Older Ones in Field: Physical Wall?

I have heard many in the field at older ages say they specifically remember a year where they just seemed to hit a physical “wall” that changed things for them permanently

like longer recovery times from a previous long or demanding day

Speed decreases

Diet and exercise could not overcome the “wall”, where it used to

Not being negative, just wondering if this really is a phenomena or just a couple folks experiences?

I have heard 45, 52 and such.

If so, at what age for you?

Interesting topic… I was actually thinking about this today because I’ve lost two employee’s over the last month which has forced me back into the field more. I’m still “young” but can tell my body can’t take the same toll it could 5 years ago.

Last week we had a big hotel, which I would have be apart of anyway, but I had to do a lot more physical washing(did have two helpers). It took me the whole weekend to recover physically. Today, I had to complete a route and 2, 500 sq. ft. house alone. Good gravy am I beat. Same thing tomorrow and again on Thursday and Friday.

Two whiskey cokes and I’m felling a bit better, but tomorrow I’m sure will hurt.

For all you cats with great employee’s, thank whichever deity you believe in tonight before you go to bed cause they are worth it.


Im 50 now and im in better shape then most people half my age. I go to the gym 3- 4 days a week and take care of myself.


I was 53 when I had put in 25 years as a police officer and pulled the pin. I knew that I was not safe on the streets anymore and didn’t want to put others at risk. After retirement, I started doing windows. I was not in good shape but I went to a gym and lost 45 lbs, lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure (changed diet as well). I am not a spring chicken, don’t get me wrong, but I can put in a full day in the field. That said, I know my ladder climbing days are numbered. I am looking at having a crew to keep me outta the field by next season, (2013). I may still be out there I hope only as a salesman and manager.

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Look after your machine & it does the rest.

Around 50 sounds right. I think it starts to hurt more and you notice it more. The trap is you back off because of the pain and the less you do the more it hurts when you go hard again.
It’s good to see I’m not the only ornery old b------d out there.
I know Dange, your not old yet, but you are ornery.
Keep on keepin" on.

Aye my dad is late 50’s and feeling it, still climbing ladders, finds its his knees that are worse.

63 last May, this is the first year I feel a little bit of drag. Some of it physical, sore joints, stiff muscles, but
more just that I’m not inclined to push so hard hard through that “wall”.
So, a little slower, shorter days…

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I guess different things work for different folks. A short list of do’s that work for me are.

  1. adequate rest in off time
  2. stay hydrated during job
  3. energy bar during job
  4. proper diet (if possible)
  5. work relaxed, minimize stress
  6. work at comfortable pace
  7. Stretching exercises before leaving for job. (yoga) Be very specific with these. Work on areas, joints that you use or have injured in the past. ie; shoulder, hands etc.
    And just as a side note, I no longer use a ladder. There are other ways that will not break my neck if I screw up.
    You probably all know all this, but if any of it helps anyone, that would be great.
    BTW I am 72.

I agree with everything @Emill said. I think it is so important to just keep a steady pace while working. I am 42 and feel really good. I have noticed on long days that I do feel sore. Any job I have that takes longer than 10 hours, I break it up into 2 days. First day, I clean all the outside. Second day, clean all the inside. This has helped a lot. I am not rushed at all.

I try to eat a healthy diet as well. When I eat bad, I feel bad.

Hope this helps!


… Kudos to that old man :slight_smile:

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At a certain point age isn’t so much the factor as how we treat our human body. I strained a lumbar muscle this morning bending over with weight incorrectly. I knew better and realized it at the very second my muscles told me, but too late to stop!

Luckily got in with a Chiropractor this afternoon and again first thing in the morning before a big ladder job.

I know we always hear - “It sucks getting old”, but it also sucks to make those kind of physical mistakes.

BTW, I turn 60 Saturday. :wink:

I have sprung back from so many mishaps and illnesses I think I put cats to shame…lol


Yes you have brother!

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Just caught this…how long have you been cleaning glass?

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I think I just got my physical wall about 20 minutes ago. Lol


About twenty years ago my neighbor hired a couple older gentlemen to paint his house. He agreed on the price and a starting date. Before they left the estimate one guy said “We arrive at 8, break for lunch around 12:30 and … we don’t come back.” I guess their tanks were only about half full. They did a great job, old school work ethic but could no longer put in a long day. Now that I’m 65 I know how that feels. Haha


64… and I like 6 hour days. Been doing a lot of 8-9 hour days since March though…


No kidding. I can’t allow myself to have this discussion until fall. As summer goes on I always think I’m done.

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50 An in right with ya. I don’t push it especially in the heat.