(Picture of Tom Brady above from Boston Globe)
I hate to admit; I like Tom Brady. A lot.
For those of you who may not know who Tom Brady is.
Let me explain.
I love sports and enjoy watching the National Football League (NFL). Tom Brady plays for the New England Patriots, the arch nemesis of my favorite team, the New York Jets. No Patriot fans like the Jets. And no Jets fans like the Patriots. That’s just the way it is.
Boston (New England) sports fans generally hate New York teams. The feelings are mutual.
But both sides love greatness though. I know because my Redsox friends couldn’t help to admire two New York Yankees greats, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. They were even honored in Boston when the year they retired and received a standing ovation.
How could one not like Rivera and Jeter despite being a Yankee hater. They were top performers in their craft even towards the later years of their career.
I too am fascinated with high-level performers, particularly from aging men.
You see, I am obsessed with graceful aging and the science related to it. OBSESSED.
I don’t know exactly why. It might be because as a clinician I see too many men die young leaving families behind. Maybe its because I recently spoke at my high school football coaches funeral who mentally died about eight years ago when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Or, likely because I recently found out I’m a middle-aged man at 45.
I’m not sure why I am so fixated on longevity and graceful aging. But I am.
Show me good material on anti-aging science, even on mice, and I’m all over it.
Tom Brady is playing at a high level and will participate in yet another Super Bowl in about two weeks at the age of forty. FORTY. That’s eighty in football years.
How is he able to play so well at his age?
It seems like he is completely dedicated to keeping his body in peak shape.
On his upcoming documentary series, Tom vs. Time, he says a power line that resonates a ton with me.
He says, “ If you are going to compete against me you are going to have to give up your life because I have given up mine.”
Holy Crap! I love it!
How is Tom Brady Defying Father Time?
For one, Brady is known for his meticulous diet. Apparently, he eats 80% vegetables; all organic, grass-fed meats, wild game and some whole grains and wild caught salmon.
He doesn’t eat white sugar, white flour. MSG. Never cooks with olive oil. (cooks with coconut oil) And doesn’t use table salt but sprinkle Himalayan sea salt on his food. Brady doesn’t do dairy or caffeine (imagine that?).
Some vegetables that might seem healthy to most people he doesn’t eat, like nightshades, for example. These are your tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. These can potentially be inflammatory to joints. He also seems to never cheat.
Aging gracefully is like a sport. Notice how I am not calling it Anti-aging. That term is ridiculous. Of course, Brady is aging and so am I. But by doing the right lifestyle things I hope to make it a graceful process where optimal functionality is maintained.
I actually am loving my forties. I finally feel like have enough wisdom to help my family and others live better.
If I know anything about living longer and stronger, it’s that it takes work. It’s just not going to happen by itself. There are no shortcuts.
It might take some obsessive type of discipline to successfully age. So what.
People will make comments about what you eat and call you a fanatic. Those should be taken as compliments. Besides, how healthy do they look?
Here’s the deal; to age with strength and reduce the chances of chronic illness requires the type diligence a serious athlete like Brady has. You have to want it and live with that intention.
And another thing, many life-threatening diagnosis’ are an opportunity, to get yourself together and rebuild your body. Like an athlete.
Tom Brady is not the only one performing well with age
On Tuesday, I saw my eighty-six-year-old patient , Alfred, who does exactly that. He goes to his acupuncturist, once a week, trains with a physical trainer three times a week and eats impeccably. Alfred a nice combination of dietary supplements we worked out his specific needs He also enjoys two glasses of red wine a night. I don’t have a problem with that. By the way, Alfred runs a successful event planning business and has no plans to retire. Did I say he’s eighty-six years-old? Honestly, after our consults, it feels as if I learn more from him than he likely learns from me.
Tom Brady is not the only “old” football player in the patriots who performs well. They just acquired James Harrison, a 39 years-old from the Pittsburg Steelers who did pretty good in the playoffs. His training sessions are sick. Harrison also spends about $300,000 a year on his health squad, which includes; an acupuncturist, two chiropractors, and massage therapist.
Is it worth it? Hell yes! The average football players career is 3.5 years.
Taking care of your body and brain does not only financially benefit athletes, but also helps you.
Imagine being physically and mentally stronger, preventing a life-threatening diagnosis or a recurrence from a previous health scare, and functioning with abundance energy? Wouldn’t you earn more? You would. Regardless if you work for yourself or someone else, the ability to think clearly and prevent illness directly and indirectly increases your productivity.
And that comes with eating right, staying away from crappy food and crappy people, physical training, sleeping early (less watching late night TV), and using a proper mix of dietary supplements.
The bottom line is this: Live like an athlete. Make your fitness goals and work for them. Train hard. Challenge yourself.
Final Thoughts on Aging Successfully
There are three things you care (or should care) about; Your family, your work, and your health. And to succeed in all three takes work. There are no shortcuts.
Always, I mean ALWAYS resist the temptation of saying you don’t have time. That’s BS, and you know it. We all make time to do things we value. And we waste plenty of time and procrastinate everyday. I am no exeption.
Watching the news three times a day is a form of procrastination and a waste time, for example. Don’t kid yourself.
Lastly, I admit, I am not as disciplined as Tom Brady. I am not sure I will ever be. I enjoy a good pizza here and then. I tell you what though; I am taking it up a notch after I saw that clip. Oh, yea! in order for us to do better we need inspiration and motivation.
Ultimately, you and I have to decide what’s important and stay focused on that.
It’s not supposed to always be fun. I don’t like anything about vegetables, for example. But I eat plenty of them. Some people detest even the thought of exercise. Do it anyway if you want to succeed in the game of aging.
For me, living long and strong is the long game I want to play. I’d like to work until I’m well into my eighties like the great baseball announcer Vin Scully (retired at 88 years old) and reduce my risk aging diseases like cancer, chronic pain and overall weakness. I look forward to spending great times with my kids and eventual grandkids. That’s my goal. And I’m scoring.
I’m not saying I will never cheat on my diet or that I will never succumb to a disease, but man, I want to do all I can to do the things I love for as long as possible. I am going to do better.
Why don’t you join me?
“ When I see my self out there I feel like, man I still do this and I am doing it better than I’ve ever done it before, so why should I stop.” – Tom Brady
Holy Crap! I love it! :))
Here doing a barbell squat 🙂
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