Why Nicole is not planning a big 50 challenge

As I approach 50 in June, there are things I know I will never do. I will never be a Mother. I have mixed feelings about this in a motherhood-glorifying age. But, for the most part, I am comfortable knowing I was never in the right place to have a child and while I may never “truly KNOW” how hard it is, how gratifying it is, how exhausting it is, even though I have a fair amount of innate empathy and understanding of situations I am not in, I am comfortable knowing that my life is content without being a Mom.

Caricature of a blond woman in a fuchsia and black striped top, holding her hand up to her face in dismay with the works, “OMG!!! I FORGOET TO HAVE CHILDREN!”

I may never know exactly what I want to do with my career, but I will keep searching and trying new things. I will continue to work on the areas where I have strengths and build on the work I can do. I have leadership, writing, analytical, practical and other skills that will surely be put to good use as long as I am able to work.

I may have made questionable choices in my youth about my education. I may never understand why I do well in school but wasn’t able to focus on things where it may have counted or helped my career. But all of those choices have culminated into a decent place, where I still have options and “possibilities” to use a corporate-sounding phrase.

One thing I don’t plan on doing as I turn 50, is plan a big fitness challenge for the big day/year. Christine wrote the other day about formulating her fitness challenges for 50 (at 49 and a half). She noted how Tracy and Sam started this blog almost 10 years ago, as they were gearing up to Fittest at 50.

I did fuzzily entertain different fitness challenges in the last year. Will 50 be the year I conquer my fear of hanging from a rig, so that I can do a few pull-ups? NO. Will it be the year I do my third marathon (maybe, but haven’t decided yet and not really because I’m 50)?

A woman with grey hair doing pull up variations. The types of pull-ups I am likely to do, because I don’t like to hang from the rig. If I decide to conquer the “real” pull-up, it will not be for my 50th birthday.

Nothing has really landed as something I want to entertain as a big fitness challenge to mark 5-0.

When I think about this, I think there are a couple reasons. One, is David, Nobody Cares! Including, myself. Who the fuck cares if I do a pull-up for that day? I don’t.

The other reason is that I love fitness. It gets me through everything. Day-in, day-out. Part of the reason I love it is because of the way I have entertained it for 20 years.

I’m consistent. I don’t worry about if my workouts are showing physical results (OK, I admit to being a bit happy when I can see a little line in my shoulder). I don’t worry too much about my pace when I go for my long runs and half and full marathons. I don’t measure myself against others. I enjoy fitness, in a consistent, measured way, by doing all the things I enjoy doing (running, HIIT-workouts, spinning, walking EVERYWHERE, some yoga) in an intentional way, every day. It keeps my mind functioning (somewhat) normally.

Purple tank top with the words “Forward is a Pace” from this company that purports to make run wear to fight anxiety and depression. I am not affiliated but my friend Jackie sent her the link as she thought I might be interested and I might just order a few things!

One of the ideas I’d like to take with me as I turn 50 is that I don’t need to do a “big thing” to prove anything as I enter a new decade. I just need to do the things I’m already doing. With gratitude for each day and my health. Corny, but oh so true as we get older.

So, that’s my big plan for 50. Keep doing what I’m doing. As my late Bubbie would have said “From your mouth to G-d’s ear.”

Nicole P. lives in TO with her husband and two dogs. She incorporates exercise into her daily life for her overall wellbeing not for a number on a calendar.

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