Friday, October 14, 2011

Act your age

My birthday is right around the corner. Next race season, I age up. 

Back when I was in my 20's and even 30's, I thought being in my 40's would feel ancient. That might have been because of the people that I knew who were in their 40's...well, they looked ancient, acted ancient and moved like they were already planning their path to the grave. 

I had no idea what to expect. I'd spent my entire life mostly eating right, indulging in my favorite gelato or cheesecake on those special occasions. I'd been active since high school doing everything from swimming, cycling, running, hiking, strength training, yoga, karate....I'm sure I'm leaving things out. 

The point is that I've always been doing those things, and I was really afraid of the day that I couldn't do them. 

I didn't want to be in my 40's and only see the sunrise from the glow of a tv screen.

But that's what I knew....that's who was around me when I was younger. 

Even now as I am looking at 44, I see other parents complaining about their bad joints or how hard it is to go up and down the stairs at the school. 

I want to yell at them: WAKE UP PEOPLE! 

I have friends who are 25 years older than me finishing Ironman. I have a friend 35 years older than me doing triathlons. There are woman 20 years older than me who leave me in the DUST at masters swim. I've been passed on the mountain by men and women who look like they are as old as the mountain. I know people in their 60's that move better than people half their age. 

They are the age groupers that I admire. They are who I plan on being. They are the people that I wished had been around me when I was younger. I didn't have any women athlete role models. Think about this, in the US, the 1992 high school graduating class, was roughly the first generation of girls that grew up under Title IX. That was 2 years before my Googs was born. 

Some of my friends are just starting an exercise program, some have been doing it a long time, but the important thing is that we are all redefining what it means to Act Your Age.

To all those people who complain about getting older or being tired or having bad joints, this one's for you.