We might not be superboomer athletes, but none of us wants to live long without a strong body and clear mind. An active, full-tilt physical lifestyle is a key to avoiding a “long decline” to old age.
Boomers, to whom age is an irrelevant number, are characteristically adventure seekers who sign up for travel experiences that are as much about being physically fit as about the travel. Adventure travel often is synonymous with “competition” among boomer runners, bicyclists, swimmers and other weekend athletes, and is an exciting way to keep fit. Eco-boomer adventurists can book action-packed trips such as Eco Life Adventures where a portion of trip fees are donated to help save the Equatorial Rain Forest and its inhabitants. A 7-day adventure will have you in Quito mountain biking down Cotopaxi Volcano, the highest active volcano in the world starting at 15,000 feet and dropping down to 10,000 feet; soaring by zip line over the Cloud forest canopy of Mindo; and taking a class 3-4 whitewater rafting trip down the Pastaza River near Baños.
If cycling is your single sport of choice, then cycling coast-to-coast 3,240 miles across the U.S. is for you. Trek Travel offers a fully supported, all-encompassing cycling trip. You’ll climb 174,000 feet over the course of 35 riding days. Your shortest day will be 40 miles and your longest will be 140 miles. As they say, “you’ll experience more in 41 days than most people do in a lifetime.” More options include: Santa Barbara, CA to Taos, NM Bike Tours and Pyrenees Sea to Sea Bike Tours.
For multi-sport athletes and adventure junkies, who are more interested in testing themselves against the competition, there is Adventure Racing. Adventure Racing offers an easy crossover for cyclist, runners and water sport enthusiasts, and competitions include mountain biking, trail running, paddling, orienteering, and more – all outdoors. Races vary anywhere from 2-5 person teams to some solo categories. Disciplines vary from race to race, and can include shredding through tight single track on a mountain bike, or orienteering and hiking through a dense forest. Adventure racers can rip down rapids in a canoe and then rappel off a 100-foot rock face. The races last a few hours or several days and can cover 10-100 miles or more! Join the USARA if you are interested in competitive sanctioned events. In addition, take a look-see at the unique, eco-friendly adventure style magazine, Bare Essentials Magazine.
Road Scholar is the new program name for Elderhostel, Inc. They offer physically demanding activities that rank at the highest of “seven.” For example, if what drives you is the exhilarating world of canyoneering and orienteering, then Zion National Park and its surrounding red-rock wonderland is the place. You can rock climb, rappel and explore with professional climbers and “fly” across the top of a canyon by zip line. Hiking/climbing routes and trails vary in length, difficulty and surface. There’s an educational portion with an expert geologist to orient you to the geologic processes behind Zion National Park’s inspiring landforms. Other adventures offered are Five Mountains in Five Days: Hiking the Catskill Peaks, Hike the Appalachian Trail in Four States!, The Classic Grand Canyon Challenge: Rim to River, The Premier Grand Canyon Backpacking Adventure, Patagonia: Hiking At the End of the Earth, and An Unforgettable Challenge: Trekking the French Maritime Alps.
Other boomers and superboomers are out there swimming, cycling and running marathons in a single event – Triathlons. Boomers are actively “just doing it” like: Female Masters Laura Sophiea, 54 of Atlanta, GA (5th place-time 2:22:41); Elizabeth Bulman, 50 of San Diego, CA (6th place-time 2:22:58); and, Male Master William Schumann, 46 of West Hartford, CT (6th place-time 2:07:28). Check-out other amazing boomer finishers on the website in the Grand Masters category. If you need more inspiration, follow supersenior Ironman Roger Brockenbrough, 76, a world champion from Pittsburgh, PA who is looking for another championship at the upcoming USA Triathlon Age-Group Nationals in Tuscaloosa, AL! One common characteristic that active boomers seem to have is a competitive spirit. You don’t have to run marathons or swim 100 miles to stay fit. Check out the National Senior Games website for resources to, “long live the challenge.”
We applaud boomers who continue to walk the walk of full, rich lives built on the foundation of fitness, and who live well by actively staying in the mainstream and never retiring from life.