It’s interesting that the McGregor/Mayweather fight happened just now. It’s interesting for me because it is one of those things that falls into place. They happen all the time but I never cease to be amazed when they do. There seems to be a symmetry to things.
Say what you will about coincidence. Nine times out of ten I will probably agree with you but I must be honest that there’s a superstition in me.
I am twenty eight. Not old but not young.
This position makes me wonder about what I can still accomplish. Is there an age limit for brilliance?
Not that I want to do anything remarkable necessarily; but I want to enjoy life and make something worthwhile. Does this become more difficult with age?
I have stumbled across articles that talk about a peak time, a ripeness, in the twenties that is most conducive to explosive creativity. Have I missed it?
Mayweather’s victory against a man ten years his junior suggests that maybe I haven’t.
Am I being groundlessly optimistic? Didn’t Mayweather hone his skills in his youth? Isn’t his brilliance, his fire, simply a well preserved product from that youth?
To me it seems that the answer is yes and no. And fortunately it also seems to me that the answer doesn’t much matter.
Yes, boxing is a skill that is best developed in youth. The energy and endurance necessary to build formidable skills and to recover from injury are a young man’s game. But, even though this is the case. Mayweather did not let himself get old.
What do I mean by that? It’s a bizarre statement isn’t it. How can Mayweather keep himself from staying old?
Well of course in terms of telomeres and the like he has aged. Though this is true, though he has aged, he hasn’t let himself get old.
I don’t want to be one of those new sorts of people who use euphemisms. So I won’t. Yes, we get old. Yes, Mayweather is getting old. Age happens and it isn’t a bad thing. However there are various ways of getting old. Among the ways of getting old is the method of not getting old.
What Mayweather did was fastidious maintenance. That’s why his skills and his passion didn’t get old. They got honed.
This should be encouraging for everyone. Because everyone has a skill. As you grow older you develop skills and life experiences. While it is best to notice which way they are going as early as possible and then capitalize on that huge burst of energy in the twenties it’s not necessarily a tragedy not to.
You can always do maintenance and as you do maintenance you’ll notice that your machine whatever that machine is will improve and will become easier to improve.
I don’t think that the answer to whether or not Mayweather’s skills came from capitalizing on youthful energy matters for most people. This is the case because most people aren’t athletes that compete in a blood-sport. Therefore a robust frame that recovers quickly from grievous injury isn’t a necessity.
I highly doubt given a reasonable amount of intellectual, physical, and creative effort that even at forty your brain is significantly less creative or innovative than at twenty. In fact you might have gained some wisdom you didn’t realize.
The reason for this post is to suggest the art of keeping the flame. I notice that there’s something a bit odd, a bit amiss in our society; it’s the fact that people grow listless. They just decide to get old. With all of our vast resources this is a travesty.
I’m not here to be judgmental. This post is meant to encourage people. I’ve been meaning to write it for a long time. And as I said at the beginning what a fortuitous event it is that an older man triumphs against a younger man.
I am not actually somebody that cares much for sports in general. While I do keep up a robust exercise regimen and consider myself an outdoors-man I don’t follow sports. I tune in to UFC commentary or matches only once in a blue moon. Yet maybe I should do so more because as has been evidenced by this article and many others sports can be rather instructive.
So let this little bit of sports history serve to instruct you to keep the flame.
(Coming soon: tips on keeping the flame.)