I write about diet, exercise and living longer. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow. What’s the connection?
While I am big fan of the NFL and can’t wait for tomorrow’s game, I am writing about Tom Brady for totally other reasons. On January 16, I ran across the article Tom Brady Cannot Stop by Mark Leibovich in the New York Times Magazine. The piece offers some worthwhile insights into the charismatic character that is Tom Brady so often written about in broad strokes resulting in sketchy two dimensional pictures. Leibovitch accomplished much more than that.
While I admired Brady’s excellence on the field and his wonderful apparently totally successful life, Super Bowl winner, multimillionaire, happily married to a supermodel, etc., I had no clear idea about him as a human being.
Mark Leibovich fixed that. The entire idea about this blog is eating intelligently, maintaining our health with adequate exercise and living a long time with mental faculties totally intact.
It appears that Brady is doing that off the field as well as he throws footballs on it.
“Brady’s short-term goal, obviously, is to beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. His broader game plan involves becoming a kind of lifestyle pioneer in redefining how long a 37-year-old veteran can hold off his twilight. In effect, Brady is bent on nothing less than subverting the standard expectations of how long a superstar quarterback can play like one,” Leibovich writes.
Amen, brother. I am a 75 year old guy working on holding off my twilight too. That’s what this blog is all about.
Here is what the article says about Brady on vacation in the Bahamas.
“Every morning in the Bahamas, Brady undertook an intense regimen that included resistance drills, exercises with rubber bands and stretches designed to foster muscular flexibility. ”
Remember, he is on a pre-training camp vacation going through all this.
“While traditional training in football emphasizes the building of muscle strength, Guerrero’s also focuses on pliability, which Brady equates to sponginess and elasticity. “If there’s so much pressure, just constant tugging on your tendons and ligaments, you’re going to get hurt,” Brady told me. “Like with a kid, when they fall, they don’t get hurt. Their muscles are soft. When you get older, you lose that.””
One aspect of Brady’s life I envy is his relationship with Alex Guerrero, his “spiritual guide, counselor, pal, nutrition adviser, trainer, massage therapist and family member.”
Guerrero has an understanding of the body and its functions that is rare if not unique. This is the kind of resource that can enable an athlete in a challenging sport like pro football to extend his shelf life. He and Brady have a business together called TB12 “that would institutionalize” his techniques. You can read more abut TB12 here.
“Brady believes that if he simply trained like everyone else, he would not still be playing today, or at least not at anything close to his current level. In the established “system,” Brady says, ageism has become the conventional wisdom. “That’s where they get ‘No QB can play past 38, 37.’ ””
He might have something there. Peyton Manning, is only a year older than Brady, yet he seemed to be showing his age in the conference championship game. Afterward, there was talk about a quad injury, but again, this sounds like something that Guerrero would have handled for Brady.
Back to the ‘vacation,’ where we learn some of Brady’s eating habits.
“After his vacation workouts, Brady joined his family for a late breakfast that — for him — consisted mainly of a protein shake that was also high in electrolytes and included greens like kale and collards. (Brady also likes to add blueberries to his concoctions, but some other berries are off limits because they are thought to promote inflammation.) I asked Guerrero at one point if Brady is ever allowed to eat a cheeseburger. “Yes, we have treats,” he said. “We make them.” Like what? “Usually raw desserts, like raw macaroons.” Ice cream made from avocado is another favorite, Guerrero said.”
So, clearly Brady works as hard off the field as on to keep his body totally intact and prolong his professional life in football.
I agree with his strategy and admire his tactics.
If we keep our eye on the goal of fitness and long life as well as Brady, we can also expect a similar success.