Self-perceptions about aging have implications for health and well-being; however, less is known about how these perceptions influence adaptation to major life transitions. The goal of this study was to examine how high-performance athletes’ perceptions about aging influenced their adaptation to athletic retirement. In-depth interviews conducted with 24 retired Olympic athletes using thematic analysis yielded three key themes: (a) perceptions about aging influenced participants’ postretirement exercise habits, (b) perceptions about aging motivated participants to engage in civic activities, and (c) participants who lacked formative perceptions about aging associated their athletic retirement with their own lost sense of purpose. These findings provide evidence that perceptions about aging influence athletes’ adaptation to retirement by directing their subsequent engagement in postretirement activities. Furthermore, this research highlights theoretical implications for the literature regarding embodied processes, retirement transitions, role models, and adaptation to new physical states.