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I still love to race, but I am in a different place.The absolute numbers just don’t matter as much anymore. It’s not that I believe I would win anything significant.Rather than try to fight aging, she encourages athletes to embrace it as a part of life and view it as a challenge and opportunity to focus on strategy and tactics, lean heavily on the wisdom they’ve accrued over the years, and try new sports.Do this, says Bunce, and you’ll see physical and psychological benefits: lower rates of injury and a dramatic reduction in stress.You can also try new sports and activities and enjoy attempting to master something new.Eventually, you get to a truly minimalist approach, which is about just trying to do something active most days.Today, Joyner happily runs wearing army boots that help accommodate the issue and allow him to stay active.We all slow down, and for people who are competitive, there can be a bit of denial.

At age 20, Joyner ran a marathon in minimalist shoes.In the end—and regardless of age—it’s important to remember that being an athlete is about more than qualifying for the Boston Marathon, counting the number of peaks you’ve bagged, or setting new Cross Fit personal bests.It’s every bit as much about personal growth, community, and having fun.Today, Aschwanden is still insanely active, but for different reasons.I don’t care so much about performance now as I did in my 20s and early 30s; I care about how I feel.

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