Freeman Cebu Sports

Competing into your 50’s

ALLEZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

Is it still safe to engage in competitive sports as you age past fifty?

I’m sure there are studies about it but I think the best answer is that  we really don’t know. People show signs of aging differently. Some can have very sharp mental acuity in their 90’s while some have Alzheimer’s a decade or two earlier. Some can still run marathons in their 80’s while some are sitting on their wheelchairs in their 60’s.

A better understanding or nutrition, medicine and sports science have resulted in athletes prolonging their careers. Michael Jordan retired three times and when he retired at 40, he wasn’t the player after his first and second retirement. Kobe Bryant retired at 35 and was still the main Laker but injuries got the best of him. Lebron James is 37 going into the 2022-23 season, and while he’s not the best anymore, he can still lead a team to a championship.

On the other hand, Bernard Hopkins became the oldest fighter, 46yo, to win a championship belt. George Foreman also won the heavyweight title at 46yo, although he was a few months younger than Hopkins.

But what about us, “athletes” who have to juggle family and work with our sports? When is the right time to retire? It’s a very good question as far as I’m concerned because I lost a good friend last month while he was on his bike and then another friend collapsed after a race. Fortunately, he regained consciousness and is doing well.

Having those two events have led me to questioning if it’s still a good idea to push myself to my limits at my age. Would I end up killing myself or would I rightfully be prolonging and enjoying my life for an extended period?

Somehow, I I have understood that I am at an age where going to the other side is greater than before. I have childhood friends and classmates that have already gone. I couldn’t understand it back then but realistically, today, I and we of this demographic, we are nearer to our ends than we actually act it.

So what is the alternative? I couldn’t stand sitting at home staring at my phone or my computer when I should be out riding my bike. Riding a bike is generally a fairly harmless activity, but I just don’t ride, I ride to train and then race. I can still feel that I can still do the thing I love and do it well.

Bernard Hinault, the 5-time Tour de France champion retired at age 32 and became a farmer. I couldn’t do that, and I’m sure Hinault found passion in farming that he completely stopped riding his bike. I wish I had that switch.

A good friend of mine, older by 20+ years, told me a long time ago that I should stop competing, that I have already done what I could possibly do. Another good friend, who is already 63 yo, had a stroke and recovered, is still winning against cyclists 10 years younger.  Of course, with what happened to my friends, I need to review my life. For me, it’s basically a choice between simply existing and living your life while you can.

I think I know what I should do.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with