Wait… you’re HOW old???

When I was a teen, I looked older than I was and hardly hung out with the kids in my own class. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I was the most prim and proper princess and exuded maturity and good manners. In my 40’s, I began running and accusations of hitting a mid-life crisis arose.

In my deep core of myself, I’ve never really been very comfortable discussing my age, acting my age nor feeling age appropriate. So when birthdays come around… I freak out a little bit.

It’s that time again. Well not today but on Tuesday it is.

The thing about the sport of triathlon is that you MUST get over it. Triathlon isn’t like zumba in that you can do your thing next to someone else and never know if that person is 5, 10, 20 years younger or older than you. Not so in Tris. You get your age sharpied on the back of your legs for the whole world to see. There’s no fibbing, no fake facebook birthdays, no lies.

So here I am in an age group that I don’t feel like I belong in… again. But what can I do? I figure I’ll just make the best of it. Surely I’m not the only one. As I take a good look around at some of the competitors around me, I see them in similar situations. We put 110% effort in what we do. We crack jokes about those outside our age groups and now… I find myself zeroing in on those inside my age group.

I don’t care what the people in my age group look like. I don’t care what they do 9-5. I don’t care about the gossip and drama that surrounds them. I pay attention to what they do to make them excel and do better than last time. I pay attention to smile they have on the podium. I pay attention to the intensity of their workouts, their determination and their overall happiness. I’ve never done that before… pay attention to my own peoples, I mean.

It’s weird to me that when I first meet someone, no matter how much I stress the age difference between us.. they seem to forget it. Either age means nothing to them at the time or age means too much to me at the time.

It was quite comical how during casual conversation the other day that I reminded a friend of mine that I was older than her mother. You should have seen her face when that realization came over her.

Age is a squiggly topic for me. On the 19th, it was my brother’s birthday. He would have been 41. That was the age that I began running. It changed me. Had he been given the years I was, what would he have done to change his life if given the opportunity?

I remember turning 30 and crying while Raudel and Piper were giggling at me in the office at Mission Economic Development. I remember turning 40 and crying because I was alone. I had birthday parties until I was in 6th grade and then nothing else except for one dinner party when I was 23 and that was only because Xavie set it up so that he could pop the question to me and when Kristie threw a little get together for me with a running theme. Other than those… I’ve never had real birthday parties. I’ve never really celebrated my age.

And honestly, the party stuff will likely never change. But celebrating my age… I need to change my attitude about that. Quick.

It’s a pretty good thing that God has given me a chance to do all these crazy things I do… not just for me but for others, too. That’s a gift. It’s a gift that my brother never got. It’s a gift that so many others take for granted. I must stop taking what I have for granted.

I should not be ashamed of being “old”.
I’m an old woman who can run 9 minute miles.
I’m an old woman who can wear a size 6 without a “faja”.
I’m an old woman who can swim for an hour straight.
I’m an old woman who can ride her bike for 100+ miles.
I’m an old woman who has a pretty damn good life.

Unfortch… I’m an old woman who has some kick a$$ women in her age group that are training right this very moment… and I am not!!!

buh-bye… gotta train!

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