Age is only a number. Kinda.

Last Friday morning when I got into the office, I almost immediately felt the urge to go out for a run.  It took about an hour before I was out the door.  Hey, it was Friday, and I hadn’t run in a week.  I needed it, and I dutifully returned to my cubicle afterward, scout’s honor.

It was glorious.  I coasted through every single traffic light on my route with the exception of one, which is kind of a big deal running around downtown DC.  I mean, we’re talking 26 traffic lights.  And the one red light that I did approach was perfectly timed, if you know what I mean. As in, I was grateful for the momentary respite just then.

When I got back to the building, I was feeling pretty great.  I ran into one of the building’s maintenance guys and began chatting with him.  It came out in the conversation that he’s 36, which shocked me since he looks barely 25.  And after voicing my surprise, he said, “Yeah, once you hit 30, you start feeling old.” Great. Awesome. Way to go.  With one sentence, he effectively took all the air out of my tires. (I was going to say he knocked the wind out of my sails, but told me that means “to humiliate someone,” which doesn’t really fit this situation.  Here I’ve spent a good 20 years misinterpreting that phrase. That’s kind of embarrassing.  Oh. I guess it works here then.)

Thus deflated, I quickly proceeded to get myself into a sour mood.  In the locker room, I stared at myself in the mirror.  Those fine lines I started noticing a few years ago are beginning to look like deep chasms.  And I should probably start keeping an eye out for grey hairs because they’ll undoubtedly begin popping up soon.  And, for that matter, did you hear that creaking sound? I’m pretty sure all my joints are making noise whenever I move.

Is this how it happens?  One second you’re an angsty teenager and the next you’re in an old folks’ home gumming your food? (Uh oh, bad sign: I’m already halfway there.)  OK, maybe I’m being a little dramatic (who, me?).  Maybe I actually feel like I’m in the best(ish) shape of my life and only anticipate great things ahead (what those things are I couldn’t say…but I’m pretty sure they include rainbows and puppy dogs. Oh, and almond cookies…you know those ones in the shape of a horseshoe with the ends dipped in chocolate? Almond horns, yeah, that’s what they’re called.  mmm, yeah, I’m pretty sure I envision those in my future).  Maybe I went for a run on an empty stomach and just needed to eat something (ha, oops, that “forgetting to eat” thing again. I really need to work on that.).

Ah, that’s better. Blood sugar levels rising; anxiety levels decreasing.  I’ll be hiking the Appalachian Trail in less than six months.  What crotchety old biddy hikes the A.T.? That’s right: by definition crotchety old biddies don’t hike the A.T. (Trust me. I looked it up. In a book.). Ipso facto, I couldn’t be an old biddy. And something I hadn’t thought of before, there really aren’t many mirrors to look into while hiking the A.T.  Everybody knows you look younger and less wrinkly when you don’t have a mirror to stare into.

Oh, the future is definitely looking up.

Meandering on,



39 thoughts on “Age is only a number. Kinda.

  1. Age is a state of mind. I was 23 for three years, at least in my own head! Most of the time I don’t even know how old I am. When asked, I have to think about it…for a while…then I ask my husband just to be sure. You are only as old as you feel and often the number doesn’t match the feeling….and if it doesn’t match the mirror either, even better!

  2. I’ve always thought it’s about how you feel. 🙂
    I’m 22, but I’m happier and in better shape now than I ever was in high school, so all I can do is hope to continue that on into my 30s.

  3. Age IS only a number. At age 53 I’m doing as much or more now than I did 20 years ago. If I was there, I’ld WOULD be an old biddy doing the AT!! No problem!
    Just because I don’t see any other 53yr+ women cross country running, cycle commuting, playing tennis or lifting weights, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t. Do it because you can.

  4. I’m 30,(almost 31), and am in a good place in my life. When people talk about their teen years being the best of their lives, I normally pat them on the head and exclaim how incredibly sad that is!

  5. Keep moving, you’ll be fine. A tool will rust more quickly when it isn’t being used. You’re headed in the right direction! I’m 34 and coming from a background of being overweight for my youth.

  6. It IS only a number! What matters is how you face it, what you do with it. Sounds like you’re keeping active and busy, and that’s important if you want to stay healthy and active for longer. Keep it up, you’ll be right! 🙂

  7. I first tried horseback riding at 48, did my first backpacking trip at 49, and by 50 I was hiking 20 miles most weekends…riding my horse throughout the week, and venturing out in a kayak or on my bike as often as humanly possible for a working woman. Old bidddy…..bah!

  8. ok, here’s a few to remember that I used recently:
    – Youth has to do with spirit, not age. – Henry Miller
    – Old men (well, women too) are guilty if they forget what it was to be young – J.K. Rowling
    – What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death. – Dave Barry
    I ran DC for many, many years. The National Mall under the lights was my favorite, and then the bike trail on the Mount Vernon Parkway.

    • Definitely love running on the Mall. I find the cyclists on Mount Vernon a little too aggressive. I’m not running as many miles these days, but I’d have to say my favorite is running from downtown to Roosevelt Island. So much varied terrain and scenery.

  9. Great post! I agree – age is in your head. I am in my early 30s and so much more active than before. I’m working up to eventually doing a full arm balance in yoga. Keep running!

      • Let’s just say that 10 years ago this would have been a pipe dream. I’m still a ways from it, but now it seems that it could be possible! We all can have arm strength.

  10. Great post! You’re only as old as you feel, and so attitude is what keeps (or makes) you young. I didn’t start Taekwondo until my late 40’s, and as long as I don’t pretend I’m like the teenagers on my team, I do pretty well. Most of the 54-year-olds I know just act old, while I just try to act like a 2nd degree black belt. 😉

  11. Very funny post. The only bit I did not get was “forgetting to eat again”?! What? I generally have my next 3 meals planned at any given time because I would never forget to eat. Good post and keep moving as age is only a number.

    • Thanks! I usually have food on hand at all times, I promise. My problem is when I factor exercise into the equation. I don’t want to eat before cardio because I’ll feel/be ill, but sometimes I wait too long and “crash.”

  12. Lol. Loved your post. I do miss a lot of things about my 20’s, but to be quite honest, I like me better now. A lot of things, and I mean a lot things, used to bothered me before and I was always thinking, “what is people going to think if I do that”, but I’ve realized that as I got older I got more comfortable in my own skin, more sure of myself, and less preocuppied with what others think of me. In other words, I am happier now than I was before and every day I have on this earth I do my best to enjoy it. I really believe life is too short and age is just a number:)

  13. This made me smile. I also thought everything would go downhill after 30 but once I got there I realised it was just the beginning. I’m 35 and never felt happier. In fact I feel 10 years younger.

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