It is 2019, the year I turn 50. ~ I turn 50 this year. ~ I’m almost 50.
I’m sitting here staring at those words, and they are sinking in. Boy, are they ever! As they hit the center of my being, I’m not liking how it’s making me feel in this moment, right now — a little sadness mixed with dread. I was not expecting that. The inevitable is becoming reality, albeit it is still a few months away. My parents seemed so much older than I feel right now when I think back to when they each turned 50. I teased, “Ha! You’re half a century old!” And now I (almost) am. I wonder if they felt this young when they hit the big 5-0. I’m sure they did, but they’re parents, and therefore they’re just old by default. Right?
I didn’t make resolutions for this year. I haven’t for several years. Why bother? Most people don’t keep them anyway. I count myself as part of that group of “most people.” I have plans for some races this year: half marathons, a marathon, triathlons, and my first Ironman. Those commitments I will keep. With those plans comes the intention to train more purposefully. I need to or I won’t get across the finish line. I’m not pacing this year. For some reason, I never received or saw the pacer application email. At first, I was a little put out and disappointed. Then I realized that must have happened for a reason. So this year I get to go, run, walk, bike, swim, trot, crawl at whatever pace my body can handle. One goal for the year is to work on that little thing called “pace.”
After nearly 11 years of being injury free, I joined the ranks of the discouraged “injured runner.” The road back to feeling like I did before piriformis syndrome kept my tokhes in knots, before I sprained my ankle (twice in 10 weeks), before the bone bruise and start of a bunion, before my mood got stuck on semi-permanent glum has been long. Before. I do feel better than I did during, and that’s a step in the right direction. It’s been such a long time I’ve forgotten what it’s like to just go out and run for miles and miles and miles.
When I thought about writing about the start of the new year and what lies ahead I didn’t think I’d spend as much time looking back. When I look back I tend to wallow in the negatives. I don’t want to wallow. This year I want to focus on after: after the knots and pains, after the bone bruise, after the loss of all endurance and speed, after a year that had some particularly low points personally and emotionally. While looking back allows for introspection and gives perspective it does not give light to what comes next because our back is turned away from it.
I want to look forward, and look forward to. This year I get to do so many things. This year I’m turning around.
This year I get to turn 50.