If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re not a child with a life of endless possibilities ahead of you. If you are a child, somehow you penetrated the parental discretion rating on my blog, and if that’s the case, congratulations, but this post still likely doesn’t apply to you.
I’ve written numerous posts about adulting, but the topic just doesn’t get old to me. Fuck health and wellness, my new niche market should be exposing the tragic realities of adulthood.
I’m not here to throw shade on your dreams, I promise. I strongly believe that we all have the ability to do anything we put our minds to and that it’s never too late pursue your passion, start a new career, go back to school, learn a new skill, or take up a new hobby. However, I’m also a realist and the reality is, the majority of grown ass adults are just not going to become pro athletes, it’s science.
If you are serious about wanting to pursue athletics as a career there is maybe still hope in some obscure sport that doesn’t require aerobic or anaerobic power and age is less of a factor, like shooting guns, sailing, horsey riding or fencing. However, if you’re an adult with the dream of making it pro in a real sport, it’s time to pack it in — and yes, that includes the sport of fitness.
According to science (my very professional source) the prime age for an athlete across all disciplines is 26, after that, athletic performance takes a steep and dirty decline.
For sprints, jumps, and throws, men and women hit their peak around 25 years of age. For sprint swimming events, men peak around 24 years and women peak at roughly 22. Endurance swimmers peak about a year earlier for both sexes. Male and female marathoners are at their best at ages 30 and 29, respectively. Male and female triathletes peak at 27. Male and females in most team sports, including basketball, volleyball, football, hockey and soccer perform best between the ages of 26-28. For CrossFit, that’s no different, 26 is money.
“But if I train really hard now, maybe I can compete in a sport as a masters athlete someday!”
Ya maybe, but I wouldn’t put your eggs in that basket. Also, that basket doesn’t pay you money soooo….
If you are still on the fence and I have yet to demolish all your hopes and dreams completely, here are some more reasons to just pack er’ in now and reserve your spot in a Palm Springs geriatric care facility.
Adults have too much stress
You know who doesn’t have stress? Kids. You know who has a shit ton of stress? Adults.
Adulting is stressful as FUCK. Are you even serious right now with the amount of things we as adults are supposed to do day to day?
Work, mortgage, bills, groceries, work more, understand what taxes are and how to pay them, keep children and animals alive, wash our sheets, take out the garbage, separate our recycling…like, does it really need to be separated, I’m still confused? Clean, cook, have friends, make new friends, be a nice person, attend social gatherings, have a side hustle. Now a days if you don’t have a side hustle, what are you even doing with your life. Car maintenance, house maintenance, appearance maintenance…like how in da fuq do people even have time to make their hair and nails look good? HOW?!!!!
Long story short, the stressful reality of adulting does not cater to elite training and performance.
Adults suck at recovery
Every year after 30 is like dog years, legit.
I remember when I was a bright eyed limber 28 year old that could work out with barenaked knees…I turned 30 and boom, I need a 45 minute warm-up and the thought of even doing air squats without knee sleeves is painful.
Spoiler alert, as we age muscle recovery slows down, so that’s pretty awesome. Combined with the above mentioned stress of adulting, lack of sleep, and deteriorating physical attributes…it’s not good. Unless you somehow have unlimited time, resources, very little stress and maybe access to some quality drugs, it’s a sad state of affairs.
Adults have worse aerobic capacity
One big reason we see declines in aerobic (or endurance) athletic performance with age is that our bodies can’t use oxygen as effectively. In the general population, VO2max tends to decline by about 10% per decade after the age of 30. Athletes who continue to compete and train hard can reduce the drop by about half, to 5% per decade after the age of 30.
You literally just can’t breathe as well when you old AF.
Adult hormones are junk
What even are hormones anyway, and wtf do they matter? All you need to know is that as we get older, they get worse, and we get less athletic.
Adults are slow AF
As we age our bodies go into protective adaptation. It’s not so much that it’s impossible to be as fast as young people, but our bodies legit signal us to move slower to protect our geriatric joints and tendons. We are at greater risk of injury with age and the body recognizes that and just slows the fuck down. Combined with that diminishing set of aging lungs, it’s looking bleak for any chance of thriving in a sport that requires speed or explosive power.
Adults are just too haggard
Monday good, Tuesday less good, Wednesday worse, Thursday Snookie.
Just give up, you’re haggard.