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I’m Not 20 Years Old Anymore

It hit me last week like a ton of bricks falling right on top of my head. It was a fact that, by some way or another, I had avoided for the past several years, and when the truth was staring me right in the face, I struggled to accept it.

Last week I made the decision to do an alumni membership at NC State’s Carmichael gym. It’s cheaper than my current gym and it has more equipment, pools, classes, and amenities than any gym lover could ever hope for.

Thursday morning I met an old friend there at 6:00 am and as we were stretching and chatting in the new cardio room, I had the profound realization that I am not 20 years old anymore. As I looked around at all of the young, tan, fit college kids, it dawned on me that I don’t look like that anymore. Somehow I had deluded myself into thinking I hadn’t aged a bit since I was in college. I’m 31 now and I now know that to be a false reality. Perhaps it was because at my previous gym, the average age range was 35-50. In comparison, I was the young, tan, fit one. Well maybe not tan, but at least young and fit.

So young, my 20th birthday

So young, my 20th birthday

Then yesterday I decided to go for a swim during the afternoon. I figured it would be the least crowded time at the gym and I could swim in peace. (By the way, I hate swimming. It is exponentially harder than running and I suck at it.) As luck would leave it, a high school team was practicing in one pool and the NC State diving team was practicing in the deep end of the other pool. Seriously, have you seen a college swim team practicing? Abs, legs, shoulders, and arms of steel. Note to self: must try harder.

I admit it… I struggled to accept this fact. When people say they are no spring chicken anymore or that their body is falling apart because they are getting old, I think to myself, not me! I’ll forever be known as cardio queen at my gym and my body will continue to get better and better every single day. Who am I kidding? I have two screws and a rod in my hip! I think that automatically puts me in the “my body is falling apart” category.

I get it. Age happens and there isn’t really much you can do about it. (I do admit that when I got home last Thursday I started researching age defying veggie juices.) We can’t all have six pack abs forever, although I never really had any in the first place. I’ve accepted that fact and I’m now okay with it now. But I’m not going to let it deter me from still pursuing my athletic dreams. Sure, I may not have the stamina and abs of those 20 something year olds, but you better believe I’m going to try my hardest to swim, bike, and run as best I can. And if I start drinking Swiss Chard Kale Juice, it’s only to help me swim faster. Promise. 😉

 

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

(In the other picture, I’m 19 years old holding my sister’s dear cat Oscar.)

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Theb est comparisonof success is to compare yourself…. to yourself. You may not be tan, age is just a number, but I know you are still an athlete.

    July 3, 2014
    • You are so right. It only matters that I do my best and improve a little every day. I like being in my 30s. I just can’t remember how I did what I did in my 20s. 🙂

      July 5, 2014
      • I think that’s pretty typical to look back and be amazed at your younger self. So just think of how amazed you will be at your present self in ten years time….

        July 5, 2014
      • So very true. A friend of mine told me a few days ago, you will never be as young as you are now and you will never have the metabolism you have now. That definitely gave me a little perspective. I would never dread my birthday, but I understand why some people do. Thank you for the encouraging words! 🙂

        July 5, 2014

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