I said to Sam yesterday that of course I know that on September 24th I’ll just be one day older than I was the day before. Like any other day, really. So it’s not such a big deal to turn 50. So why make a big deal of it?
But I’m not neutral about it. Birthdays always make me take stock. When my birthday approaches, I think about what’s gone on for the past year in my life and where I’m at. It’s always a reflective time. And somehow, 50 has prompted an even bigger reflection.
When 50 comes, you are well and truly past the mid-point (or at least very likely to be). And while I feel physically in great shape, it’s hard to deny that I’m not in the prime of youth.
This makes me wonder about my physical potential. Having come to the party late as a triathlete, for example, just how much better can I expect to get when I’m already 50?
That open-ended question aside, I feel pretty good about the past two years and my commitment to the fittest by 50 challenge that Sam and I set for ourselves.
When we started, I didn’t want to run, nevermind run faster. Now I love running and I actually have some training goals. Half marathon in Toronto in October! Registered, with a non-refundable hotel room!
When we started, triathlon was not even in the picture. Now I own my own wetsuit, belong to a triathlon club, and have even completed an Olympic distance race. I’ll have one more under my belt before my 50th birthday (Lakeside Olympic distance is coming up this Sunday). I’m challenged by triathlon and I love race day.
When we started our challenge, I thought the bod pod would be a good way to measure my progress. Now, screw the bod pod. I really don’t need to know what my body fat percentage is to know if I’m feeling good about myself physically.
And when we started, I didn’t think of myself as an athlete at all. Now, I feel comfortable with the idea that I’m an athlete. Elite athletes aren’t the only athletes, and not all athletes are champions.
When we started, I didn’t own a road bike. Now I do. It’s not my favorite bike or my favorite kind of riding, but I have it and I’ve challenged myself on it and I will keep at it for the time being.
So for today, I’m doing okay. And none of that is going to change over the next two weeks. It is just another day. And while I might not feel like having a big party, I’ll probably be able to muster up the enthusiasm for triple chocolate cake from Veg Out, and maybe a little open house for friends who want to drop by and eat it with me.