Friday, January 7, 2011

In the Blink of an eye

another year has passed. Just 12 months ago I was living my last 24 hours as a 30-something.

Here I am today, on my Birthday Eve as my Mom would say. I managed to get through that first year of my new decade without much ado at all. Forty hit and I didn't shrivel up into an old person after all!!! In fact, it was not that bad. The only time I noticed I was 'old' was when someone asked me my age. Otherwise, guess what, I was the SAME me.

Tomorrow I'll turn 41. Over the past few weeks, as this date approached, I haven't been entirely thrilled with this new number I'd be forced to call myself. And then, something happened. I realized I shared this birthday weekend with an amazing woman whom I admire greatly. She said something to me and it struck me as perfect. Read on.


I was in my husband's office this morning. On my way out, Mark told me that the woman who heads their wellness program wanted to meet me. She was busy and I had to leave but he said to me, "She wants to know what inspires you."

I've been thinking about that ever since. The answer is both complicated and ridiculously simple.

But first, I would want to ask. "Inspires me to do what? To train nearly every day of my life? To choose to race in endurance sports? To try go faster every time I toe the line in a race?"

Is that what they mean? Because I would answer differently for each of those things.

I'm going to keep it simple though.

As I said, a friend of mine is celebrating her birthday today. She is remarkably tough, strong and clearly very wise. If you know her you will agree with me when I say she has NO intention of letting Her number slow her down. To quote her and join her in her sentiment I will say this, "I will LAUGH in the face of my birthday."

Exactly Kim. Thank you. Thank you for that line because it is EXACTLY one of the things that inspires Me each and every day.

Racing is in my soul. It's been part of me since I can remember. It's what I do. I am a competive person and nobody is Ever going to change that. In some ways, I don't really need inspiration. I'm just driven to do this.

And yet, as this big birthday looms over my head, I am going to choose to Celebrate my age. You know why? Because I am 41 (almost :) ) and I am not really any different than when I was 33. In fact, my 41 year old self could Kick my 33 year old self's butt. {we'll leave out the minor detail that I had two kids were were 3 and 1 and I was pregnant...} I have gotten Faster and Stronger with age and I LOVE that because I did not start from nothing! I started at age 8 and I have worked my tail off to keep myself in this shape. I can go to a race feeling pretty confident that I will have to make others work to beat me. Ha! At 41!!! THAT inspires me. I don't want to let that go. And I don't intend to. I might need a bit more sleep, a few less calories, a little more stretching and all that jazz we hate to admit, but on race day- I am still ME. No matter what my number is.

Again, Thanks Kim!!! Happy Birthday to YOU today !! And tomorrow, I too will LAUGH in the face of my Birthday because age is NOT going to stop me.


JenniferLeah said...

Happy Birthday.
Ya know, I just turned 37 (USAT age 38-boo!!) and my girlfriend and I were chatting about the age groups and how she better kick butt on her last year in the 35-39 age group since the once she hits the 40's it is so dang competitive!! It is because of BADA$$ athletes like YOU who kick butt, take names and do it with a smile. So enjoy 41...continue on this amazing journey and enjoy every step of the way.
And keep inspiring :)

Christi said...

Happy Birthday to Kim and to you! I turn 43 this year. Wow, can't believe I just said that! But it really is just a number!

Beth said...

Have an AWESOME birthday tomorrow Ange and best of luck in your marathon! When you set that big fat PR this weekend you will definitely be laughing at "41"! :)

Anonymous said...

That's exactly how I feel! I'm in a different stage as you... I just started triathlon (and being athletic in general) last year at 41 because I wanted to redefine what 40 looked like. And now I'm looking at 42 rapidly approaching (less than 2 months!) and I'm really happy with where I'm at. I'm proud that I'm reinventing myself... proud that I can redefine what it means to be in our fabulous 40s and not let a number be a limiter. Thrilled to sign up for my first HIM and know that there's so much room for growth.
Happy birthday!

cheryl said...

Hope you have a fabulous birthday weekend!

donna furse said...

Rock on soon to be 41 year old mom, we 40 and over mom's truly rock. Happy Birthday. I only wish you weren't in my age group, I have to work all that much harder to not have you beat me by so much.

Christine (MissFit Hooper) said...

If I didn't know your age, I would NEVER guess 41! You rock, Ange and you inspire me to never say can't do anything I want to do! Happy Birthday to you!! You can laugh all the way to the finish line!

Rainmaker said...

Happy Birthday!

Mary IronMatron said...

Happy Birthday !!!!!!!!!!!
41 ... whatever. :) You are as fast and gorgeous as ever.
(please tell me the same thing on my bday. thanks. )

Caratunk Girl said...

Happy Birthday Ange!

tri like mary said...

Happy (belated now) birthday to you! I hope I'm half as kick ass as you are at 41!

Melissa said...

Happy beltaetd birthday Ange :) I love your attitude.

Swimming for ME said...

I read something like this on the lid of a Tazo bottle --
Be grateful for every birthday, for others are not so lucky.
Sound like that is just the way you are living!

Jennifer Harrison said...

US 40-44 year olds rock!! AND you rock the most - happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TIME TO CELEBRATE!!! God knows that is all I have been doing - !!!! Let's smash that marathon for your birthday celebration!

Marisa said...

Well said!!! Rock on! Happy Birthday.

Running and living said...

Happy Bday! Age has nothing on you, you are fast as light! So excited for your marathon!