Look Who’s 52! Planning for another year on this planet

At the end of my birthday run on Saturday, September 24, 2016. Happy 52nd birthday to me.

Saturday I turned 52. I’ve been working without a day off since the day after Labor Day, and Saturday was no exception. I was at the Ontario Universities Fair in Toronto, a “trade-show” style event where over one hundred thousand people — high school students and their parents — come through the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to find out about Ontario universities.

So I woke up in Toronto on Saturday ready to work my second day of the fair and went for an early morning run so I could start the day off well. And not just the day, the upcoming year.

When Sam and I started this blog back in 2012, we had just embarked on our Fittest by 50 Challenge. Through that challenge, in the lead up to our 50th birthdays, running became an important part of my life. So it made sense to me that even though I would be on my feet for about 8 hours a day, three days in a row, a great way to clear my head and start my birthday shift would be with a run through downtown Toronto. And I’m glad I did.

I’ve not had a lot of time to take stock, which is something I like to do when birthdays roll around because it gives me a sense of what’s changed and what’s ahead. But here are my plans for the upcoming year.

  • I’m trying to make some decisions about my future on the bike. You may not know this if you’re not a regular reader, but I’ve got a bit of a phobia about training on the road. So that’s held me back for the past couple of seasons of triathlon. In 2015, I cancelled two Olympic distance events. This past summer I didn’t even bother to sign up. I sold my road bike to Sarah. But I still have my TT bike. In the short term, my winter bike goal is to do two spin classes a week at the Y.
  • I’ve signed up for the Key West Half Marathon on January 15, 2017, along with Rebecca and Anita.  I’m considering a training clinic, either for a half marathon or for the Around the Bay clinic (not sure if I wish to do the 30K on March 26, 2017). We’ll see.
  • I got one of the precious spots in Gabbi’s triathlon swim training group at the Y on Tuesday and Friday mornings. That starts up on October 4th and I’m totally committed to making it out for that on a regular basis because there are 30 people on the waiting list and I would hate to sit on a space that I’m not using.
  • Clearly I’m swim-bike-run training if I stick with all of these plans, and that would set me up well for a triathlon season next summer. I’ll very likely to Kincardine again and need to think about what else.
  • Another thing on my agenda this year is gaining more self-compassion. To that end, I’ve started reading The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher K. Germer. At different times in my life I’ve had a regular meditation practice. But that’s fallen to the side lately and I want to get it back. And I also want to loosen up my schedule so that I’m not dashing from one thing to another all day long, every day. Being kinder to myself is going to be a major part of my upcoming year.
  • Finally, Sam and I have our Fit Is a Feminist Issue book coming out in the Fall of 2017. It’s a long time from now but we would (of course) love for the book to be a success. So doing what I can to get the book into the hands of as many readers as possible is another thing on my to-do list for the next year.

What do you think about when your birthdays come around? What are your plans for the year to come?

13 thoughts on “Look Who’s 52! Planning for another year on this planet

  1. Happy birthday!! May it be the start of a terrific year for you!

    Look forward to the book. Self-compassion is such a good goal.

    I think about a lot of things. I just turned 50 in June. Had/have a lot of goals and ideas, but have been derailed this summer by unexpected medical and dental problems, some of it ongoing and somewhat significant, as well as medical & job stuff for DH. Fighting to figure things out and fix them as possible, deal with stress and a low energy budget, with perimenopause and mood/physical swings thrown in just for laughs…Trying to accommodate what my body will give me right now which is not what it was even earlier this year, trying to push a little to minimize the losses to fitness, trying not to catastrophize or despair (or give up), trying to still find good in each day. Trying to set non-physical goals also (need to make some friends, get into some group settings). I know it could be worse, but still, subjectively quite tough especially with no finite known end (unlike when I had thyroid cancer)…and no one expects the Spanish Inquisition (eye roll), this all came out of nowhere. Trying to work with what I currently have, push for better (get back to what I had at least??) and yet not make myself suffer too much with the wanting in the meantime, find ways to enjoy my life and all the things I have, can do, am grateful for including the resources I have and people who care about me.

    (random, and I apologize if inappropriate, but I love your hair both cut – which seems similar to my own beloved pixie – and gorgeous color (way better than mine! which looks like my regular brown covered by a lot of gray/white paint dropped on it from painting a ceiling without a cap )

    1. 50 is a big one. Happy belated to you! What more can a person do than work with what they have? It sounds as if you are taking a realistic approach, being kind to yourself, and finding gratitude for what you’ve got and the people around you. That’s fantastic. And thank you — it’s entirely appropriate to tell me you love my hair!

  2. Happy Belated Birthday to you! Today is my 36th birthday and I am feeling pretty reflective and wish I were more forward thinking today like you. I honestly don’t know what the next step is and will probably need to spend some serious time meditating on the future soon.

    1. Happy birthday Onegirlbreathing! Meditating on your birthday is such a gift to yourself. Have a good one and all the best for the upcoming year.

  3. You should take a vacation on your b-day ..soon! Many happy thoughts for you Tracy.

    I’m sorry the cycling is bugging you on the road. Hope you find a way to be outdoors with bike that’s comfy. Unlike you I cycle lots (meaning over 75% of my daily routes) on bike lanes and MUPs, so no need for me to go fast unless there’s no one around which is true in the suburban routes. 🙂

    On my birthday, I just enjoy it. It’s worth a walk, bike ride or snowshoe hike for me on that day. And a lovely meal with my partner. This year in January, we went snowshoeing in Lake Louise area and stayed at the Chateau. The purity of fresh snow is inspiring and a birthday should make one feel alive and grateful.

    Next yr. it’s 58 yrs.

  4. I love to take stock of my achievements and my goals on my birthday! Two years ago, I wrote this post when I turned 30 with all my goals – and I love re-reading it because I actually achieved some of those goals. The major one being that I moved to NYC for grad school at Columbia. I think birthdays inspire introspection which can help us go after the things we want in life.

  5. Happy few-days-after-birthday! You’re so right that meditation can fall by the wayside, and it’s such an important element of self care. I’ve done the same (that is, let it slide away), and want to get it back. Keep us posted on how things are going.

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