Society is Wrong About Aging

Society is Wrong About Aging

Society is wrong about aging. Jokes, negativity and stories on how bad aging is are the norm. I lived in Florida. I got the message.  

The reality is aging is a natural biological process that is shaped and influenced by society; people who know nothing about biology. Everyone I know keeps their distance from all things biological—all science for that matter.

When I worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife and wore that insignia on my shirt, people in grocery stores, gas stations, everywhere I went would ask me, “how did you get that job?” My reply, I have a degree in biology was a conversation stopper, “ewwww.” The looks, the frowns, the comments, no one inquired any further after hearing “biology.”

Think about that. The people who drive and shape a biological process, say, “ewwwwww” when talking about biology.

We can disregard the stories, emotion and opinions around aging because the reality is Nature runs the program. Aging is a process, as natural as your genes. No one is exempt.


The biology of aging involves every molecule, cell, organelle and organ system in the body. These changes (at the cellular level) manifest slightly differently for everyone but in general, they begin to occur quietly and in the background in our 30s. That’s what you’re seeing when athletes retire.

Age-related changes begin to show up in our 50s, 60s. Again, this is in general. These changes can show up earlier or later and be more pronounced or less so.

There is a biological code for aging designed and built-in by Nature over a very long period, evolutionary time. Gray hair, a steadily declining maximum heart rate, wrinkles, stiffness; we eat less, digest less, things slow down. This is natural aging.

Consider our biological lineage. We are descendants of foragers, hunter-gatherers who were evolutionarily optimized for endurance, lifting and carrying. To earn a living as a hunter-gatherer you ran, walked and foraged, carrying babies, tools and food; activity every day. You were energized, curious, and alert searching for food and opportunity; engaged every day. You were always optimistic that the next day you would have even better success and you continuously sharpened and honed your skills to that end; improving every day.

That means we too have evolved to grow, succeed and harmonize in the natural world. We can’t just suddenly stop, close the door and sit idle in our cushy, temperature-controlled modern world. We have to get active, stay curious and eagerly engage with daily life. Not just getting the most out of life but bringing the most to life because it’s who we are.

We can’t do the exact opposite of our biological lineage and expect to thrive. If you remain idle, passive and checked-out after 50, that’s aging with a capital “A.”

The body is still part of Nature. It responds to the daily rhythms of your environment. However, the mode of brain-body-environment communication is not conscious thought. It is cellular—involving primitive biology, cellular pathways, hormones and chemical impulses.

Human biology is older and deeper than anything we know and it’s in our best interest to re-connect with our roots.

Inactivity sends the signal to shut down, conserve, atrophy because this is how the body evolved to adapt and succeed in Nature. During times of scarcity; drought, famine or winter the body conserves and “sleeps.”

Inactivity along with a full belly sends our body haywire messages and the aging process gets out of whack—soft, over-nourished and under-muscled, we are easy targets for disease, decline and decay.  

Society is Wrong About Aging

It is wrongly assumed that the deterioration and disease that show up are part of natural aging or “just part of getting older.” Arthritis, diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, most falls, fractures and common cancers are caused by the way we live. Nearly 70% of premature death and age-related decline is lifestyle-related.

It is well known that sedentary life speeds up the aging process. Science has the documentation going back three millennia!

If you only look at aging through the lens of our social world, that skewed view is all you’ll ever see and know. Opening yourself to look for what is possible allows you to learn and transform your physical self and your flyfishing.  

Aging left to its own devices leads to decline. Add in extended inactivity and you get deterioration. A prolonged state of deterioration leads to decay and the ultimate decay is sarcopenia.   

You can laugh at the jokes, but there is not a grain of truth to them. The truth is you can influence how you age and even reverse decline that has occurred.

Aging can be better for you than anyone you have ever known, anything you have ever seen.

It’s not a platitude to fly fish with vigor at 90-years-old. It takes the same effort, the same “onramp” we use to fly fish every day, effort and innovation. Use this contact form to ask about our Virtual Fitness Program. 

Download a Quick Guide to Strength, Stamina and Sturdiness.



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