Before I even begin, I’ll have to admit that I’m a little biased when it comes to the winningest coach in college football, Joe Paterno. As an alum of Penn State, a big Penn State football fan, and having had the privilege of meeting the hall of fame coach once, there isn’t a lot JoePa does that I disapprove of. For the last several years, he’s been under close scrutiny (except of course when Penn State wins) that he’s too old to coach at such a high level; too old to manage the egos of his young players; too old to keep running on the field with his team. To all the naysayers, they can only hope they can do what he does when (if) they get to be his age.
Age Is A Mindset
In the February 9th issue of The Sporting News, Steve Greenberg interviewed Coach Paterno and asked him questions on everything from the current state of college football to the business of coaching. But what caught my attention the most was when JoePa said “I hate to see people get old when they’re not old. Life is what you make of it.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, Joe! How many people do you know that blame their age on their lack of interest in exercise or eating well? Or blame their age on as to why they feel the way they do? Perhaps it’s you, and it’s the worst excuse there is – we’ve ALL been aging since the day we were born.
Fitness is Ageless
Having not been recruited to play football at Penn State, I can only imagine what the rush of running into Beaver Stadium with 110,000 fans roaring must be like. But JoePa still continues to do it and with the attitude, “And run on that field, and all the 70-year-old guys in the stands who are feeling sorry for themselves because they’re 70 say, “What the hell’s the matter with that guy?” If Joe used age as an excuse, he would have quit a long time ago, and missed those trips to the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and the history books. Is it because he runs out onto the field or his walks on the Jersey shore? May be, but it’s because he chooses to and does not let his age or anyone else for that matter dictate how he should live his life at 83.
Don’t let your age dictate what you can and can’t do. You can be fit at any age. You can climb any mountain you want. Achieve any goal you set out to accomplish. It’s all in the attitude you take.