The first sign of old-age is hoping it will work out when you don’t.

The second sign of old-age is when you stop and don’t start again.

The third sign of old-age is the regret of never starting again that turns into bitterness.

My football team just finished indoor spring camp, the lead-up to pre-season. Over 600 reps were invested. Not everyone invested. Some did, some didn’t. I’m not a micromanager. I don’t bug the hell out of people. I mind my own business – literally and figuratively. Those who practice will be rewarded with a ring. Those who don’t, won’t. I don’t phone players and bug them that they missed practice. I don’t celebrate those who show up to practice. The reason is consciousness. Each one of us has to raise our own individual levels of consciousness alone in order to make a difference on the rest of the world. Working out has to come straight from the heart. Practicing has to come straight from the heart. If I have to force you to workout and practice, it’s coming straight from my heart, not yours. It doesn’t count if it comes straight from my heart because learning to do anything straight from the heart is an individual sport.

Old-age doesn’t happen on a specific birthday. That just makes it official. Old-age starts when you stop – when you stop giving a shit. The phenomenon of not-giving-a-shit is a threat to any team. Not giving a shit is the difference between getting the shit beat out of you by the other team and not getting the shit beat out of you. Getting the shit beat out of you or not is a matter of personal choice. You have to give a shit to not get the shit beat out of you. That’s why I don’t bug the shit out of anyone because it’s a lesson we all have to learn on our own. It makes no sense for me to give a shit if you don’t because if you don’t, it truly doesn’t matter if I do or don’t. It’s like the tree falling in the forest when no one’s there. If no one’s there, there’s no sound. If no one can hear it, no sound is made. The same applies with giving a shit. If you’re not there, it doesn’t matter whether I do or don’t.

When you slow down, you eventually come to a dead stop. Anti-aging is found in anti-sedentary, anti-slowing down, anti-stopping. If you want to grow old pre-maturely, go ahead. It’s your choice. My job as a coach is not to scold and not to babysit. I don’t run a day-care or an old-age home or a retirement village. I learned a long time ago that trying to change the unchangeable is a waste of time and energy. Change starts from within. I can’t stop you from aging prematurely. Nothing I can say or do will make you start. Nothing I say will stop you from growing old while you’re young. If you want to stop, you will regardless of what I do or say. If you want to grow old, you will. If you want to waste your potential, you will regardless of what anyone says because the only voice that matters is your conscience.

Peace.

Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3
owner – X Fitness Inc.
head coach – Oakville Longhorns football team
author – Soul of a Lifter