I saw this quote “I don’t know how to act my age. I’ve never been this old before” and I knew it was my new personal motto. When I was very young and people asked me to imagine myself at age 30, 40, 50, 60, etc, I pictured a much older, sedentary and somewhat sad version of myself. As a young trainer in my 20’s I even purchased the book ‘Fit Over Forty’ on training the over 40 crowd so I wouldn’t make any mistakes with an older clientele. I was really trying to be a great trainer and yes I still have that book. To be honest, it was a great tool and has excellent tips and I use so many of the moves on clients of all ages. So if you ever trained with me or see this book and note moves that I had you do and you were not over 40…they are just good moves!
But here I am seeking to be ‘fit over forty’ and will tell you that I find myself somewhat at odds with the world around me. Pictures of healthy ‘older adults’ are walking with big smiles and big sweeping arms while most runners are really young. Yikes a little stereotypical since I know plenty of over 40 runners.
I remember when I had some minor surgery a few years ago, the doctor told me I could start exercising again. I asked for clarity because at the time I was doing crossfit and power yoga. He told me I could walk. I told him that was my usual and daily form of transportation from point A to point B and did not count as exercise in my book. He wasn’t sure how to answer me and told me that I was only allowed to walk for exercise. Ok, I mean I had been walking all over the place up to that point but now I guess I could walk more.
More recently I visited a hand specialist to help me with my grip strength. I dislocated a finger and it was causing problems long after it should have. He asked if it impeded daily activity. I told him I couldn’t do pull ups or hold heavy weights because of my grip strength. His answer was and I quote “well you are 46 and shouldn’t be lifting so much weight”. I was shocked! Flabbergasted! Gobsmacked! What?!? I explained that I was a trainer and that I hoped to live to 90 and didn’t really want to hear that I should give up half way there. He was clearly aggravated with me and just wrapped up our appointment.
Is this how the world sees us over 40 folks? Start winding down? I mean I feel so young and healthy and yes my body doesn’t ‘bounce back’ like it used to but come on! If I give up I will become that sedentary sad old person I falsely envisioned back when I was a teenager. So I guess we need to redefine 40-year-old behavior, 50-year-old behavior… Because I’m not done, I’m just getting ready for round ’four’ in life and plan to be fit for rounds 5, 6, 7 and beyond. So yes, I do not know how to act my age…this is my first time being here but know one thing…I do not want others to define it for me.