Cat Harbor is an old salt's destination. It's on the back side of Santa Catalina Island, so the only boats that make the extended voyage from the mainland are helmed by experienced boaters ready to brave the turbulent West End. The extra hours of sailing are well spent to reach this marvelous, protected anchorage with still waters and plentiful moorings.
For the second time this summer, skipper Evan Sandler invited Carolisa Pomerantz and me to accompany him to Catalina on his sloop Salient. We shared a wonderful weekend of sailing, tennis, and swimming topped by dancing at a Luau themed barbecue hosted by Pacific Mariners Yacht Club.
This weekend was in the midst of the Olympics, so it was great to be inspired by the fitness prowess displayed by the athletes in London. A surprising number of power boaters watched on their wide screen sets, while the Harbor Reef Restaurant Bar had the games on all screens.
I noticed a peculiar result: While gold medal winners were consistently thrilled, those who won bronze seemed happier than those who took silver, like swimmer Michael Phelps who won a silver medal in the 200 meter butterfly losing to South African Chad le Clos by only 5/100ths of a second.
This finding was backed up by researchers Victoria Medvec, Scott Madey and Thomas Gilovich who analyzed photos of medal winners on the victory podiums and interviewed the athletes for a paper they published after the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. What is the reason for this counterintuitive conclusion? Those who came in second often beat themselves up over what they could have done better to take first place, while those who won bronze compared themselves to those who didn't win a medal at all.
There is a lesson for all of us here as we age. Older athletes are just as competitive as those who are younger, but we have to remember that simply plunging into the sea for a swim, or playing on a tennis court are reason enough to celebrate. The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has concluded that adults need a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days a week to stay healthy. It's a very modest goal, that only 30 percent of Americans sustain.
Carolisa didn't win the limbo contest at the PMYC Luau, but I didn't notice many others over 50 competing. Since the health benefits of consistent physical activity are so profound, as explained by the doctors in the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now, if you do make an effort to stay in shape, be as proud as any Olympic bronze medal winner, comparing yourself to the majority of American adults who sit incessantly, to their detriment.
Don't forget to watch the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now," now also available with other anti-aging DVDs on ReverseAging.TV. Photo of Carolisa Pomerantz and Paul Suchecki by Evan Sandler. Photos of Evan Sandler and Paul Suchecki by Carolisa Pomerantz. Anti-Aging Diary c. 2012 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki - webmaster