Age has got nothing to do with it

Are we getting slower because we are getting older, or are we getting older because we are getting slower? Experience based remarks from Jimmy Cornell.

Jimmy Cornell's last sail on Aventura III

Jon Amtrup, a Norwegian journalist, has just emailed me a number of questions on behalf of a Norwegian magazine. I found his first question intriguing enough to repeat it here: You have a pace and energy that most 20 year-olds should envy you. How do you keep motivated and positive?

I don’t feel any different to when I was younger. OK, I may not be as strong as I used to be, but I do not have any real complaints. So, I simply continue to behave as I always have, living my life to the full.

We had a discussion on the same subject with my mate Nick shortly before we left Cherbourg. He mentioned a remark made by a psychologist, who asked the question whether we are getting slower because we are getting older, or are we getting older because we are getting slower? In my case, the answer is clear. I refuse to be getting slower just because, at my age, that may be expected of me. But it’s a convenient excuse for all those coach potatoes.

This reminds me of a similar situation after I had sold the previous Aventura. The new owner had asked me to sail with him from Greece to France, and we were joined for the trip by his fiance and her father. Having stopped for the night at Thira (Santorini), we went to have dinner at a restaurant overlooking the flooded crater of the volcano that is suspected to have destroyed the Minoan civilisation. As we were walking up towards the rim, the father suddenly stopped. Gasping for air he exclaimed “I won’t take another step. This is so stupid of you youngsters to force me to do this at my age. I am, after all, sixty years old!”.

I was seventy at the time, and couldn’t suppress a big grin. He left the boat the following morning.

Click here to read more of Jimmy Cornell's blog, Blue Planet Odyssey.