Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A long strange trip....

Today is my 43rd birthday and it has me feeling a little introspective. I said not long ago to T my 20's were about experimenting- a brief stint as seasonal firefighter, a 6 year on and off stint as a Mormon who served a mission in Italy who eventualy settled on a less structered lifestyle...

My 30's were about recovery( from Mormonism) and getting over dogma and ideals not of my own, getting together with T, getting pregnant, becoming a mom, going back to school and getting my ass kicked by both....getting married and realizing that I never really appreciated alone time before. Struggling to be a grown up and really not knowing what I was doing half the time, new mom, school (fucking Algerbra II pretty much did me in!), tough internships, new career, wife.....it's all a blur really.

My 40's seem to be about alot of FIRSTS along with rediscovery . I started getting fat....really fat...and the weird thing was I didn't feel fat, I could still do what I wanted, I was energetic and able to hike and bike and not huff and puff after schlepping groceries up 2 flights of stairs....but the clothes got bigger and then I started working in a facility where many of the staff began to comment on my growing backside. Annoying as this was, those comments and a particulary annoying and petite triathlon chick....got me toying with the idea of running. That annoying trichick, was sooooo obnoxious, a real ball breaker and I was totally driven to get off my ass and DO something about my situation. I took my first tentative step at a walk run program. This has been followed by many firsts: first 5K, 10K, 12K and a sprint triathlon.....learning how to clip in and out of pedals and bike shoes! More firsts to come I'm sure.

That was June 'o4 and 2 years later I'm not that fat girl anymore. I learned to swim (the learning process was painful, kinda like Algerbra II....but it got better, math however did not! I'm not svelte or neccesarily petite, though short in stature. I am strong and have rediscovered my inner athlete..........the one that never really developed as a young person due to lack of direction and support, bad choices, drugs.....Now, I get to see what I can do.
In a strange way there is an advantage I think to coming into your own later in life, no aging athlete issues really, I mean no past glories to blurr current status. It's ALL GOOD, ya know what I mean? I'm just damn happy and grateful to be able to do all this stuff and feel great afterwards. My goals aren't so lofty, my training not so regimented, but I love this active life style and I can whole heartidly say only good has ever come of it. My life isn't perfect, or neat or especially inspiring but it's mine of my making, not one based on standards that don't fit or guilt (ok, I'm still working on that one), but I like myself better now and well that's just good all around.

The trip gets strange....and hard ...but mostly interesting. I'm happy to report I have much to learn and a desire to find out where this journey will take me next.


susie said...

You are so right, Chris. Happy Birthday!!!! And the journey only gets better, from my perspective. Be open to change--as you seem to be-- and life will offer so much. Enjoy your day!

Anne said...

Happy Birthday. I'm just ahead of you in years and happen to think my 40s have been the best by far...still young and healthy but much wiser. I never cried when I turned 30 or 40, but 50 might be different, if only because the past decade will have gone so well. Enjoy the years ahead.

jeff said...

happy birthday, christine! i'm a couple years behind you, but it sounds like we've been along similar paths. enjoy your day and may this next year bring you some amazing, new discoveries!

Mia Goddess said...

Happy birthday!!! I am laughing so hard at your description of the obnoxious tri-chick who got you off your ass ~ that competetive streak serves you well!

You are such an inspiration, Chris. You are definitely why they made the saying "Like a good wine, she gets better with age..."


PS Bring that gorgeous family down here and let's get drunk on my new deck!

PortRunr said...

Happy Birthday for the other day!!!
Very interesting post...well said.
I'm starting to appreciate the whole youth is wasted on the young / life begins at 40 outlook! :)