I remember back in high school and even college thinking that be 30 was beyond OLD. Shoot, but then I’d be falling apart, and ready for a rocking chair,
talking like an old man, saying things like “Yep, I remember back in the winter of 80, or was it 81, yep got so cold my ol pappy had to thaw out his words to before I could hear him a yellin at me!”
Funny thing, as I got older, the “age” of old got older. As hit 30 I thought, yep, it’s all over when I hit 40! Shoot I bet things will start falling off!
Then I hit 40, and I knew it was all down hill at 45! Turn out the lights and break out the walker. You know the one, with the tennis balls on the feet so it doesn’t scuff the floor. Time to sit around the wood burning stove and complain about that “rap music and those damn kids with metal in their faces and skinny jeans!”
Now, 50, the big half century, is the scary number. I have a hard time not thinking that 50 is beyond old, and one day I will wake up and look like Grandpa from the Simpsons! I mean I already have found gray chest hairs!
Funny thing happened Sunday, though, riding the Chilly Hilly. I hit the last hill and felt GOOD, so I HIT the last hill. I was passing people half my age. I passed some in full matching spandex on a bikes worth 5 of mine. While doing it, I wasn’t hurting or breathing to hard at all. I thought to myself, “HA! Not bad for a guy who is almost 48!” Then it hit me. I did some quick math “ok borrow a 10, 2103 – 1964 is HOLY CRAP! I am 48, I am about a year and half from the big 50.
I just rode a very hilly and windy cold route much better than I did the first time 14 years ago, and the fastest of all my times. I woke up the next day feeling great and rode 14 miles on the rollers that night! No pain at all!
I am honestly right now in better shape than any other time I can remember with the possible exception of the Mt Rainier years. I have never been feeling this good this early in the year.
My gorgeous wife Michelle keeps telling me I am nuts, that age is just a number. She makes sure to tell me how proud she is of me, and that there is nothing I can’t do!
Then i look around at the office and see what kind of shape others are in. I see the look of “Are you flippin (ok maybe not flipping) crazy” in their eyes (Or they say it out loud) when I tell them what I rode for the fun of it, or what I am going to sign up for.
One of my best friends tells me every year, “I’ll ride right along with you, on the motorcycle!” I know down deep, somewhere, he is proud of me, but I also know he also thinks I am nuts! He told me once, “Dude you only have so many pedal revolutions in your life, and you are using your’s up way too fast!” I always tell him “Well worst case, I will look GOOD at the funeral!”
Here’s the deal. I am deathly afraid of being old and decrepit, and of being an out of shape couch potato. Always have been, probably always will be. However, maybe it is finally sinking into this thick skull of mine that I do have control over what happens. If I keep up what I am doing, look for the challenges each year, keep the workouts consistent and safe, and have fun doing it, I may be one of the 80 year olds riding the Seattle to Portland.
I may be pushin 50, but I am still THE WIND! I feel like John Belushi in “Animal House” here, but what the hell! I am signing up for R A M R O D 2013! “WHO’S WITH ME??”