Jimmy, many of us here can identify with your dad. But my theory is that as you get a little older, you work smarter. You prepare for the worst, carry good gear that has worked in the past and double prepare for trips.
As for passing teenagers, I roll past 5 young road bikers a week on my road bike coming into work. However, the keen racing guy and a few of the hard-ass women blow by me pretty easily. Out in the woods, I start early and stay late and keep a steady pace. Usually get to my campsite between 1 and 3 p.m. on a regular backpacking trip and put in extra time on the thru hike until I do my quota.
Still, I'm 57 and knee issues, the occasional ligament tear and other minor complaints do take longer to heal. I'm still feeling the overextension of my right leg on a trip to the river with my neice last summer. Stupid little things hang around longer.
As others commented, my mental strenth is much improved over my 20s as I have much greater self-discipline which means I can endure tougher days. Equipment may not be new, but it was good quality stuff and still can be rehabilitated.
Edited by wildthing (06/02/10 07:37 PM)
Listen to the trees in the wind