18th April 2016
When I spoke to my mum on the phone, she was worried about me being injured. “After all you’ve got to be careful as you start getting on a bit”. Thanks Mum! (She does worry. She would worry that she hasn’t got something to worry about; she’s that sort). But it was not old age that injured me. It was stupidity. And I’m not old enough to have grown out of that yet, so equilibrium restored.
And at spin class, the instructor and a fellow class participant looked at me askance when I mentioned I was a runner. And they sagely agreed with one another that a lot of runners switch to cycling when their knees give out from all the pounding … as they get older.
My knees have NOT given out.
I’m not that old…
At least, I refuse to acknowledge that I’m getting old.
Except in the wee small hours, or dark moments when I start berating myself for not achieving enough.
Enough of what, I don’t know.
But I can look around and worry (am I turning into my mother?!) that I’m not as advanced in my career as her, my running pace isn’t as fast as hers, or I’m not as supportive of my son’s schoolwork as she is, or I forgot that I volunteered to make some food for a school call for help (oops!) and if I were more organised like her, I wouldn’t have done that…
Ah, comparison. You really are the thief of joy.
The thought “you should be at that point BY NOW” gets inside my head and makes me feel sad.
That I’ve let myself down somewhere.
That I’m not good enough.
Seriously, there are days when Brené Brown could cancel all her research commitments and pop over here. I could give her a masterclass in shame!
But my knees are fine.
My shin is much better.
Exercise has been proven to improve strength and delay the effects of ageing in numerous studies. Why retire from something that is good for you, if you still love it? Why not start if it’s something you long to try? Age is not a reason. Age is an excuse.
I haven’t been beaten at Parkrun yet by my kids. (The time Herbert sprinted past me at the finish line doesn’t count: I waited for him several times earlier around the course)!!
And I’m not dead yet, so there is still time to work towards new goals. There is still time to make peace with myself. To accept who I am. To recognise what I have accomplished.
So, I do plan to find a new job (eventually ;)). I do plan to set a new 5km PB when I get the all clear from my physio. I do plan to take up triathlon. (I do plan to buy all the cute triathlon clothes ;D – sorry Grumpster).
And why? Because there are people running marathons in their 80s and 90s. There are triathletes competing at that age. And you know what, I intend to be one of them when I get old. Because I can.