Sunday, April 19, 2009

Today I'm 43. I Run Up Mountains.

Yesterday I was out biking with hubby doing errands around town. We were about to leave the Builder's Garage Sale (would've been better to bring a truck than our bikes, honestly) when this man walked up to me and out of the blue says "Do you run up mountains?"

Um....not recently

"Well," he said, "you just look like you could run up mountains"

and with that he walked off.

Today is my birthday. My 43rd birthday. I can't count the number of people who have told me "you don't have to tell me how old you are." I could care less how old I am. I'm 43. 43 years on this planet. There's nothing to be ashamed of, being 43. 43 trips around the sun. Why do we treat it like it's some horrible curse???

I'm 43 years old, and while I haven't run up mountains since hubby and I trained to climb Kilimanjaro in 1995, I could do it at any point I chose to. Isn't that the coolest thing about keeping your body, your mind, and your spirit in tip-top condition and feeling young?? I COULD run up a mountain tomorrow, if I felt like it. And you never know, I just might.

And while no one in our family ran up any mountains today, Wayne and the kids ran down some sand dunes with our new pup, Callie. Now Wayne is a pretty speedy runner, but this dog is something else. Doesn't she look like she's channeling greyhound in this picture???

Speaking of Callie, it's amazing how much more healthy and vital she's gotten in the almost two weeks we've had her now. When she first came to live with us, she slept a lot and seemed almost lethargic. Little by little she pepped up and just in the last few days she has become quite another dog altogether. I know our neighbor who rescued her said she was infested with fleas, ticks, and worms when she first found her and she was still getting over all of that, so this is probably just her returning to good health, maybe for the first time ever. She has definitely filled out and filled up with energy now!

So for my birthday, I got what I most wanted - no presents, just the presence of my kids and hubby. We took an impromptu run to the beach. Despite having a ton of work to do around the homefront (we are currently remodeling the front of our house/deck) we grabbed a half a day since the sun was shining and headed west. The sun and sand were beckoning, and I got to play a little bit of frisbee with my kids, watch them run around with the new pup and...

What birthday would be complete without a swim? This is a lot earlier than I usually get in the lake, even with the full wetsuit. But the water looked too inviting to pass up and of course I did pack the wetsuit along just in case.... I'm guesstimating it was about 57 degrees, cold enough I had trouble talking when I got out due to my lips freezing. But still, it felt marvelous, simply grand. As soon as I took that first stroke, I was in heaven. Sunlight sparkling on the water droplets flying off of my fingers, and the sound of the small waves in my neoprene-covered ears. In my head, Beethoven's full orchestral Ode to Joy started playing, perfectly timed to the rhythm of my strokes, and I felt that peculiar joy of being so very alive down to the last nerve ending in my little toes.

I may be {gasp, cue drumroll....} 43 years old... but I can still run up mountains, or swim laps around a lake any time I choose.


Sara Cox Landolt said...

Happy Birthday! And a great picture of your puppy on the run.
Looks like a great time celebrating your bday. We're thinking of getting in the lake up here in Wisconsin as well...

cherelli said...

Happy Birthday Robin - wow that was a pretty random "mountain climbing" comment/compliment - poor guy, probably just trying to think of a way of saying "gee you look fit, congratulations on keeping your body so well" :)

TriGirl 40 Something said...

Happy Birthday! What a great post and a lovely tribute to respecting our ages and appreciating our "slightly" used bodies!

Tamara said...

Happy Birthday, Ironmom! Sounds like a wonderful day. May it be a year of wonderful days filled with excitement and much laughter.

Alex Polikowsky said...

Happy Birthday! I also turned 43 this year and I come to your blog for inspiration. I used to be an avid cyclist but have slowed to a stop after my kids were born.
I wish I was in your shape. I love to exercise and be active. My husband does Duathlons and now my son wants to try a tri- He is not seven yet.
Anyways you are an inspiration!