NYT: I have been inspired of late by several sports-comeback heroes in their mid- to late 30s: Tom Brady leading the Patriots to an improbable Super Bowl win; Roger Federer overcoming Rafael Nadal in a decisive fifth set in the Australian Open to secure his 18th Grand Slam title. Others have remained dominant well into their 30s — Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam singles championship at 35, also at the Australian Open, defeating her 36-year-old sister in the final.

Here’s the thing: We actually shouldn’t be so surprised. When athletes train consistently, recover smartly and get a little lucky, there’s no physiological reason their bodies should fall off a cliff in their 30s.

My curiosity was piqued last summer during the Rio Olympics, when I saw this headline: “Michael Phelps Faces His Toughest Challenger Yet — Age.” Old Man Phelps was 31.