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ande
September 1st, 2009, 11:39 AM
Older, Wiser, Slower After 50, Avid Athletes Find That to Stay Healthy,
They Must Let Go of the Need to Win (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204047504574384973660445730.html)

frankiej
September 1st, 2009, 11:57 AM
That's pretty depressing to people whom are over 50 and still competitive. I'm not looking forwarding to aging since what I mostly do revolves around my running and working out but that's life I guess.

Redbird Alum
September 1st, 2009, 12:34 PM
Ande -

Thanks for the post. Interesting read. Found it amusing that all the swimmers quoted mentioned still "competing" whether it be in their heads, or just being able to do something noone else can.

hofffam
September 1st, 2009, 12:55 PM
I read that article this morning. It is a very relevant article. The article doesn't suggest not competing. It just points out that it is OK not to win.

Some intensely competitive people might give up their sport if they can't win. Instead they should probably learn to accept a lower level of achievement than they would have before.

BigNoodler
September 1st, 2009, 04:13 PM
Agree with this:

"Older, Wiser, Slower After 50, Avid Athletes Find That to Stay Healthy,
They Must Let Go of the Need to Win (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204047504574384973660445730.html)"

However, you need to add in at the end of that sentence,
provided you have an aortic aneurysm or other life threatening malady."

The author of this article realized that if he did not change his way of thinking due to his health condition he could die. And for those of us are are given the green light health-wise? Just roll over and go quietly?

Allen Stark
September 1st, 2009, 05:27 PM
There was truth in this article,just not the whole truth.It is important to listen to your body and not worsen a injury,but in contrast to this article are all the new info that elderly people benefit more from interval training and weight lifting than long slow aerobics.Don't tell David Radcliff,Graham Johnson,Bumpy Jones,etc. not to compete.not to mention that 90 year old backstroker from Japan who is still really fast.

pwb
September 1st, 2009, 05:38 PM
If you take health issues off the table, that article is bull****. I'm only 42, but certainly expect to be competing when I'm over 50. I'm not naive enough to think I'll be faster than my 42-year-old self, in the same way I'm nowhere near my 22-year-old self. But, I'll sure be racing the guy next to me, regardless of his age and doing my best to slow down how fast I slow down.

The article was probably written by one of those ninnies who believe that little kids should be given "participation awards" and not place-based awards. Life is called survival of the fittest for a reason.:bitching:

Chris Stevenson
September 1st, 2009, 06:39 PM
That would be tough, to have to keep your HR below 120. I know an older athlete -- he was an incredible triathlete -- who is in a similar situation. He had to give up the sport b/c the threat of passing out while swimming (if his HR got too high) was too likely. He still runs though.

I'm a little torn by the article, in the absence of some malady. Part of me is of the "age is just a number" or "age is no excuse" mentality. On the other hand, certainly I won't be as fast in (say) 30 years as now. Age takes a toll, and there is something to be said for making your peace with that and setting/adjusting your goals to be realistic.

I can definitely see how being too obsessive about beating my younger self (or other youngsters) could lead to injuries...or estrangement from my wife. :)

stillwater
September 1st, 2009, 07:18 PM
one of those ninnies who believe that little kids should be given "participation awards"

I am one of those ninines. Awards for participation have a very important role in encouraging, um, partcipation. It make kids happy, no one is hurt by it, and winners always get something extra. Winning is nice but not the Holy Grail.


Life is called survival of the fittest for a reason

Perhaps you have been watching too much "Survivorman" or "Man vs. Wild."

pwb
September 1st, 2009, 07:37 PM
Awards for participation have a very important role in encouraging, um, partcipation. It make kids happy, no one is hurt by it, and winners always get something extra. Winning is nice but not the Holy Grail.

Perhaps you have been watching too much "Survivorman" or "Man vs. Wild."

Never seen them ... but watching a lot of people getting crushed in the real world by real competition in practically all facets of their lives -- most notably their professional lives these days with increasing global competition. In my business, winning pretty much is the only thing not just "nice" -- if we don't win the next customer engagement and the next one and the next one, people lose jobs, livelihoods, etc.

The sooner we teach our kids that they're competing in all aspects of their lives, the better off they'll be.

This article seems to encourage "giving up" at a comparatively youthful 50. I just don't subscribe to rolling over so young.

orca1946
September 1st, 2009, 07:57 PM
The thrill is still there ! When I get ready for a race winning is on my mind, but to be in a race is the cool part !

Allen Stark
September 1st, 2009, 08:30 PM
I am 60 and I will never be as fast as I was at 30,but that is irrelevant.I just want to be faster than last year when possible and get slower more slowly than my rivals/friends.The rule of thumb used to be athletic performance diminished 1%/yr after age 30.Masters swimmers have thrown that on it's ear.By that formula my 100M BR should have been over 1:36(1:14 at 30)instead at Nats I went a 1:16.83.Granted there have been rule changes in BR and I was in a LZR,but I was Faster than 1:36 the second 100 of my 200(1:30.24.) I'm not saying this for self aggrandizement,there are lots of post 50 Masters with more impressive swims for age than that.I'm just saying that swimming to compete "keeps me young".I can be sure that ,for myself anyway,if I was swimming only for fitness my 100M BR time would be closer to 1:36 than to 1:16 and my fitness would by proportional.I said on another thread that when I want to slack off I think"Bob Strand" to motivate myself.Without competition to motivate me I suspect I'd swim 1500 yd 3-4 X/wk at a leisurely pace,if I didn't have something better to do.

tjrpatt
September 1st, 2009, 10:28 PM
I am 60 and I will never be as fast as I was at 30,but that is irrelevant.I just want to be faster than last year when possible and get slower more slowly than my rivals/friends.The rule of thumb used to be athletic performance diminished 1%/yr after age 30.Masters swimmers have thrown that on it's ear.

That is funny because I am swimming much faster now than I was in my middle 20s when I first competing in USMS back in '04. In fact, I am swimming on par to my first year of college. Also, I am swimming much much much faster than last year. Of course, I contribute that to stepping up my training, dropping about 70 lbs from 18 months ago, consistency with my dryland, and just motivation to get in shape. There are alot of late 20 to 30 something swimmers who competed at the WCT and US Open who are erasing that rule of thumb. It is truly inspiring to hear about a 31 year old beating Jessica Hardy at the US Open. Or, that 28 200 breaststroker who just made her first World Champ team.

jonblank
September 2nd, 2009, 09:00 AM
from the article:
"A decade ago, marriage and children brought to an end the elite triathlon career of M* R*, a 50-year-old Chicago metals trader. But in the pool where he swims these days, he competes against whoever is in the lane beside him, particularly if that athlete appears younger, "and I'm crushed if he's faster than me, even though he doesn't know I exist," says Mr. R*".

What a toad.

quicksilver
September 2nd, 2009, 11:02 AM
If it's at all any reassurance, our sport relies heavily on technique. You can always refine something to make yourself more efficient.
Sure we all slow down, but there will always be some give and take between being super fit, or having great skills.


If you want to run or bike fast, just do more of it and pound yourself into the ground while trying.
That approach doesn't necessarily apply to swimmers who like to remain competitive amongst their peers.



from the article:

What a toad.

That's putting it mildly. :)

gull
September 2nd, 2009, 11:50 AM
The sooner we teach our kids that they're competing in all aspects of their lives, the better off they'll be.

I believe they are taught that lesson well. Children are placed on waiting lists for private schools before they are even born. Their free time is filled with extracurricular activities at which they are expected to excel. Then their parents spend tens of thousands of dollars on consultants to assist them in the college application process.

thewookiee
September 2nd, 2009, 12:01 PM
If you take health issues off the table, that article is bull****. I'm only 42, but certainly expect to be competing when I'm over 50. I'm not naive enough to think I'll be faster than my 42-year-old self, in the same way I'm nowhere near my 22-year-old self. But, I'll sure be racing the guy next to me, regardless of his age and doing my best to slow down how fast I slow down.

The article was probably written by one of those ninnies who believe that little kids should be given "participation awards" and not place-based awards. Life is called survival of the fittest for a reason.:bitching:

Amen! Word! Right On! Damn ninnies are have caused people in this society to lose their freaking backbone.

pwb
September 2nd, 2009, 12:06 PM
I believe they are taught that lesson well. Children are placed on waiting lists for private schools before they are even born. Their free time is filled with extracurricular activities at which they are expected to excel. Then their parents spend tens of thousands of dollars on consultants to assist them in the college application process.

sure ... some of them are taught this at the upper end of the spectrum, but I think we as a nation are generally guilty of setting the bar too low for our children ... if you have time and interest, though, check out http://www.2mminutes.com/ to see what our typical kids are up against when competing now and in the future in the global economy.

gull
September 2nd, 2009, 12:27 PM
sure ... some of them are taught this at the upper end of the spectrum, but I think we as a nation are generally guilty of setting the bar too low for our children ... if you have time and interest, though, check out http://www.2mminutes.com/ to see what our typical kids are up against when competing now and in the future in the global economy.


"How a student spends their Two Million Minutes - in class, at home studying, playing sports, working, sleeping, socializing or just goofing off -- will affect their economic prospects for the rest of their lives."

I think that there has been a sea change in what is expected of our children today. After high school (during which time neither I nor my parents were obsessing about my economic prospects and how to fill the two million minutes--which is not to say that I did not study), I spent the next eight million minutes preparing for my career.

The Fortress
September 2nd, 2009, 12:56 PM
How a student spends their Two Million Minutes - in class, at home studying, playing sports, working, sleeping, socializing or just goofing off -- will affect their economic prospects for the rest of their lives.

I think that there has been a sea change in what is expected of our children today. After high school (during which time neither I nor my parents were obsessing about my economic prospects and how to fill the two million minutes--which is not to say that I did not study), I spent the next eight million minutes preparing for my career.

Me too, and I agree with Gull.

Where I live, it's cutthroat competitive and fun/free time is a seemingly low priority. I find myself trying to protect this for my kids rather than emphasize even more work, more competing. That's naturally built in to the fabric of their daily lives.

College admissions folks tell me they can often spot those consultant-aided college applications.

Agree with Jon and Quick on the "toad" comment. Really pathetic.

Tim L
September 2nd, 2009, 01:36 PM
Me too, and I agree with Gull.

Where I live, it's cutthroat competitive and fun/free time is a seemingly low priority. I find myself trying to protect this for my kids rather than emphasize even more work, more competing. That's naturally built in to the fabric of their daily lives.

College admissions folks tell me they can often spot those consultant-aided college applications.

Obviously, there is a middle ground which parents need to deal with on an individual basis. However, I thought Patrick was just saying that our general population is not pushed hard enough to excel when compared with other countries and I absolutely agree. It doesn't need to be a kill or be killed mentality necessarily. I would imagine that none of us would sit around and watch our children underachieve in junior high and high school hoping and waiting that they will catch up later in life. My guess is that most kids don't catch-up when educational and work-related apathy was accepted and reinforced during their junior high and high school years. The working environment is much different than when most of us first entered the workforce. We probably had it a lot easier because the pool of talent available in many well paying fields is now global rather than just local.

Kid sports that don't keep score is just a joke. Almost every kid and parent still knows the score. If they don't want to keep score, why do they even have games? Just have more practices and learn skills and endurance, etc.

Tim

pwb
September 2nd, 2009, 01:49 PM
Obviously, there is a middle ground which parents need to deal with on an individual basis. However, I thought Patrick was just saying that our general population is not pushed hard enough to excel when compared with other countries and I absolutely agree. It doesn't need to be a kill or be killed mentality necessarily. I would imagine that none of us would sit around and watch our children underachieve in junior high and high school hoping and waiting that they will catch up later in life. My guess is that most kids don't catch-up when educational and work-related apathy was accepted and reinforced during their junior high and high school years. The working environment is much different than when most of us first entered the workforce. We probably had it a lot easier because the pool of talent available in many well paying fields is now global rather than just local.

Kid sports that don't keep score is just a joke. Almost every kid and parent still knows the score. If they don't want to keep score, why do they even have games? Just have more practices and learn skills and endurance, etc.

Tim

Tim -- yes!

scyfreestyler
September 2nd, 2009, 03:34 PM
Obviously, there is a middle ground which parents need to deal with on an individual basis. However, I thought Patrick was just saying that our general population is not pushed hard enough to excel when compared with other countries and I absolutely agree. It doesn't need to be a kill or be killed mentality necessarily. I would imagine that none of us would sit around and watch our children underachieve in junior high and high school hoping and waiting that they will catch up later in life. My guess is that most kids don't catch-up when educational and work-related apathy was accepted and reinforced during their junior high and high school years. The working environment is much different than when most of us first entered the workforce. We probably had it a lot easier because the pool of talent available in many well paying fields is now global rather than just local.

Kid sports that don't keep score is just a joke. Almost every kid and parent still knows the score. If they don't want to keep score, why do they even have games? Just have more practices and learn skills and endurance, etc.

Tim

My 5 yo played T ball this year and at this level, no score is kept. The idea is to get the kids into the game, learn some skills, and have some fun. I thought it was a great program, not a joke. YMMV

stillwater
September 2nd, 2009, 03:40 PM
Kid sports that don't keep score is just a joke. Almost every kid and parent still knows the score. If they don't want to keep score, why do they even have games? Just have more practices and learn skills and endurance, etc.


Ninny here.

The world is a harsh place for some. I try to allow my kids the chance to avoid that scene while they can.

I have three children. My two oldest are gifted athletes.

My youngest found the long lost family gene of intelligence. She is 8 years old and the worst soccer player I have ever seen. My daughter has single handedly caused her team to lose games. She is oblivious to the teamwork concept, intent, and strategty. Yet, she love love loves (her words) the sport. My guess is that some day she will shine on the soccer field, but I won't hold my breath waiting.

She has all of her participation ribbons hung up in her room. My other two kids couldn't care less about the numerous awards they have received.

My youngest daughter's intelligence is going to provide more for her later in life than having good athletic skills.

When she enters your cutthroat world she will be ready. I'll bet she will still have her participation ribbons too.

notsofast
September 2nd, 2009, 03:52 PM
I try to teach my kids to compete. When I play one-on-one basketball with my 12-year-old daughter, I try to block every shot. (I'm 6-2; she's 5-2.) If she wants to win, she's just going to have to play better.
We don't play as often as I would like.

The Fortress
September 2nd, 2009, 03:54 PM
Ninny here.

The world is a harsh place for some. I try to allow my kids the chance to avoid that scene while they can.

I have three children. My two oldest are gifted athletes.

My youngest found the long lost family gene of intelligence. She is 8 years old and the worst soccer player I have ever seen. My daughter has single handedly caused her team to lose games. She is oblivious to the teamwork concept, intent, and strategty. Yet, she love love loves (her words) the sport. My guess is that some day she will shine on the soccer field, but I won't hold my breath waiting.

She has all of her participation ribbons hung up in her room. My other two kids couldn't care less about the numerous awards they have received.

My youngest daughter's intelligence is going to provide more for her later in life than having good athletic skills.

When she enters your cutthroat world she will be ready. I'll bet she will still have her participation ribbons too.

Sounds quite a bit like my 3 kids ... except for my brainy eldest who is a homework minimalist so that he has more time for sports.

My 8 year old spent much of the summer checking her swim folder for PB and participation ribbons.

pwb
September 2nd, 2009, 05:24 PM
Ninny here.

The world is a harsh place for some. I try to allow my kids the chance to avoid that scene while they can.

I have three children. My two oldest are gifted athletes.

My youngest found the long lost family gene of intelligence. She is 8 years old and the worst soccer player I have ever seen. My daughter has single handedly caused her team to lose games. She is oblivious to the teamwork concept, intent, and strategty. Yet, she love love loves (her words) the sport. My guess is that some day she will shine on the soccer field, but I won't hold my breath waiting.

She has all of her participation ribbons hung up in her room. My other two kids couldn't care less about the numerous awards they have received.

My youngest daughter's intelligence is going to provide more for her later in life than having good athletic skills.

When she enters your cutthroat world she will be ready. I'll bet she will still have her participation ribbons too.

Cutthroat here

I have three daughters ... none of whom appear to be naturally gifted athletes (well, maybe the 6 year old but it's too soon to tell). Then again, neither was I. Let's see ...


baseball ... right field was too critical a position to put me in
soccer ... there was that one game when it rained enough to keep enough of the team home so that the coach had to substitute me in when one of the other guys went down in the mud
basketball ... I remember the junior high school gym teacher's excitement the first day when he saw my tall self walk in ... only to deflate about 5 minutes later when he saw I couldn't throw, catch, dribble, pass or run
swimming ... I quit my first summer team ostensibly because the water was too cold, but probably because my sister beat me

I did get better at swimming, but through some coaches setting some big, hairy, audacious goals for an impressionable group of 10 year olds and, yes, some latent talent and body type that helped out. Now, clearly, I didn't reach all those goals or I'd be staring at my multiple Olympic golds and notes from Vladimir Salnikov expressing his amazement at how bad I crushed his 1500 meter free world record, but it taught me soooo much that is valuable in life these days.

My daughters, though not superstars in swimming (the older two are solid AA and BB/A swimmers; the younger one just starting), will either get better or they'll find something else to excel at. They'll do well in school in a challenging academic program, but that's what they expect to do and what is expected of them. They'll also have a good social life because all work and no play makes for a dull existence.

Through all this, though, they'll know what it takes to reach a certain goal and what others are doing to compete for that goal. For example, my oldest daughter (8th grade) really thinks she wants to go to Cal-Berkeley or Stanford and swim there. We downloaded both the academic requirements and swimming times for their freshman class and showed her that. We also explained that while it might look like she's got 4+ years to achieve those goals, she has to start today to put herself on the right trajectory. I'd rather have their eyes wide open than behind rose-colored glasses.

I don't think that promoting a focus on winning has to come at the detriment of having fun or of being well-balanced. My "heroes" are those folks who "win" by having a well-balanced life across career, home and personal interests. However, as that is seemingly a goal for practically all Americans and I imagine most Americans don't believe they're achieving it, it's a goal that clearly requires excellence.

Tim L
September 2nd, 2009, 05:39 PM
I didn't call anyone a ninny (that was someone else). My point is that whenever a game is played the kids and the parents know the score regardless of whether their level of competence and whether anyone actually keeps score. Sports for kids are not a joke, but ignoring that everyone keeps score is a joke. Perhaps, 5 year old T-ball or soccer is somewhat of an exception.

Surprisingly, I volunteer coach for my kids teams (recreational leagues mostly) and teaching the skills necessary to win and everyone improving and having fun is all I really care about. Every league (T-ball, baseball, soccer, basketball) no matter whether they keep score or not the kids always know whether they win or not, their team record, and who scored the most points. Denying that is like denying human nature. I have 3 kids. 2 are natural athletes and the other struggles a quite a bit so I understand both ends of the spectrum, but I push them all to improve and it wouldn't surprise me at all if the one that struggles now is a star in high school or even college. I have never seen a kid or group of kids happier in sports then when they make a big improvement and they also win a game. When they don't win (even if they have played well and I am happy) the kids excitement is just a not quite the same. I don't know if that is somewhat sad or not, but it is the way it is. We always downplay the losses and use them to decide what skills we need to work on next. I think learning from losses and identifying weaknesses and correcting them is one of the most important things kids can learn in sports. Keeping score feeds the whole feedback system. School is pretty much the same thing.

Tim

aquageek
September 2nd, 2009, 05:46 PM
If the new definition of achievement in sports is merely showing up then lets dispense with giving trophies or awards for exceptional performance, what's the point?

The Fortress
September 2nd, 2009, 05:57 PM
If the new definition of achievement in sports is merely showing up then lets dispense with giving trophies or awards for exceptional performance, what's the point?

Don't most youth sports stop with the participation trophies once the kids are over 8 or so?

I have no beef with PB ribbons in swimming because it's nice for a kid to see tangible evidence of actual improvement. This is a summer league thing only of course.

gull
September 2nd, 2009, 06:03 PM
Through all this, though, they'll know what it takes to reach a certain goal and what others are doing to compete for that goal. For example, my oldest daughter (8th grade) really thinks she wants to go to Cal-Berkeley or Stanford and swim there. We downloaded both the academic requirements and swimming times for their freshman class and showed her that. We also explained that while it might look like she's got 4+ years to achieve those goals, she has to start today to put herself on the right trajectory. I'd rather have their eyes wide open than behind rose-colored glasses.

I don't think that promoting a focus on winning has to come at the detriment of having fun or of being well-balanced. My "heroes" are those folks who "win" by having a well-balanced life across career, home and personal interests. However, as that is seemingly a goal for practically all Americans and I imagine most Americans don't believe they're achieving it, it's a goal that clearly requires excellence.

As a father of an adolescent girl, you might want to read Reviving Ophelia. Stanford received over 30,000 applications this year with an acceptance rate of less than 8%. Setting goals is great, but our "focus on winning" does come at a price.

Tim L
September 2nd, 2009, 06:07 PM
Don't most youth sports stop with the participation trophies once the kids are over 8 or so?

I have no beef with PB ribbons in swimming because it's nice for a kid to see tangible evidence of actual improvement. This is a summer league thing only of course.

I wish they stopped at that age. I guess it depends on the league and sport. Swimming stopped with PB ribbons for summer club here at 7 or 8. YMCA and other recreational leagues seem to continue with participation trophies or medals for every league up to age 13 at least.

aquageek
September 2nd, 2009, 06:39 PM
I have no beef with PB ribbons in swimming because it's nice for a kid to see tangible evidence of actual improvement. This is a summer league thing only of course.

I would like them to stop giving kids PB and participation ribbons and instead give them in the 40-44 male age group for those of us that are slow and suck.

pwb
September 2nd, 2009, 06:45 PM
As a father of an adolescent girl, you might want to read Reviving Ophelia.

Thanks, I'll check that out.


Stanford received over 30,000 applications this year with an acceptance rate of less than 8%.

Yup. I totally get that and have exposed my daughter to that. Personally, I don't think the ROI is there for an undergrad education to warrant the expense of a school like Stanford, but I want her eyes open if that's her goal. I also want her to use all of the time she has to seriously evaluate this goal and if it's right for her.

lefty
September 2nd, 2009, 10:47 PM
However, I thought Patrick was just saying that our general population is not pushed hard enough to excel when compared with other countries and I absolutely agree.

The idea that our schools do not compete on a global level is a complete farce perpetrated by folks with a political agenda. Well meaning but unaware people so earnestly believe this, though, that people look at you funny when you disagree. Here are the facts: In the US we do not track our children. Every child takes math, english, history, science, some PE, some fine arts and a few electives. When our kids are tested against other countries we take an average sample (typically from Minnesota public schools, FYI). These tests are then compared against students who are tracked towards math or science careers in their countries. It is this simple: our average are compared against other coutries best. Well no kidding we don't do as well.

My source: The Maufactured Crisis. Our schools are just fine, though of course I hope we keep trying to make them better.

One thing for sure: no one goes to Stanford without planning and wanting. Then you still have to get lucky.

pwb
September 2nd, 2009, 11:58 PM
The idea that our schools do not compete on a global level is a complete farce perpetrated by folks with a political agenda. Well meaning but unaware people so earnestly believe this, though, that people look at you funny when you disagree. Here are the facts: In the US we do not track our children. Every child takes math, english, history, science, some PE, some fine arts and a few electives. When our kids are tested against other countries we take an average sample (typically from Minnesota public schools, FYI). These tests are then compared against students who are tracked towards math or science careers in their countries. It is this simple: our average are compared against other coutries best. Well no kidding we don't do as well.

My source: The Maufactured Crisis. Our schools are just fine, though of course I hope we keep trying to make them better.

My points earlier on pushing kids and setting high standards weren't just limited to schools, but to our society in general. Schools are just one example where our collective will has resulted in (IMHO) lowered bars for achievement.

I don't think I have a political agenda* and I agree that there is significant tracking in a number of other countries. I'm also not an academic and have not studied this rigorously, so I admittedly have only my experience. Having said that, I have been trying to hire Masters' and PhD engineers, mathematicians, statisticians and other analytical types for well over a decade ... and have mostly learned about the intricacies of our H1B, L1, B1, etc. immigration process. If I pursued a "hire American" only policy, my last three companies would be woefully lacking in staff primarily because there are so few American students even in those programs. Now, granted, this is the tip of the academic world, but it speaks to a funnel through which not enough American kids are passing into hard sciences careers. Well, at least it speaks that to me. In a world of increasing technological complexity, this doesn't seem to bode well ... especially while we try to tighten up our immigration policies against the exact kind of high intellect people we do need to drive technological innovation. (OK, I do have a political and business agenda on that front, but will say no more)

I've certainly helped to derail this thread, so I'll go back to my battle cry for all of us over 50 or approaching going over 50: DON'T GIVE UP COMPETING! THERE LIES DANGER!

* but, as an aside, I hardly imagine the authors of The Manufactured Crisis to be apolitical in their use of data

analazy
September 3rd, 2009, 03:53 AM
Humans are competitive, there are no formulas, each of us have to find a way to compete, be happy with the result and keep the enjoy to workout. There has to be a balance between being competitive and be able to perform according to age. Each individual has to find that balance.

notsofast
September 3rd, 2009, 05:54 AM
. . . I have been trying to hire Masters' and PhD engineers, mathematicians, statisticians and other analytical types for well over a decade ... and have mostly learned about the intricacies of our H1B, L1, B1, etc. immigration process. If I pursued a "hire American" only policy, my last three companies would be woefully lacking in staff primarily because there are so few American students even in those programs. . .
As an actuary, I see the same thing in hiring - a lot of immigrants on visas vying for well-paid jobs. I've also worked with people in other countries and I think their average worker is more adept than our average worker.
I think America's education model worked well in the 19th and 20th Centuries, when we needed a few brilliant people and a minimally competent work force that had learned to show up on time and move to the next task when the bell rang. Today we need a lot more people who are quite bright and capable to create models and procedures that the average person can follow. (Think of a person creating a database that a whole bunch of people have to learn how to use.)
The bar for what constitutes minimal competence has risen. Today you have to be able to read with comprehension and to type, among other things. In the past you had to be bright enough to do factory shift work.
The reasons for our failure to produce people who can do these things quickly move into political philosophy, and I don't want to go there.
All that said, I don't think handing out ribbons to every 8-year-old at the Y has contributed much to our current state.
To keep to topic, maybe we should hand out a ribbon to every 50-year-old who doesn't want a burst aorta.

Bobinator
September 3rd, 2009, 08:42 AM
As a former successful runner I understand where this author is coming from. It was quite demeaning to me to have to quit competitive running (osteo-arthritis left knee/an 8 year bout with hamstring issues too) and become a swimmer.
I am a competitive person who used to do very well in running. In swimming I am the skinny old lady who beats the water to death and doesn't move very fast. In running my opinion counted, in swimming I keep my mouth shut so I won't get laughed at quite as much.
In the end though it's all fine. I am still able to maintain a high level of fitness (inefficient swimmers really have to tax themselves to keep up w/efficient swimmers in workouts), and I have met a ton of great swimming friends who I enjoy communicating with via e-mail, forums, and in person too!
I think it's very cool that so many people are able to compete at a high level to a ripe old age. I love to watch them, and almost live vicariously through their feats. I feel fine with giving whatever I have to give in my workouts....it all boils down to respect of yourself and the type of goals you have for yourself. It's okay if your body limits you as long as you are okay with it yourself! :cane:

Tim L
September 3rd, 2009, 10:38 AM
The idea that our schools do not compete on a global level is a complete farce perpetrated by folks with a political agenda. Well meaning but unaware people so earnestly believe this, though, that people look at you funny when you disagree. Here are the facts: In the US we do not track our children. Every child takes math, english, history, science, some PE, some fine arts and a few electives. When our kids are tested against other countries we take an average sample (typically from Minnesota public schools, FYI). These tests are then compared against students who are tracked towards math or science careers in their countries. It is this simple: our average are compared against other coutries best. Well no kidding we don't do as well.

I don't believe I bashed the U.S. schools, I think I just said we probably need to push our kids a bit harder to excel on average. My thinking is that it is often times the parents that let them slack too much and those are the same parents that seem to blame the schools when their kid falls behind. My wife and I made a decision to keep our kids in the local public school that was not rated as high as other alternatives because we believe in public education. It has worked out well so far.

I am sure statistics regarding education are manipulated and I am sure you can write a book that makes the case that everything is fine. Obviously, in countries like India and China they have huge segments of their population that have little education, but they also produce a ton of people (probably as many or more than the U.S.) with advanced degrees. I don't recall when I entered the work force thinking that there would be any competition for a job from a non-U.S. resident. However, now you compete against immigrants as well as oursourcing in many cases for that first job and through-out your working life. Patrick is right that it sure doesn't appear that the U.S. produces enough people with advanced degrees and engineers, etc. to meet our needs.

Tim

lefty
September 3rd, 2009, 09:47 PM
Patrick is right that it sure doesn't appear that the U.S. produces enough people with advanced degrees and engineers, etc. to meet our needs.

Tim

Getting a PhD in chemical engineering will get you a job with a starting pay of atleast $90K. Get an MBA and you make, well, more (Not to menton how much easier it is!! I toyed with an stats major for about 2 quarters. Then I woke up.) Besides Goldman will pay engineers and statisticians a heck of alot more than, well, anyone else. I dont have data to support it, but I think that is why there is a dearth of engineers on the "field" level.

Oh and to get back on topic, the article was also misogynistic. WSJ so no big surprise there...

stillwater
September 3rd, 2009, 10:02 PM
I didn't call anyone a ninny

Don't fret, I call myself a ninny. Some other sage here just beat me to it.


I just said we probably need to push our kids a bit harder

You say push, I say guide. Semantics I guess.


To keep to topic, maybe we should hand out a ribbon to every 50-year-old who doesn't want a burst aorta.

I'll bet the majority of ribbions would be picked up at that meet.

quicksilver
September 4th, 2009, 08:12 AM
Here's around 20 good reason reasons why that article is all hogwash.

50 Freestyle SCY Men 50-54 (2009)
# Name Age Club LMSC Time
1 Ambrose Gaines 50 BLU Florida 21.38
2 Jack R Groselle 54 O*H* Lake Erie 21.97
3 Richard F Kammerer 51 RICE Gulf 22.26
4 Jerry Spencer 50 ARKM Arkansas 22.39
5 John L Oberto 50 CVAS Pacific 22.45
6 Barry Roth 54 ARIZ Arizona 22.50
7 Mike L Schmitz 50 MICH Michigan 22.58
8 Fritz W Homans 51 MESC New England 22.68
9 Maxwell B Stinchcombe 52 TXLA South Texas 22.77
10 Joe Wotton 50 GOLD Florida Gold Coast 22.78

100 Freestyle SCY Men 50-54 (2009)
# Name Age Club LMSC Time
1 Ambrose Gaines 50 BLU Florida 46.59
2 Jack R Groselle 54 O*H* Lake Erie 47.92
3 Bob Bugg 51 GAJA Georgia 48.77
4 Rick Abbott 53 AKMS Alaska 49.35
5 Rick Kammerer 51 RICE Gulf 49.47
6 Mike L Schmitz 50 MICH Michigan 49.48
7 Fritz W Homans 51 MESC New England 49.66
8 Maxwell B Stinchcombe 52 TXLA South Texas 49.67
9 Michael J Blatt 53 VCM Southern Pacific 49.71
10 Michael T Mann 54 CMS Colorado 49.89

pwb
September 4th, 2009, 11:10 AM
Here's around 20 good reason reasons why that article is all hogwash.

50 Freestyle SCY Men 50-54 (2009)
# Name Age Club LMSC Time
1 Ambrose Gaines 50 BLU Florida 21.38
2 Jack R Groselle 54 O*H* Lake Erie 21.97
3 Richard F Kammerer 51 RICE Gulf 22.26
4 Jerry Spencer 50 ARKM Arkansas 22.39
5 John L Oberto 50 CVAS Pacific 22.45
6 Barry Roth 54 ARIZ Arizona 22.50
7 Mike L Schmitz 50 MICH Michigan 22.58
8 Fritz W Homans 51 MESC New England 22.68
9 Maxwell B Stinchcombe 52 TXLA South Texas 22.77
10 Joe Wotton 50 GOLD Florida Gold Coast 22.78

100 Freestyle SCY Men 50-54 (2009)
# Name Age Club LMSC Time
1 Ambrose Gaines 50 BLU Florida 46.59
2 Jack R Groselle 54 O*H* Lake Erie 47.92
3 Bob Bugg 51 GAJA Georgia 48.77
4 Rick Abbott 53 AKMS Alaska 49.35
5 Rick Kammerer 51 RICE Gulf 49.47
6 Mike L Schmitz 50 MICH Michigan 49.48
7 Fritz W Homans 51 MESC New England 49.66
8 Maxwell B Stinchcombe 52 TXLA South Texas 49.67
9 Michael J Blatt 53 VCM Southern Pacific 49.71
10 Michael T Mann 54 CMS Colorado 49.89

RIGHT ON!

Chris Stevenson
September 4th, 2009, 11:38 AM
Here's around 20 good reason reasons why that article is all hogwash.

But does sprinting require any training at all? Is it even real racing? I don't think there is enough time in a 50 free for my HR to get above 100... :)

aquageek
September 4th, 2009, 12:02 PM
But does sprinting require any training at all?

Ironically, Fort and Jazzbone left the secret sprinter handbook out on deck the other day and I stumbled upon it. It was actually one page long and printed on a post it note. Here is what it says for a typical workout:

Drive to pool, rest 30 minutes

Walk inside, chat 30 minutes

Change in locker room, rest 10 minutes

Main set - 6 X 12.5 @ 8:00 minutes

Cool down in shower, dress, return to car

Claim a 2 hour workout on the forum

The Fortress
September 4th, 2009, 12:21 PM
Ironically, Fort and Jazzbone left the secret sprinter handbook out on deck the other day and I stumbled upon it. It was actually one page long and printed on a post it note. Here is what it says for a typical workout:

Drive to pool, rest 30 minutes

Walk inside, chat 30 minutes

Change in locker room, rest 10 minutes

Main set - 6 X 12.5 @ 8:00 minutes

Cool down in shower, dress, return to car

Claim a 2 hour workout on the forum

You forgot:

Go to gym and do 4-5 exercises

Sit in whirlpool

Eat after

Rag on people who need DVDs to work out

Betsy
September 4th, 2009, 12:21 PM
I read the article to mean that you can't keep doing the same times as you age. I think the article is wrong that 50 is the point of decline. I have never reached times that I did as a kid, but my best Masters times were at 50. My experience is that after 60, you can't hold on to your best times. June Krauser gave me good advice years ago: "Don't look back. Establish PRs for each group and be happy with that. If you keep swimming new events, you can get a PR."
Health issues are always a concern. Many of us have various ills that cause problems at times. When I discuss my swimming and health with others in my age group (65-69), the best I can say is "I am swimming well. There is nothing wrong at the moment."

Chris Stevenson
September 4th, 2009, 01:29 PM
June Krauser gave me good advice years ago: "Don't look back. Establish PRs for each group and be happy with that."

I've always liked this kind of advice. Every 5 years you get to start fresh; it takes the sting out of a birthday, especially a "big" one like 40 or 50 or 60 (as they say, it sure beats the alternative).

Every year, my general goals for a particular event in order of increasing difficulty are:

-- improve my time on an age-adjusted scale like this one (http://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi).

-- beat last year's time.

-- set a new PR for my current age group (though that is easier than the previous goal if you just aged up...:))

Glenn
September 4th, 2009, 02:02 PM
Swimming technique, mental preparedness, goggles, better designed workouts, these have been the difference for me in my times from college days (1970) to now. I don't plan to slow down. I expect that my best times are still ahead of me!!!:banana:

LCM

50 free

20 - 26.74
55 - 28.82
60 - 28.32

200 free

20 - 2:15.75
55 - 2:21.23
60 - 2:22.10

400 free

20 - 5:04.20
55 - 5:02.97
60 - 5:01.81

800 free

20 - 10:47.96
55 - 10:50.90
60 - 10:34.50

lefty
September 4th, 2009, 02:39 PM
But does sprinting require any training at all? Is it even real racing? I don't think there is enough time in a 50 free for my HR to get above 100... :)


basically what it comes down to is you are not strong enough physically to get your heart rate up without extended excercise. That is cool, I wouldn't be bragging about it, though.