This year, I turned the pivotal age of 39. I didn’t realize how important this birthday would be, or how it would make me feel. Basically, for the first time (ever) I looked back on my life and then I looked forward. The second part of that scared the shit out of me. Looking back is always awesome. You feel nostalgic, accomplished and grateful.
Looking ahead, with 40 looming, I felt fearful, anxious, old. I went to a bad place where I felt like giving up. Seriously, why should I even bother? Why should I run 20 miles a week or do sit-ups? I’m almost 40. Why should I color my hair or do my nails? I’m almost 40. I’m a washed up, washed out almost-40-year-old, who, in 10 short years would be … gasp. I can’t even type it.
Then, I went to a wedding.
I had heard about Molly, the mother of the groom. “She’s a big-time runner, you’re going to love her.” “She’s unreal, wait till you meet her!”
Molly is hands-down one of the most vibrant people I’ve ever met. I didn’t get to talk to her much because people gravitate to her, and in this setting, there always seemed to be a line of people waiting to talk to her. So I just sat and watched.
Here’s the thing, people: she’s the mother of the groom, who happens to be in his 40’s. I don’t know her exact age, but it doesn’t even matter. Her beef with running this year? She missed her Boston Marathon qualifying time by 4 minutes. Yes, you read that right. She’s trying to qualify for Boston.
Now, I know all of the cliches about age and all of that, but she gave me hope. She reminded me of why I run, and why I can’t throw in the towel. Running isn’t always about the way I look, but the way I feel. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s only about the way I feel. It makes me feel healthy and sane. Alive and energetic.
I need running to keep up with my kids, and I want to be at all of their weddings. Dancing, laughing and hopefully talking about my latest PR — or maybe even another attempt at Boston. — Amie