As the only member of our coaching staff who has even sniffed 30 years old, let alone 40, I can get a little defensive about my age. I promise you that casual conversations around the office have become a bit more challenging for Josh, our very knowledgeable and mild-mannered director of training since I’ve come on board.
Josh: “Generally we won’t have a 40 something-year-old…”
Me: What?? What won’t you have a 40 something-year-old do? Hmm???
Josh: “Back squat 400 pounds.”
Me (Slathering Icy Hot all over my body): Why because you think they can’t? Hmmmm??? You think because I’m old I can’t back squat a small car??” (Storming out of the room in my knee wraps).
These days, I find myself digging my heels in about age the way I did about being a girl playing with the boys.
“Are you saying I can’t do that because I’m a girl?? I’ll show you!”
And I did.
Eventually, I climb out of Josh's throat and take my creaky knees into the gym for a workout. I’m getting older. And I’m grateful for the privilege of aging, I truly am. But I’m learning, at every twist and turn, to embrace the changes in my body. Each day is a new lesson in training myself to look forward and not backward. It is so easy, as we get older, to become hyper-focused on what we used to do.
I used to read a menu without playing trombone.
I used to walk up and down stairs without a crunching noise in my knees.
I used to be able to skip my warm up without pulling a muscle.
Currently, I'm training for a half-marathon, and hopefully a full one. Yesterday on my 5k route, as I looked at my time, I was overcome with a major case of used to’s. I used to run a 5k in 26 minutes or less. I used to run nine-minute miles.
It can be depressing to focus on. I suppose I could force myself to run faster. Or I could just enjoy the run.
I’m training for the future, not the past.
I’m not going to stop doing things because I’m getting older. Honestly, my main goal is to stay active as I get older. I want to lift weights and I want to run and I’d like to beat my dad in a game of golf, and hey, maybe take up tennis.
I love me some Bruce Springsteen but I refuse to be that guy in “Glory Days.”
I think there are plenty of those still to come.