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New and Experienced Climbers over 50


Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

John Byrnes wrote: I agree and have had similar experiences.  

I've been on the "Grandmother Diet" for a number of years (Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't have eaten) but have tweaked it a bit in the last few 5 months towards higher protein and fat levels with much fewer carbs (unless the carbs are fresh veggies).  I do an "intermittent fast" once or twice a week but only following a high protein meal the night before.    I've eaten more bacon in the last few months than the previous few years.  :-)

I really haven't been all that strict about it, just staying aware of what I should buy at the grocery.   Anyway, I lost 5lbs in 5 months, which is what I was looking for and I don't feel hungry during the day unless I really am hungry (you know what I mean).   I feel good and I'm climbing strong.  Now at 6' 1" and 175lbs, I'm 10lbs below my "college weight".

You guys are nailing it.   I guess what I'm looking at, in a nuts and bolts kind of way, is what part of decline is inevitable, and what can be fixed?  Could any part of performance and recovery issues be offset... even 10-20%... with better fueling, better hydration, etc.?  I'm so curious, and a bit adventurous with this... certainly willing to experiment.   Also as everyone has stated, 'use it or lose it'.  There's no getting around training, workouts and maintaining muscle mass. (er... in my case, building some.   )
 
I have to say, personally, I've put the lie to the idea that it's all downhill after 'some age younger than mine'.  I have more upper body strength, more general fitness and endurance, and certainly more lower body strength, than ever in my life.  It's those laybacks that haunt me tho'...    

Emil Briggs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 105

Lori Milas wrote:

You guys are nailing it.   I guess what I'm looking at, in a nuts and bolts kind of way, is what part of decline is inevitable, and what can be fixed?  Could any part of performance and recovery issues be offset... even 10-20%... with better fueling, better hydration, etc.?  I'm so curious, and a bit adventurous with this... certainly willing to experiment.   Also as everyone has stated, 'use it or lose it'.  There's no getting around training, workouts and maintaining muscle mass. (er... in my case, building some.   )
 
I have to say, personally, I've put the lie to the idea that it's all downhill after 'some age younger than mine'.  I have more upper body strength, more general fitness and endurance, and certainly more lower body strength, than ever in my life.  It's those laybacks that haunt me tho'...    

I would bet though that you didn't try to maximize your fitness when you were younger. If you had gotten close to your maximum potential back in your 20's to early 30's then yeah it's all downhill from there. When it comes to having fun though it doesn't really matter.

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

Emil Briggs wrote:

I would bet though that you didn't try to maximize your fitness when you were younger. If you had gotten close to your maximum potential back in your 20's to early 30's then yeah it's all downhill from there. When it comes to having fun though it doesn't really matter.

You are exactly right Emil. Took it for granted but also didn’t have the quality of info we have today. If only I knew then what I know now!

But as for fun...NO CONTEST!  I’m enjoying every moment and am full of gratitude and awe for every day, every minute.  Could never have appreciated these sacred moments in the same way before.
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

John Byrnes wrote: 
This past trip, 6 weeks, I put up a bunch of new routes.   Development beats the hell out of you.    I had to be pretty strategic to be able to redpoint the last route before I had to leave.
https://www.mountainproject.com/area/114250594/valentines-wall

John,  I took a few minutes to gaze at your Valentine's Wall project.  I'm sitting here, about to turn 65, truly at a crossroads in my life... wondering, is this what these guys do? Just go to these magnificent places to climb?  Is this even legal?
I wish you had pictures, of your climbs, and of the place where you climbed.  I'd love to see that.
Regardless of whether I ever make it to the Caymans, I am so deeply grateful for nature, for the opportunity to climb (however well or poorly) ... for all these gifts.  Thank you for sharing.
dragons · · MWV, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 643

John Gill is inspirational. He looks amazing at the age of 80: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hymYIMwlyQA

The video says he has "severe arthritis and advanced degeneration of the lower spine", but watch him move! (that link is to the section of the video where he's doing multiple pull-ups at age 80).

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 576

Lori Milas wrote: John,  I took a few minutes to gaze at your Valentine's Wall project.  I'm sitting here, about to turn 65, truly at a crossroads in my life... wondering, is this what these guys do? Just go to these magnificent places to climb?  Is this even legal?
How's that old saw go?  Everything worth doing is either unhealthy, immoral or illegal.   If you're not retired, get that way and start the next major phase of your life.  

Anyway, yeah, that's what I do.   I mostly climb other peoples' routes but when I go to Cayman Brac, I generally put up several new routes.  

I wish you had pictures, of your climbs, and of the place where you climbed.  I'd love to see that.
Regardless of whether I ever make it to the Caymans, I am so deeply grateful for nature, for the opportunity to climb (however well or poorly) ... for all these gifts.  Thank you for sharing.

Pictures?  Oh Geez, most of mine are on film.  But there's more photos from this last trip at:  

https://www.facebook.com/kirkhabitat/media_set?set=a.10155545352077741.1073742071.730492740&type=3


And a recent video: https://vimeo.com/225647750 
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

John Byrnes wrote: How's that old saw go?  Everything worth doing is either unhealthy, immoral or illegal.   If you're not retired, get that way and start the next major phase of your life.  

Anyway, yeah, that's what I do.   I mostly climb other peoples' routes but when I go to Cayman Brac, I generally put up several new routes.  

Pictures?  Oh Geez, most of mine are on film.  But there's more photos from this last trip at:  

https://www.facebook.com/kirkhabitat/media_set?set=a.10155545352077741.1073742071.730492740&type=3


And a recent video: https://vimeo.com/225647750 

I’m speechless. In fact, for some reason I’m tearful.  You caught pictures of beauty that are purely inspirational. Thank you.  

Carl Schneider · · Adelaide, South Australia · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

Lori Milas wrote: Is anyone interested in the subject of nutrition?  (If not, I'll leave it alone).  Thinking about what Roy wrote, especially on keeping the weight to strength ratio where it should be.  I'm well aware of how much easier climbing would be for me if I carried 20 less pounds.  That would be my college weight, which looked great then, but today would look and FEEL sickly..."

I'm certainly interested in nutrition, but without being too precise about it.  When I started climbing five years ago (at age 50) I weighed 79 kilos.  This was at a height of 168 cm.  I used to lift a lot of weights back then, so I DID carry a lot more muscle.  Now, at age 56, I weigh around 62 - 63 kilos at about 11.8% BF (I weigh myself every day).  I still feel I'm quite strong (in regards to climbing, though not weight lifting) so I feel my power to weight ratio is not too bad.   My weight pretty much is my 'college' weight however, I DO look a little gaunt at times and unfortunately as we all know baggy skin is a bit of a curse (my skin would be tighter if I was fatter!  !).

In regards to actual nutrition, for the last six months I ate as a pescetarian, and am now moving towards being vegan.  I'm eating quite a lot of beans which are high in protein and supplement with hemp protein powder, but I don't actually record how much protein I get.

I think, for me, if I really wanted to be more serious about nutrition and performance I'd do two main things.  I'd reduce my alcohol intake and I'd drink more water.  I think I'd get more gains out of those two strategies than working out how much protein I get or don't get.  I do feel the supplement industry pushes protein intake as well as all the other supplements we're told we need, and I feel we don't need as much as what we're told we need.

BTW I used to use whey protein powder or whey protein mixed with green pea protein.  I find the hemp protein very digestible and it has the benefit of (while being less protein per 100) containing more fibre.
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

Carl Schneider wrote:

I'm certainly interested in nutrition, but without being too precise about it.  When I started climbing five years ago (at age 50) I weighed 79 kilos.  This was at a height of 168 cm.  I used to lift a lot of weights back then, so I DID carry a lot more muscle.  Now, at age 56, I weigh around 62 - 63 kilos at about 11.8% BF (I weigh myself every day).  I still feel I'm quite strong (in regards to climbing, though not weight lifting) so I feel my power to weight ratio is not too bad.   My weight pretty much is my 'college' weight however, I DO look a little gaunt at times and unfortunately as we all know baggy skin is a bit of a curse (my skin would be tighter if I was fatter!  !).

In regards to actual nutrition, for the last six months I ate as a pescetarian, and am now moving towards being vegan.  I'm eating quite a lot of beans which are high in protein and supplement with hemp protein powder, but I don't actually record how much protein I get.

I think, for me, if I really wanted to be more serious about nutrition and performance I'd do two main things.  I'd reduce my alcohol intake and I'd drink more water.  I think I'd get more gains out of those two strategies than working out how much protein I get or don't get.  I do feel the supplement industry pushes protein intake as well as all the other supplements we're told we need, and I feel we don't need as much as what we're told we need.

BTW I used to use whey protein powder or whey protein mixed with green pea protein.  I find the hemp protein very digestible and it has the benefit of (while being less protein per 100) containing more fibre.

Thanks for sharing, Carl. (I had to do the kilo conversion   ) Dietetics was one of my majors in college, and so I have read volumes on nutrition ever since.  One thing I have learned is that one size does not fit all.  You are listening to your body... and so if it drifts vegan, and you can stay strong, then you're doing it right.  I was a thriving vegetarian for some years, but then it was over. I could not make it work any longer.  
So, you are 55 and starting to turn that corner into being ... older.  Things start to change.  

I feel a real sense of urgency to keep my body fit as long as possible, because my friends and family of my age have all gone to pot. I'm also a Type 1 diabetic (insulin dependent).  After some rough days on the rock a few years ago I started looking around for other diabetic climbers.  No one wants to have a crashing blood sugar while at the top of a pitch.  All the climbers I know stopped eating carbs almost entirely, have gone to the 'keto' diet, and now they are almost non-diabetic.  That's lots of protein.  

The question I have asked is WHY do we lose muscle mass (10% per decade), and vigor, endurance, and heart health... immunity.  Is it inevitable?  There are some studies that say it's because we do not fuel our bodies with the right octane. There's not enough building blocks (ie. protein) for repair, and so slippery slope to decay and decline.  And yea, that gaunt look is because we somehow lost collagen along the way, so lose a little weight, everything sags.

Something you guys won't want to talk about (but maybe if there's any ladies still tuned in) is decline in hormones, as well.  I've worked with a hormone doc for 20 years, not just to replace female hormones, but also testosterone, and a few years back HGH.  All of that is based upon labs, ranges, scales... but also a sense of well being.  I simply wouldn't be who I am today without close attention to diet and hormones.  You guys do go through your 'andropause'... but maybe ya'll are so healthy and happy you haven't noticed.  

I love your comment about water.  I have thought the same thing!  For some reason, drinking water throughout the day is difficult.  (And yea... I have a hemp/whey combo I like, too!)  Thanks for sharing.

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

A bit frustrated today... but realized that this is why I opened this thread.  

I saw my Kaiser doc today on a routine visit.  

She spent the first 10 minutes reviewing my need for flu, pneumonia and tetanus shots. And mammogram, although she wasn’t sure how long since my last one—take another one anyway. And “Take some Lipitor, take some blood pressure medication, take some NyQuil, Motrin and cough medicine.” (“But I’m not coughing!”) She’s checking to see if I have been picking up these prescriptions... my cholesterol is perfect, so is everything else... so NO, I won't be taking those meds.

Then we went to the lecture on “You’re getting old, and should be slowing down! Lori, I see patients drop dead every day! You can't do what you used to!  There’s no way to prevent old age.”

So she also wanted to recommend to me a Seniors' Fall Prevention class. "Older people cannot afford to fall and break a hip."  I asked her “Is that on top rope or lead climbing?” When she realized I was rock climbing she ended the appointment.

So, I guess we are writing our own rules from here on out.  Maybe, blissfully, there are no rules.  

wendy weiss · · boulder, co · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 10

I think you just got the wrong PCP. Can you switch? Sometimes you can look up doctors online and see their hobbies and activities (maybe even on the Kaiser webpage), which may give you a clue about who will understand yours.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430

Lori Milas wrote: A bit frustrated today... but realized that this is why I opened this thread.  

I saw my Kaiser doc today on a routine visit.  

She spent the first 10 minutes reviewing my need for flu, pneumonia and tetanus shots. And mammogram, although she wasn’t sure how long since my last one—take another one anyway. And “Take some Lipitor, take some blood pressure medication, take some NyQuil, Motrin and cough medicine.” (“But I’m not coughing!”) She’s checking to see if I have been picking up these prescriptions... my cholesterol is perfect, so is everything else... so NO, I won't be taking those meds.

Then we went to the lecture on “You’re getting old, and should be slowing down! Lori, I see patients drop dead every day! You can't do what you used to!  There’s no way to prevent old age.”

So she also wanted to recommend to me a Seniors' Fall Prevention class. "Older people cannot afford to fall and break a hip."  I asked her “Is that on top rope or lead climbing?” When she realized I was rock climbing she ended the appointment.

So, I guess we are writing our own rules from here on out.  Maybe, blissfully, there are no rules.  


LOL you got a Doc that saw an age on a chart instead of you.

btw, YGD™.

  
SeƱor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Lori Milas wrote: 

So she also wanted to recommend to me a Seniors' Fall Prevention class. "Older people cannot afford to fall and break a hip."  I asked her “Is that on top rope or lead climbing?” When she realized I was rock climbing she ended the appointment.

Hilarious. 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

Uhhh, lessee..

If you have zero recollection of a tetanus shot, yeah, maybe get that one.

How many years of schooling for that? ;-D

Definitely switch docs, maybe the practice you go to also, if it's not possible for them to regard you as an individual. You need a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it doc", especially with the amount of proactive stuff you are doing, and getting and staying educated. Well done, by the way. I admit, I sorta, kinda, hate you some days, when my body doesn't wanna even fold up enough to get my socks on, without grabbing an ankle and hauling, lol! You are really doing very, very well with the climbing. Keep it up, and have fun!

Stay in charge of your health, happiness, and your life. You're awesome, lady!!

Best, OLH

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

wendy weiss wrote: I think you just got the wrong PCP. Can you switch? Sometimes you can look up doctors online and see their hobbies and activities (maybe even on the Kaiser webpage), which may give you a clue about who will understand yours.

Thanks, Wendy. I have kept my 'outside' doctor... functional medicine doc... and thought I'd stay with Kaiser for the normal stuff.  However, it might be possible to find another doc within Kaiser who at least gets where I'm coming from. 

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 50

Old lady H wrote: Uhhh, lessee..

If you have zero recollection of a tetanus shot, yeah, maybe get that one.

How many years of schooling for that? ;-D

Definitely switch docs, maybe the practice you go to also, if it's not possible for them to regard you as an individual. You need a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it doc", especially with the amount of proactive stuff you are doing, and getting and staying educated. Well done, by the way. I admit, I sorta, kinda, hate you some days, when my body doesn't wanna even fold up enough to get my socks on, without grabbing an ankle and hauling, lol! You are really doing very, very well with the climbing. Keep it up, and have fun!

Stay in charge of your health, happiness, and your life. You're awesome, lady!!

Best, OLH

Oh... thanks for that--we ALL are!  I think perhaps the difference is, you've been having fun a long time while I'm just now able to spread my wings a little--and now that I have the opportunity I'm and not going to let age be the limiting factor. I admire you, and those who have been steadily writing, who have obviously been climbing for many years and having such a good time at it.  

Don't forget hormones.  I'm an all natural, organic woman all the way... until it comes to hormones.  There is nothing natural about this part of it... I want them all.  An extra dab of testosterone makes a whole lot of difference on a climbing day.  

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 576

Lori Milas wrote:I saw my Kaiser doc today on a routine visit.  

HA! HA!  Over the last few years I've trained my Kaiser doctor.  She isn't condescending anymore after she diagnosed me having a heart attack several years ago, and sent me (Do not pass go, do not collect $200) immediately to the ER.  

I told her, "No way!  Yesterday I backcountry skied (climbed) about 3500' vertical feet between the elevations of 10K and 11K!  If I had a bad heart, I woulda died yesterday."  But the EKG showed an inverted t-wave, "abnormal", so off to the ER.  

There's an enzyme that indicates you've had a heart attack, so they took some blood and I was on this cardiac monitor waiting for the results.  My HR was 52, pulse-ox 98/99%, BP 108/58.  I asked the nurse if heart attack patients have those kind of numbers.  He smiled, "Your not having a heart attack."

Turned out I was eating too much dried fruit (acid reflux gives you a burning sensation in your chest) and that an inverted t-wave means you have a highly developed (thick) heart muscle.  Life-long athletes are "abnormal".  Doh.

Stay away from the statins; they're a scam.  I travel a lot in the winter so the flu shot is fine.  
T Roper · · the gym · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

John Byrnes wrote:



Turned out I was eating too much dried fruit (acid reflux gives you a burning sensation in your chest) and that an inverted t-wave means you have a highly developed (thick) heart muscle.  Life-long athletes are "abnormal".  Doh.

Stay away from the statins; they're a scam.  I travel a lot in the winter so the flu shot is fine.  

Excellent! Statins are a scam unless you eat shit(not literally). My dad has been taking statins for about 10-20 years and what do ya know one of the side affects is neuropathy which he now has. He still trusts his doctors(Kaiser go figure) and is just dealing with neuropathy instead of correcting his diet and eliminating statins. 

DO NOT TRUST YOUR DOCTOR unless they are a friend, they DO NOT spend enough time to get to know their patients, certainly not enough to know their diet and lifestyle. Modern healthcare is a joke until you are sick.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

T Roper wrote:


DO NOT TRUST YOUR DOCTOR unless they are a friend, they DO NOT spend enough time to get to know their patients, certainly not enough to know their diet and lifestyle. Modern healthcare is a joke until you are sick.

If I shouldn't trust my doctor for medical advice, where should I get it? Mountain Project? 

T Roper · · the gym · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

FrankPS wrote:

If I shouldn't trust my doctor for medical advice, where should I get it? Mountain Project? 

Does your brain work enough to research the internet? Thats what people do now since their doctors dont.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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