This Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial beginning of summer, turned out to be picture perfect weather wise. Great for running, biking, going to the beach. Lots of friends I haven’t seen in months stopped by to say hello and I had my first complete under water dunk in the ocean. And at the end of the weekend, I felt….old.
It’s become abundantly clear that I have reached an age where sometimes we don’t bounce back the way we did in our 20’s. Back then, if we went about things in a half-assed kind of way, the repercussions were pretty minimal. Now, not so much. One friend, age 39, had a STROKE several weeks ago (don’t worry -- he recovered fully). Another friend who has had a chronic medical condition her whole life was recently hospitalized for 3 weeks. And an unfortunate third succumbed to too many years of depression.
The thing that really gets to me is the fact that these friends appeared to have ignored (and continue to ignore) some pretty clear wake up calls. I mean, if you wake up and cannot feel the entire left side of your face, neck, and shoulder, then perhaps you should get medical attention BEFORE you actually collapse at work! And at least CONSIDER giving up drinking and smoking afterward. Just sayin’. Or maybe if you had a long hospitalization the summer you were 18, you should think twice before doing the exact same thing 20 years later! (You never get the summer you were 18 back! Once its gone, its gone!) Not to mention that 18 falls squarely within the half-assed permissible age bracket. Thirty eight does not.
And just to spice things up a bit, we can sprinkle in some smoke from wild fires burning in Canada (my entire apartment smells like a campfire) and the thought of oil blasting out of pipes deep below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. We may be past the point where we can bounce back from environmental disasters. (Especially when at least one was caused by going about things in a half-assed kind of way)
But then I thought about me and my goals and how, well, maybe I’VE been going about things in a bit of a half assed way. I haven’t really fully committed to many of the goals I’ve set for myself and as a result haven’t met quite a few. I’ve let an injury not just side track, but pretty much derail my training goals for this year. And truthfully, even though I’m not smoking, drinking, and eating red meat every day like SOME people, I really haven’t been doing everything I could be doing for my health. I’m 40 now. Maybe that’s not as big an option as I thought.
Plus, you never get the summer you are 40 back again, ever! Do I want to look back and see a half-assed person starting a slide into being OLD? Or do I want 40 to look like Jennifer Aniston 40, Sheryl Crow 40, Courtney Cox in Cougartown 40? And even more importantly, what do I want that 40 year old’s life to stand for?
I think there’s really only one answer to that question.
And now I’m going to get my butt to bed early so I can prepare my recently purchased organic food for breakfast and go give my all at work next week