If you’ve read Younger Next Year you’ll know what a Kedge is. You’ve probably already got some under your (ever tightening) belt. But if you haven’t read the books yet, you’re not off the hook. Yet. Long story short – A Kedge is our term for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things. It’s setting a desperate goal and working like crazy to get there. To save yourself.
It doesn’t have to be a self-inflicted torture. It doesn’t even have to be long-term (how about doing something next week?) It does have to be reasonably demanding. It has to be motivating It might well be ‘social’. And it’d better be fun!
And a Kedge may just save your life.
So – find stuff to do. Sign up and get training for that Century Bike Ride that’s taking place next summer for your favorite charity. Plan a serious adventure trip with friends. Hike, surf, bike, ski, run a marathon – whatever turns you on, even if you’ve never done anything like this before (maybe especially if you haven’t) and get training. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.
Here’s the deal – I’ll post my kedges, great and small right here – and maybe yours too if you send them to me. Email email@example.com and let’s see how we can inspire each other to greater and greater heights!
A friend and I celebrated our 60 and 65th birthdays by walking 65 km on the Southwest Coast Path Trail in Cornwall. We stayed at a different B&B or inns along the way. Our luggage was handled by a travel company specializing in walking holidays. Fabulous kedge.
I’m looking for a place to replicate the experience in the US. Suggestions?
A quick update. Year one my kedge was to finish a triathlon. Done. This year (year 2) it was to finish an Ironman 70.3 tri. Done. For next year I am planning to try for three 70.3s. These kedges are really keeping me motivated as I improve steadily.
I have read YNY for many many years…it is time to get DOING instead of reflecting. Not quite kedge yet but eventually. I just put out a feeler Facebook post. Invitation to walk with me on Mondays on river valley. Rain or shine. I will be there. Would be nice not to be alone. Anyway stuck myself out there. New for me.
There is a YNY “Meet-up” somewhere or other. Seems to work. Perhaps you should look into it. Thansk for contributing to the community,
I’ve recovered from esophageal cancer which I had in 2011. I roller bladed for 2 hrs and 20 min this morning and I’ll alternate this with a comparable bike ride tomorrow.
I’m convinced the only reason I survived the cancer was because I was in good physical shape
Started your program last July with our first kedge – a series of mountain hikes. This year, we’ve taken on several. Paul is 62, Cheryl only 56.
Cheryl’s doing her first half marathon, and longest ever swim race (3km.) Paul’s doing his first “mini triathlon”. (Our 22-year-old son caught the bug and will do his his first full marathon during the same event as his Mom.)
In September, Cheryl and I are taking a group of 16 “zoomers” (boomers with zip) for a week of cycling in the Dalmatian Islands of Croatia. At up to 1650 feet in height, this will be the hilliest cycling we’ve ever done. So, we’ve already planned a couple of practice runs in the San Juan Islands of Washington this Spring.
Paul has written more about his YNY experience on our blog: http://blog.nopensionwilltravel.com/2013/12/30/younger-next-year/ It’s already inspired a few of our friends to buy their own copy.
I am a 56 year old married male. My wife and I have enjoyed and implemented things in our lives from both YNY and TTY. This year I am beginning to segway into semi retirement and wanted a Kedge. So I rented a condo in Utah, bought a season pass and will be skiing for 6 weeks this winter.
Adding to that we plan in the fall to redo a bicycle ride from 2009 from Seattle to SanDiego on our tandem (self -supported)
Thanks for helping inspire me to be younger next year
Just a quick follow up. I am on ski day 30 in a row – 11 more scheduled. Legs are feeling great. Wind and ski ability have definitely made big strides. One cool side note is only had fries once (they used to be a ski trip staple) – jeans are looser and interested to weigh once I get home.
Back from the ski trip… I rate the “Kedge” as a grand success. I got in 40 days of skiing out of 42 – felt great & saw a quantum leap in fitness. Now home in Florida and back on the bike and in the gym. Very Motivated!!
It is fun when people ask you..”have you lost a bunch of weight?”
I will keep you posted on the Pacific Coast bike ride we have planned for late August
Just finished YNY and am on TTY now. I’ve exercised all my life, but have never eaten smart and now at 51, I’m ready to rock The Third Act! Thanks to a college friend, I rediscovered road biking about 5 years ago. I just signed up for my 5th consecutive Bicyle Tour of Colorado (did RTR in ’09) next June. Not bad for a guy who weighs 280, but I’m tired of being that guy everyone admires just ‘cuz I can make it to the top without sagging! I’m determined to suffer less on the climbs and still be doing these tours in my 80s!. Next year’s route includes Red Mountain, Molas Divide, Coal Bank, Yellow Jacket, Wolf Creek, Spring Creek and Slumgullion passes. I really want to see how I can do at about 40 – 50 lbs. lighter than I am today-and then keep going down from there. I’ve found since I do these bike tours, that my training tapers off after the ride and I lose all of the momentum I had going in and gain most of the weight back. Just today, I finally weigh the same as I did after the BTC last June. Thanks Chris and Harry for the encouragement, the roadmap for success and the reality of the situation! I haven’t entered a race of any kind since college, but as part of my training for next year’s tour, I just might enter a cyclocross race. Why not! Thanks again for the books – I’m hooked!
How tickled I am to hear this story. Nice going keep it up. Chris. (TTY will help on the weight loss part.)
It has taken me 10 yrs, however I have recently bettered 2 “All American” marks in masters track and field events………..100m hurdles and 300m hurdles for those 60-64………….following harry’s rules, I hope to do the same in higher age brackets as time passes…………..thanks for the book!
This section really resonates with me. In 2007, with a BMI of around 30, my doctor told me that due to my elevated cholesterol, within a year he would be me on medication. I (inwardly) said “no, I don’t think so” and over the last 6 years have transformed myself, so I now eat right, have a BMI of 22.5 and am very active. To celebrate my 50th, I climbed Kilimanjaro. In 2011, I took up running for the first time in my life and in September am doing my first 1/2 marathon. Tomorrow (!!), I’m doing my first ever century ride. Your book as been an inspiration, and I believe that kedges will, in fact, save your life.
Kedges are magical… indispensable, in fact. Keep it up Chris
Your book has resonated with me for years. What have I done about it? Having been in the fitness industry for years, I catered to the “people who got it”. But, I wanted to reach the people the didn’t get it. The out of shape, the sedentary, the people who ate poorly, were inactive, and so forth. When I re-read Chapter 4 of YNY for Women, I couldn’t believe it. I had reinvented my company, 365fitt, and our mission/goals are in sync. I currently lead fitness trips for women who want to get in shape, but perhaps just don’t know how to do it. A “jump start” you called it. I lead walking/motivation trips to Captiva Island, FL and hiking trips to the Rocky Mountains. http://www.365fitt.com/fitt/default.asp?title=Events&contentID=15 for more information) – but in general, am so happy to provide opportunities for women who are looking to be YNY!
I turned 60 in April. I decided to become a certified personal trainer. It’s a year long course and I’m the oldest person in the class by easily over 20 years.But I’m doing fine. I’m learning, and EVERYONE I’ve talked to has encouraged me, saying that the 40-70 ag demographic will be thrilled I’m looking after them! I was a little embarassed to be starting this at first, but I’ve had nothing but positive responses. I was even asked to come back to apply for a job when I’m done training, at one of the gyms where I work out! Wow. This is from a former couch potato champion. I am not the same person as I was 5 years ago. Oh, and guess who contributed to that? Yeah, YNY!!
It seems my kedge may not be a kedge, in the usual sense, but it works for me. 5 years ago, when I was 66 years old, my husband gave me a chain saw as a retirement present. And then for Christmas, Santa brought me a splitting maul. We spend several hours a week chopping, splitting, stacking, and lugging wood to heat our old farm house. It is an invigorating outdoor activity, fun, good exercise, and happens every week.
Check out our Joshua Tree National Park Kedge at http://www.facebook.com/TeamKedge?ref=hl
Team Kedge hiked and scrambled through an area full of old abandoned gold mines and saw nature at its best. I highly recommend this kedge; what an adventure. Enjoy the photos and keep on kedging.
Hi Chris and Henry!
Mucho thanks from my 59 year-old stressed-out husband and myself! We just found your books this summer, and took them with us on a trip to the Grand Tetons in late July. We read on the plane and in our lodge after hiking daily. 36 miles in all! We had a grand time, and oddly, my very crappy knees felt BETTER after all that hiking!
We both began daily exercise, and I began to dream about your idea of kedges. With my 55th birthday fast approaching, and getting physical therapy for various joint ailments, I figured I needed to do something desperate! And something soon. Maybe something that could make a difference….so I signed up for my first triathlon with SheRox in San Diego this October! And signed up with TEAM HOPE to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. With several family members who are battling or were lost to OC, my family is deeply affected.
My husband grumped that we’d have to plan on meeting the minimum $500 pledge ourselves, but to go ahead. We nearly raised the whole pledge the first day!! The response is awesome.
So now I’m fully obligated, and training furiously, and my (slightly less) pudgy self is daily practicing swimming, biking and run/walking. Even when I don’t FEEL like it, because I have an OBLIGATION holding my feet to the fire! I am riding my upright Costco bike that has been languishing in the garage for years. I had to switch to swimming w just goggles after swimming for years w mask snorkel & fins. Very hard and thought I was going to drown! I have completed two open water swim practices ….and lived.
I am getting stronger and more motivated. Not losing a lot of weight, but my clothes show the work. O, and did I say we stopped eating crap?! Well, mostly.
I’ve been caring for my Mom since Feb, after she suffered a couple of strokes. She’s had major health challenges, and I can fast-forward easily to see what I would be facing in 26 yrs! Good news is she’s doing better, and at 81, I even got her to read YNY! She asked her Phys Therapist for a weight routine, and is getting stronger every day, and regaining her life, mobility and vitality!
We are so thrilled, we sent your books to most of our equally aging siblings.
With much gratitude!
Ps. Here’s my fundraiser page.
I found YNY last year at exactly this time and I began to do everything that you and Harry suggested. I am 48 so I guess I am on the younger side of your target audience. But I will attest that the book has changed my life. I had gotten to about 250 lbs but was still pretty active, which was about the only thing that I was doing right. I really took to heart the “stop eating crap” and while I know it is not a diet per se I am now 55 lbs lighter than August 26 last year.
I work at a bike shop and have always been a touring cyclist but after losing so much weight and getting so much better on the bike I was looking for a kedge. About 10 months ago a met Michael Shermer who was giving a talk in Durham, NC (my home) for his book “The Believing Brain”. In researching Dr. Shermer before going to his talk I found that he was also one of the founders of RAAM (The Race Across America). Being a bike guy, I was intrigued and got to ask him a few questions about the inception of the race. It was too big to even think about. But while it seemed crazy to contemplate doing RAAM it also felt like the ultimate challenge, even more so because I would be a rookie in the 50-59 category. It took me about 10 months to really decide but about 6 weeks ago I started training with a personal trainer in order to qualify for RAAM 2014.
So that’s my Kedge: Complete RAAM in 2014.
Thanks so much for the book. I’d love to use my RAAM attempt to help promote the truly life changing effects of Younger Next Year.
Best to you and thanks again
Before reading your book, I was following my fathers’s deadly path. He died at 44 from heart disease. I was 54, 240 lbs., and heading down the same road quickly. I knew I had to change, and fast. I read the book 3 times, and went into action.
Jump ahead 4 years: I have rode two century rides, and this summer have rode as much as 220 miles in a 5 day period. I own a mountain bike, a hybrid fitness bike, and a carbon framed beauty of a road bike.
My kedge this year? After a 40 year absence from Utah’s ski slopes…I bought a season pass and am taking up skiing (both downhill & x-country) again!
I feel better than I have for many, many years!
That is so wonderful. Favorite part: the ski pass. Life resumes. Chris
I am almost 57 and have been a figure skater since age 42. A few years ago I stopped jumping, decided I was too old and took up ice dancing instead. Ice dancing is a great workout (and we need more men for partners-come on guys, try something new!) but decided that my kedge will be to go to the adult national figure skating championships and do an artistic freestyle program. So I have started practicing my rusty jumps and spins. Jumping needs more strength (and less weight!) to get off the ground, so I am more motivated to improve my fitness and add more crosstraining. And for those of you who think you are too old for skating, one of my best skating pals turns 81 this month!
Yowie! Figure skating ever, let alone at 81. Wow Chris
I read the book just after my 55th birthday. 7 days after my 57th birthday I road in my first “Metric Century Plus”…80 miles in the rain in St. George, Utah! Didn’t finish due to a flat tire at mile 70 and just got too cold changing the tire to get back on the bike…but, was strong, well-trained, and WILL finish the next one! Up next…a metric century in Grand Junction, Colorado this weekend and a self-supported 3 day group ride in June that will include both Tennessee and Independence Passes in Colorado! You could say I suffer from LOAA (late onset adult athleticism) and I truly RIDE TO LIVE now!
Rode not road…hate it when I do that!
Self-supported as in ride with paniers? That IS tough Chris
No…self supported as in one car with all the gear, a bike rack and shared driving…we also have a local bike shop that is “donating” a mechanic (she wants to ride!) and a van with a driver and a trailer! We will pass through Aspen on June 24th on the way back to Glenwood.
You’re lucky, Mike. That desire will last you the rest of your life … and be a joy. Congrats Chris
Hello Chris-that mention of paniers put me in mind of a great book (maybe an airplane book for your upcoming Ireland trip) Round Ireland in Low Gear by Eric Newby. He and his redoubtable wife
Wanda circumnavigated Ireland in the mid 1980s at the age of 66 on the then-new “mountain bikes”. He was following up on an earlier tour of bed and breakfast lodgings and carried 200 lbs of history and travel lit in those paniers! And they did it in winter so as to not interfere with their vegetable garden! His authorial voice is much like yours–by turns personable, humorous, serious; well and deeply prepared, literate. . ..and a real gear head (don’t get me started on Learning the Ropes, his time on a windjammer in 1938). I realize this is not in itself a kedge, but I think it is good for us to have our forbears in mind when our bodies are not actively engaged! Thanks again for all of it!
if you liked round ireland then you need to read “A short walk in the Hindu Kush” also by Eric Newby
Sounds great. Keep on kedging! Chris
Oh my! You will indeed finish it the next time. Chris
I just got back from doing the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands Nat’l Park on mountain bike. Some easy stretches but climbs involved challenging enough for me! Highly recommended for phenomenal scenery and getting away from it all. Don’t worry about the canyon drops close to road! Beware Murphy’s Hogback.
http://www.gonomad.com/transports/0704/white-rim.html has excellent description.
I did the White Rim a few years ago. What a magical place. Not bone easy but worth it Chris
These two senior-aged off-road motorcycle riders practice what Chris and Henry preach. Give this video a look – I was blown away: Fifty Years of Kicks
We were blown away too. Great video
I just came back from a week of heli-skiing with CMH in Canada. At 69 I thought I might be the elder statesman of the lodge. No such luck. There wa a couple who were each about 85. Talk about inspirational! They have been leading the UNY lifestyle for many years.
Impressive. Chris keeps saying we need a YNY Hall of Fame for people like that!
I have done CMH and am plenty impressed. Chris
My husband and I just got into Ride the Rockies. Talk about your kedges! We’re training hard for the event. We just completed our longest ride on the tandem: 68 miles in the Longmont area with the amazing Colorado Cycling Club. The sun was shining and we were flying. Would love to know of other YNT fans participating this year. Give a shout out and let’s get together during the ride!
It’s june 9-15th, right? We can ask our fans on FB and Twitter to see if anyone is riding. Wish we had YNY jerseys…..
I would but a YNY jersey fer sure!
That’s the right timeframe. Yeah, YNY jerseys would be wonderful! The folks at Rock the Ages could use them, too!
I am going to do RTR but only the first two days. Have a speech confict in Canada (for which i’ll probably be hugely grateful at the time) Chris
Any way to get the Younger Next Year advocates together? I’d love to meet folks, especially be great to meet you, Chris!
Two years ago, I discovered Zumba… since then, I have lost 30 pounds and got fit again after a few years of relative inactivity and weight gain. I am a very shy person and although I’ve always enjoyed being active, I have never been a fitness “nut” like my husband. And I struggle with exercise-induced asthma as well.
But this spring, I have set myself to a kedge… becoming a licensed Zumba instructor at age 57! And I hope to go on to using my Zumba with other mature people like myself, as well as special needs populations (I am also a nurse). Getting the Zumba license is only part of my kedge, though I do want to lose 10 pounds and keep increasing my endurance and lung ability before then. The other part is getting up the nerve and confidence to actually start teaching Zumba classes. That will take both physical and emotional strength. Wish me luck!
Excellent….. I look forward to hearing more about you’re wonderful new adventures!!
incredible! What city are you in? Please keep us posted. We’d love to let other yny fans know where you’ll be teaching…
I’d take your class! I love Zumba and think it’d be wonderful to have another YNY enthusiast to enjoy it with. You’ll be great!
You inspire me Kathi!!
I know you’ll do great because you’re doing something you love.
Keep us posted please.
Buoyed by Chris’s post of someone else” kedge (Ranie’s), I want to share a huge kedge resource from a friend of mine. If you want to set a marathon-type goal, but are unsure how to train, check out
This is a fundraising activity of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society with sponsored races of many types all around the country. Participants get certified trainers and an immediate team of peers dedicated to a heartfelt cause. Training costs are defrayed by any fundraising you do.. My 63 year old friend is now training for her 4th!
great resource. Thanks!
Winter Wild 2012 – A series of 6 up/downhill races on NH’s rugged ski trails, from January through March, increasing from 2 to 4.5 miles. Accessible to anyone who can walk or ski up/downhill. Tons of fun. Totally worth the effort to see the sunrise at the summit, before the weekend warrior skiers hitch a ride on the chairlifts! Keeps me active all winter. Many thanks to Chris and Harry for sending me down this path.
Bravo… feeling my way on own new site, but glad to see you. Chris
Hi folks ,
In my last entry about intervals I forgot to put in my age as 67.
due to so many factors. I have been exercising on my bike for 4 years now and have followed YNY advice on heart rate zones etc. I have no heart disease and have shown vast imorovement.
I am in training for a long distance ride on my bike I have been able to get average HR of 115 for 2 hours but what is the recommended stopping time,once every hour ? I do not like to stop as I tend to stiffen up any ideas ?
I love the concept of “Kedges.”
I entered a triathlon a few years back thinking that a 1/2 mile open water swim would be easy since I could swim a mile in a pool. I was mistaken.
Swimming in a clear pool in my own lane is vastly different than swimming in a deep lake in the middle of a pack of 50 other swimmers. 100 yards from shore, gasping for breath, I stopped swimming and started treading water. I considered swimming back to the start in defeat, but on the shore watching intently was my wife and two teenaged daughters. I forced myself to go on but it wasn’t fun or pretty. I finished the triathlon, but knew that I was either never going to do something like that again, or I was going to learn to swim in open water.
I joined a group of local swimmers and over the course of the summer learned to become comfortable swimming in a group and without a lane. I have competed in several triathlons since, including a Half Iron, but my swimming kedge occurred last summer when I entered and completed a six-mile open water swim known as the Kingdom Swim on Lake Memphremagog in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It took me five hours to complete the circuit in the choppy conditions, but I had a blast!
I so loved your kedge. Nice, nice going. So hard and so worth it.
I hate to ask this – in the teeth of your remarkable accomplishment – but did you happen to read any of my old blogs about my daughter Ranie? She came to an Aspen Retreat, lost a ton of weight and set REALLY CRAZY KEDGE. SHE SWAM THE ENGLISH CHANEL LAST SUMMER. ALL OF IT. Oh boy. I am in awe of both of you Chris
Week of skiing in Jackson Hole in Jan. A week in Kitzbehel in Feb and coming up, a week in Vail/Aspen in Mar.
Hope to see you in Aspen, Jim. Been working but will be sprung soon. chris
Looking forward to skiing with you Chris – A week from Thursday week