy on the body when you go over the bars.

Sandy - how often do you swim/yoga?

Funkysandman said...

twice a week with masters swim club, hot/power yoga once a week.
Or, get the wife or mistress involved and try partner yoga.

sdklfjasdlkfj said...

I ride about 2-3 times a week at best in the summer. Probably 2x1 hr and a 2-3 hr ride on the weekend.
Check out Centurion gran fondo rides. Really awesome events.
Joe

Funkysandman said...

i sit at a desk all week which does not help OMS. I have a membership at goodlife and go at lunch twice a week (once for spinning, once for weights).

you could join a crossfit box, but I've got no experience there

Nicolas said...

I believe any non-impact sport like the ones mentioned here are all good. I for one am bothered by a bad back and dead shoulder which forced me to go to kiting instead and I miss WS.

My biggest OMS factor is to actually "take" the time to go out and exercise. This being said, stay active! That's the best advice I can give you.

Waterturtle said...

Fish, I was and am right there with you. I celebrated my 40th a few years at Solo Sports/Punta San Carlos, right after recovering from a major back spasm episode and finding out I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back. That trip and subsequent adventures have symbolized my refusal to "grow old". I'm now in some of the best shape of my life. I attribute that mostly to SUP believe it or not. After your shoulder heals some more, make it part of your cross training regimen. Learn correct stroke technique that wont harm your shoulders (& get fitted with the right paddle size). Go see a local SUP pro in your area like Larry Cain....seriously, that will pay huge dividends for you. I also hate gyms, so I also mtn bike, and do a mix of strength/conditioning/yoga exercises using my body weight or light weights with high reps & intervals. Windsurfing is still my first love and we all know the wind doesnt always blow, so these other activities keep me in good shape for those windy days. Your diet also has a huge impact on performance and how you feel each day. I cut out ice cream & dairy (still eat cheese however), greatly reduced refined sugar in general, more fruits/veggies, and I try to stick to natural, whole, or organic foods for the most part (still splurge on a big greasy cheeseburger & fries on very rare occasions). And get good sleep. Balance is the key to life and I have young kids like you, so I know juggling all this isn't easy. This is also setting a good example for your kids, so when they get older, they too hopefully will live an active lifestyle. All of this will keep you young my friend. Whats the alternative - laying around on the couch feeling sorry for ourselves? Heck no!

Fish said...

Thanks for the great advice everyone, and thanks Waterturtle for adding some extra detail! Much appreciated.

I do own a SUP and go from time to time, but have not made too much effort in that regard. Interesting the comment about proper stroke. I have been to various physio's who are emphasizing the need to 'set my shoulder's' and I am getting better at knowing how to establish a posture conducive to opening up the shoulder cavity, however, translating that to everyday movement and other exercise/sport is going to take a lot of time.

Sounds like you celebrated your 40th right!! San Carlos is still on my to-do list for sure! Just want to be as healthy as i can be for that, and/or Maui.

I think part of the key for me will be to widen my definition of my work day to include, at least 3 times a week, some pre-work YMCA swims and/or runs out in the woods. An added bonus - at least in the spring, I can paddle and trail run at the same place!

Bill said...

Ah, 40 is an easy one!

I am at 43 now and though this winter has been a rough one for me compounded by 4 and 2 yr olds who seem to be coughing/sneezing into my face providing that bi-monthly cold spell.... things seem to be in working order. Sure some aches here and pains there, but that is what light air wave riding is for (been on Sealion about 3 times over winter only on warm days, and twice so far this week!). Kind of the prep work for when its time to get in the straps which is basically now here on the OBX!

Overall though, toughest part is sliding on and off those 6 mil booties! Hopefully the water warms up here soon?!

Nord_Roi said...

I'm feeling the same. I asked my mentor advise last winter and the response was to escape with a 25 years old super model....

So I chose to workout harder, eat better and stretch more. Not really improved anything!! However, each time i look at your sailing....you are always better, I thing you have to work more on the brain to send a positive message, because on the beach we are all waiting for your next move or turn to snap pics! Keep riping before you R.I.P. !!! Lol

Fish said...

Thanks for the kind words there Steeve, much appreciated. Yeah, mental is part of it, but I think some more conditioning will play an important role. I used to be the guy who never took breaks for 3-4hrs straight on the water - maybe that is why I am where I am now ;) Hope to at minimum build up that endurance a bit.

Bill- I hear ya. All those snotty noses certainly put a dent in my work attendance. Could be worse. ;)

HD said...

Fish, I hit 41 this year, and I can totally relate to your post. I admire your honesty, although don't think I could face posting that on my blog. My joints ache so much now on various moves, but I try and eat as much protein as possible. I had this advise from a total gym nut, who swears diet is the key to physical longevity.
Great blog site, will be following going forward.

Fish said...

Thanks for the heads up on diet HD. My diet could use a bit of an overhaul!

James Court said...

Its all in your head. I think that with kids, work and everything else going on that you get overwhelmed around 40 and start dropping the ball on the fun. And the body degrades as a result.
Try and take time away everyday couple of days to do something cool. Doesn't need to be for hours, even 30 minutes is enough to break into a sweat and scare your self if necessary. I have been doing MTBing when not windsurfing. I can bike to the tracks in 5 mins from my place and be home before anyone knows I have gone. Have dropped 5 kg without even thinking about it.

CdnGuy said...

I started working out twice a week at age 40. Still doing it at age 48 so that I can keep going to ABK clinics and sail the full week!

I started running the odd 5 or 10 a few years ago too.

Re Waterturtle's comment, I agree. I skipped the back surgery that was recommended to me 10 years ago and focused on core strength and my back rarely causes me any issues.

Gary McCorry said...

Try 50 bro, healthy dose of OMS right there. SUP. Kept me sane last summer of no wind. SO good for core, knees everything. And Amandas getting into it now. Actually not sure thats a good thing.

Fish said...

Great to hear some comments everyone.

CDNGUY - I think I am coming to a similar conclusion, I'm gonna have to do something to stay in shape. I've done a bit of adventure racing with my wife and will probably do a bit more, forces me to keep up with riding and running.

Hey Gary! I imagine every year is worse than the last. I reckon you're ripping as amazing as always. That is great that Amanda is getting into SUP as well, but are you finding some time to go together? Flat-water SUP or in the waves?

Michaelz said...

OMS is when you begin to use the age as an excuse.
I know exactly how you feel.
My wife and I feel the same...at 66 and 67.
Right now I am sitting in the soundside house in Avon mad at myself that did not go sailing today in perfect 18 mph conditions because of being dead tired after 5 days continues sailing in 5.2 to 6.0 conditions. My wife is just as tired. Yes, this is after 2 years of non-sailing at all, but nevertheless we are blaming our age.

Anonymous said...

Hi Fish - I'm an oldie (50) and a newbie to your forum. I just got back into windsurfing in 2012 after a 25 year break. Our cottage is 5 lots from Outlet Beach so I have been looking for beta on local surfers.

What changed the game for me was commutting by bycycle every day (38 km round trip) and long backpacking trips. The cardio and endurance made a big difference in my ability to maintain a level of activity like I used to.

I know you guys launch from Mac's and I probably have seen you guys in the Fall. Hopwefully I'll see you out in the next few weeks if the wind comes back.

Love yur forum and Pics

Dave S

Anonymous said...

40 OMS? Kidding? I'm 55 and in the best shape of my life - try surfing if the wind doesn't blow.
Bri from cal