I hit 30 and as expected, I started to slow down. I wasn’t 20 anymore.
I hit 35 and I’d been off the couch for a couple of years. I was in better shape than I’d been at any point in my 20’s.
I hit 40 and I’d been off the couch for six years. I was in better shape than at any time in my 20’s or 30’s – by a lo0000000ooong shot. I could easily hold an 8 minute mile pace running for ten miles.
Almost two years ago now, I hit 45. I’d given up running a few years before and I was big into cycling. I wasn’t only in the best shape of my life, I actually felt like it. I didn’t have any major aches or pains to speak of. My resting heart rate was in the low 40’s and I felt fantastic.
The other day the fact that I’m closing on 50 hit me in the funny bone. 50!?! Really?
I started thinking back to my 20’s when 40 seemed like it was so far away, or my 30’s when today seemed like a lifetime away. Doing the math, if I can double my current age and make it to 94, my Thirteen year-old daughter will be 60.
On one hand, man does it seem to be going fast. On the other, I’m really having a good time of it. While life isn’t perfect and I go through the occasional tough time or struggle, I quit drinking when I was just 22 years-old and managed to stick with it. I did one of the hardest things I’ll ever have to do in life as a kid. After that, it’s no hill for a climber for most of life’s common trouble. Not only that, I have the benefit of being able to use the same principles used to recover on anything that even feels like trouble in life. Truthfully, it’s like going through life with a cheat sheet. The only rub is living a life of humility, honesty and decency isn’t always easy either. Let’s face it, we’re not exactly raised to think like that anymore.
That notwithstanding, lets get back to the point. I’m not as worried about 50 as I used to be. What I thought 50 would be when I was 20 and what it will be if I continue along this path are two very different things. Not only due to recovery, but because of my fitness as well. When my dad hit 50, he was well on his way to slowing down. He couldn’t run as well anymore and he was pretty much limited to playing golf. This is what I imagined 50 to be. Worse, most of the people I’ve known, slow down as they hit their late 40’s and it’s downhill from there. The difference in my case is I’m still getting faster.
Obviously, I can’t tell the future. Still, from this perspective I’ve got a lot to look forward to, and that’s a good place to be in these last few years before the Big Five-O.