I turned 40 at 1:05pm today—
So much is made of age, on all sides of the statement spectrum- Age is all in your head, it’s a state of mind, you are how old you think you are::::::
But your body tells you in so many ways that you are not 25 anymore. There are pure facts, as visible as your aging face, that no amount of positive thinking can drive away.
The mirror is still a shock at times. The mental image of self & the physical reality skew and do not cohere. I hate how my face wrinkles when I smile.
Speedskating is the best of sports, and the cruelest of sports. It lifts you up like nothing else on the best days, and it also breaks your heart over and over and over.
I was pretty freaked out this summer about 40. Such a big number— however this past weekend of racing my 8th US Speedskating nationals has answered my existential crisis.
I threw down my fastest 500m in 3 years. It felt fantastic.
I am younger in body and soul after what the electronic eye said. Who cares where I finished, I was faster vs me. Maybe this is the gift of skating. Not even in the results, but the path of health to get there.
This blog is quiet now, between fatherhood and a job I love, + trying to train + my organizational work with races + US Speedskating + masters stuff in the USA, + IMSSC international stuff, I have no time. None. Zero.
I call this “microwaving the midnight oil candle at both ends”.
This post was started in the dark, at 6:15am, before my wife was awake. And this year at nationals, I just couldn’t bear to take pictures & shoot video like I have done for 5 seasons in a row. There would be no time to do anything with them.
I miss it. Miss these moments of taking a deep breath, and looking with words, as surely as Tom DiNardo, Jerry Search, and Richard Gregerson look with the pictures visible in this post (thanks guys!!!)
Last backstretch of a 1000m race visible here. major ouch.. But technically, nose, knee, toe, and the body properly over the push. I had a major “wardrobe malfunction” in this race with my skinsuit zipper, but skated a very fast time.
I would rather have these clarifying moments in life, where pain becomes that focused smile, than ruminate about it.
Someone asked me a while ago, “dang Andrew, how old are you?” and I replied without thinking, “I’m younger than I was in June”.
It took me a while to figure out what the heck I had just said.
I think that getting in better shape, & training for goals, makes a fella younger, puts that spring in the step. Is is hard? heck yeah…
But immobile couch-suck-TV-squashy depression becomes so much harder…
And I have gotten younger and younger, happier and happier, as this year has gone on. Do I respect being 40? yup. But I also want to rock, and still know where the amp & guitar is.
Thanks Speedskating, maybe this is the lesson, right here. Today. 40
(gotta run, am skating 40 laps with friends tonight!)
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