‘The engine just started coughing!’ — Limits of physical performance, aging and career continuity in elite endurance sports

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‘The engine just started coughing!’ — Limits of physical performance, aging and career continuity in elite endurance sports. / Ronkainen, Noora; Ryba, Tatiana; Nesti, Mark.

I: Journal of Aging Studies, Bind 27, Nr. 4, 27 (4), 12.2013, s. 387-397.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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Ronkainen, Noora ; Ryba, Tatiana ; Nesti, Mark. / ‘The engine just started coughing!’ — Limits of physical performance, aging and career continuity in elite endurance sports. I: Journal of Aging Studies. 2013 ; Bind 27, Nr. 4. s. 387-397.

Bibtex

@article{18abe00151de408d84c5cbb6d41b88a4,
title = "{\textquoteleft}The engine just started coughing!{\textquoteright} — Limits of physical performance, aging and career continuity in elite endurance sports",
abstract = "This research examines male endurance athletes' experience of aging and/or reaching the perceived limits of physical performance. More specifically, the current study aimed to explore how existential meanings attached to these experiences are connected with athletes' decision-making concerning career continuity and retirement. Life story interviews were conducted with 10 Finnish runners and/or orienteers aged between 25 and 62 and the data was analyzed with an existential-narrative framework. Four major storylines related to aging were identified: The end of an era, putting things in perspective, the attitude has to change and winning was never the only motive. Our results suggest that endurance athletes possess diverse ways of bringing meaning to the experience of aging, both confirming and resisting the dominant cultural narrative of decline. While three athletes' stories confirmed the normativity of retirement when unable to improve their results anymore, other athletes demonstrated career continuity and positive aspects in the late career years, such as lack of competitive anxiety, finding perspective and increased enjoyment in running. We suggest that through awareness of alternative narratives, sport psychology consultants may be able to help their clients to explore new meanings in the potentially challenging and beneficial experiences of aging and athletic retirement.",
keywords = "Athletic career, Narrative inquiry, Existentialism, Identity, Endurance sports",
author = "Noora Ronkainen and Tatiana Ryba and Mark Nesti",
year = "2013",
month = dec,
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "387--397",
journal = "Journal of Aging Studies",
issn = "0890-4065",
publisher = "Pergamon Press",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - ‘The engine just started coughing!’ — Limits of physical performance, aging and career continuity in elite endurance sports

AU - Ronkainen, Noora

AU - Ryba, Tatiana

AU - Nesti, Mark

PY - 2013/12

Y1 - 2013/12

N2 - This research examines male endurance athletes' experience of aging and/or reaching the perceived limits of physical performance. More specifically, the current study aimed to explore how existential meanings attached to these experiences are connected with athletes' decision-making concerning career continuity and retirement. Life story interviews were conducted with 10 Finnish runners and/or orienteers aged between 25 and 62 and the data was analyzed with an existential-narrative framework. Four major storylines related to aging were identified: The end of an era, putting things in perspective, the attitude has to change and winning was never the only motive. Our results suggest that endurance athletes possess diverse ways of bringing meaning to the experience of aging, both confirming and resisting the dominant cultural narrative of decline. While three athletes' stories confirmed the normativity of retirement when unable to improve their results anymore, other athletes demonstrated career continuity and positive aspects in the late career years, such as lack of competitive anxiety, finding perspective and increased enjoyment in running. We suggest that through awareness of alternative narratives, sport psychology consultants may be able to help their clients to explore new meanings in the potentially challenging and beneficial experiences of aging and athletic retirement.

AB - This research examines male endurance athletes' experience of aging and/or reaching the perceived limits of physical performance. More specifically, the current study aimed to explore how existential meanings attached to these experiences are connected with athletes' decision-making concerning career continuity and retirement. Life story interviews were conducted with 10 Finnish runners and/or orienteers aged between 25 and 62 and the data was analyzed with an existential-narrative framework. Four major storylines related to aging were identified: The end of an era, putting things in perspective, the attitude has to change and winning was never the only motive. Our results suggest that endurance athletes possess diverse ways of bringing meaning to the experience of aging, both confirming and resisting the dominant cultural narrative of decline. While three athletes' stories confirmed the normativity of retirement when unable to improve their results anymore, other athletes demonstrated career continuity and positive aspects in the late career years, such as lack of competitive anxiety, finding perspective and increased enjoyment in running. We suggest that through awareness of alternative narratives, sport psychology consultants may be able to help their clients to explore new meanings in the potentially challenging and beneficial experiences of aging and athletic retirement.

KW - Athletic career

KW - Narrative inquiry

KW - Existentialism

KW - Identity

KW - Endurance sports

M3 - Journal article

VL - 27

SP - 387

EP - 397

JO - Journal of Aging Studies

JF - Journal of Aging Studies

SN - 0890-4065

IS - 4

M1 - 27 (4)

ER -