I remember the first time I saw an old person doing burpees. Her body didn’t have the flexibility or strength to do them how a younger person could. When I started mine, around 40 years old, I knew I couldn’t do them like guy in his thirties or twenties. I didn’t think about how they’d feel later.
Over the years, as I’ve grown stronger and with experience, I’ve added to my burpee-based calisthenics routine. I’m still adding, though lately I tend to add stretches and balance activities more than strength. I started at ten a day. Now I do 54 most days, plus a bunch of other exercises. I do more than ever, but I think over the next ten years, increasing my challenge will be just maintaining my level. I can’t attack them how I used to. I have to pace myself.
I’m curious when I’ll find myself unable to keep the same level. When and how will I know I have to decrease my daily number. I expect I’ll have to lower at some point. I doubt if I reach 80 I’ll be able to do three sets of nine burpees plus fifteen minutes of other stretches and exercise twice daily. So when will I have to taper? Will I keep the same number but take longer?
People run ultramarathons and other incredible feats into older age than mine. Maybe I’ll be able to keep it up through my 50s and 60s. It’s hard to describe the feeling of getting more tired for no more work and taking longer to recover. They’re just harder.
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