40. An oft dreaded number. We’re so full of steam through our 20’s and 30’s and then we hit a brick wall called “40”. Or is it so?
North Americans are far too consumed with the negative connotations of aging, and its small wonder. We all too often portray age in its most negative light. “I’ve got this ailment”. “I’ve got that ailment”. “Job market is tough for an old dog”. “Im over the hill”. But it is in those defeatist statements which lays the answer.
We should be glad that we’re over the hill. It was one hell of a climb, and we’ve made it when others haven’t been so lucky. Paths were strewn with rocky outcrops; many people have tried to bar the way. Being here is a victory. Going DOWN hill is not such a bad thing, but we’ve often forgotten what the climb was all about.
We start out in life with a great many hopes and dreams. Those hopes and dreams are why we climb, why we continue to claw our way up through that talus slope. As we’ve managed to grasp a bloodied hand into an unsure hold with each accomplishment, we sometimes forget what it was all about. As we reach that summit, we forget that it was hope which drove us through the journey in the first place. We learned that life was about the Journey, not the Summit.
Do not rest on that Summit. Do not enjoy the easier climb downhill. Keep your strength at the ready. Find a new mountain to climb and celebrate that you’re now wise enough to enjoy the Journey.
Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa spent only precious moments on the crest of Mount Everest. But he treasured, endured, authored and remembered the months-long “impossible” tenacious climb.
Be Sir Edmund. Be Tenzing Norgay. And help those who climb next to you. You didn’t find your collective being, wisdom and tenacity at the Summit. It was only through that climb where you managed to find the sage that is you.
Don’t ever put your gear away. Take if off, dry it for a short while if you must, but keep climbing. If you fall, at least you go out with Old Man Power.
You enjoy looking in the eye of the young punk who just called you old, and saying "game on!" And you love smiling as you let 'em know, "you just got beat by an old man, punk."
This is NOT about sedentary old dudes in rocking chairs. This is about being over 40, and still crushing the young dudes!
This is about being the veteran at what you do.
You are a living example of a way of life from a better day. You have wisdom to share with those who would follow in your footsteps. They should listen up.
Hard times and haters have come and gone, still the OMP remains. We respect him accordingly.
It would ring in my head all the time. As I was riding. As I was drinking. As I was eating. Or even during intimate moments with my woman. Actually not that last one. Just seeing if you're paying attention to what you're reading.
More and more we found ourselves chanting it out at each other during random moments of cool. "OMP, OMP, OMP." Especially things usually associated with our younger selves. Burning the back tire off our motorbikes, setting a new record on the bench press, or drinking straight shots of frozen vodka around a hot campfire.
And sometimes, just sometimes, real quietly as one of our single brothers was hooking up with a younger woman at the other end of the bar.
But it actually started much more innocently than that. It started as a reference to the older male's ability to recruit maximum muscle fibre to accomplish a task. huh? What did he just say? Let me explain.
I was in the gym working out with a buddy's younger brother, and the weight I was lifting impressed him. My young friend referred to my source of strength as OMP, Old Man Power. I thought about my step-father. When I was 20 I was full of energy and confidence, but when the heavy lifting needed to be done, he was the man to do it.
Most times he would smile and say something like, "why do you even bother going to the gym?" I probably mumbled something about looking good for the girls. But suddenly I was much older, and probably not as pretty, the young guy's commenting on my OMP.
Then it happened. The infamous bar fight where a small group of older males dominated, yet chose not to decimate a larger group of younger males. It was that instant that the phrasing changed. OMP was no longer something you have. OMP became something you ARE. Defining not just any older male, but a certain TYPE of older male.
An OMP is often someone who has been dragged through the drama and the ups and downs of the darker side of life and has the scars to prove it. But he has come out of it, a wiser man. Stronger on the inside and out. He doesn't care who likes him, or if he fits in. In fact, he doesn't care much about anything at all, except himself, his family, and his closest brothers.
Now, many years since being given the label OMP in the gym, and many years since the infamous bar fight, without even trying, OMP has taken on a life of its own.
OMP language is spoken in gyms and bars all around north america, and it is even spreading through Latin America, England, and Europe. OMP is growing and deserves to be recognized and respected. It is with that in mind that we developed this site. To pay tribute and respect to our growing brotherhood.
Come check us out often. We may be old but the site is still young. So we are still growing. We would love to hear from you to let us know how we could continue to make it better and better.
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OMP...Old Man Power. Such a broad term. I mean broad as in wide, not your women. Hailing from Northwestern Ontario, I think about the OMP 's in my life when I was young and dumb.
...and they ran the gambit of race car drivers, woodsmen, salesman, postmen, mechanics and teachers. You may not think some fit the build, but they all did. All rugged, tough and tumble even though some had a semi polished look at times.
They also had another thing in common, they did what they had to do to take care of their own. In a lot of circumstances it meant hitting lakes, trails, rivers and woods to find quarry for the table.
It is with these OMP's in mind that we pay tribute to in this article and articles to follow. Tips, tricks and maybe a fewstories (bullshit or true) about fishing, hunting and the general outdoors. Things learned from our OMP forefathers which we can pass on to the up and comers.
If you could think of one attribute an outdoorsman should have, what would it be...a keen eye, attention to detail, sharp hearing? I believe the one thing we all learn with becoming an OMP is patience. Patience in the boat, patience in the stand, and patience in the blind.
It's not that we get old and slow down, it's the conscious decision to take our time, think things through, and rely on our knowledge gained over the years to curb the outcome of our experience in our favour.
So with this in mind, next time you're on the water and the fish ain't biting, or if you're in your stand and nothings moving, remember all the things you may have learned over the years. Make a mental checklist and cross things off when they are taken care of.
For example, is the wind right? Am I in the right spot? Should I have skipped that cup of coffee and bran muffin. But in all seriousness, take your time, channel that knowledge. We know by now when it's time to get our asses in gear right?
Or so I've been told....