Hooray I’m turning 40!
Today I am 40.
And you know what? It feels great!
I actually feel like I may be in the best shape of my life. Being in the best shape of your life isn’t only about being in shape physically but it is also about being in a strong place emotionally. Yes, my body is strong. I lift twice a week at bootcamp and am feeling more muscularly defined than I have since college when we lifted all through the winter as a part of our winter training for rowing. It has been great to add lifting back into my life because it has made me a stronger runner and has also allowed me to rebuild my body after I had my two kiddos.
After babies I ran and I ran and I ran some more but that’s about all that I did until my body basically said NO MORE and then my back went out. At that point I was not taking care of the whole me. I was running to get myself through serious bouts of post partum depression and to try to figure out my new identity as a mom who was staying home and no longer at work. I ran to figure it all out. I ran for the solitude that it brought me. I ran to try to feel better. There was a lot of stuff to work through and then the Boston Marathon in 2013 and PTSD got thrown in on top of that.
But you know what, I’ve gotten a lot stronger now that I am turning 40. I am still running now, but running smarter. I am listening to the cues of my body and taking care of potential injuries ahead of time and not running through them until my body breaks down. I am practicing stability exercises and working my core muscles and upper body because that matters in running too. I am building a foundation to keep my body healthy and strong now that I am, gasp!!! Middle-Aged!!!! I am cross training . . . I ride my bike and I swim . . . the new obsession of triathlon is growing.
My mind is stronger too now. I have had to face down some pretty ugly demons and self-truths and learn more about myself along the way. I am learning to face my own personal weaknesses such as self-doubt and resistance to trying new things because of fear. I have head to push through challenges that have been so emotionally hard but to realize on the other side that I am ok and perhaps maybe a little bit stronger.
Always a giver, born a mother-hen personality I often put myself ahead of others, a blessing and a curse as I sometimes say yes to things that I shouldn’t say yes to. I am often blind to the fact that by saying yes, I will be hurt in the process maybe not in an immediate way but in the long term. Not everyday can be filled with positivity but you should never ever let the source of your own negativity be derived from what others may be projecting on you. I don’t know why I have put so much weight into the negativity that has sometimes surrounded me. It’s time to let that go and to move on. This is a lesson that I am only now learning as I turn 40 and that I am working hard to embrace. I’ve said it before that we need to build each other up. Don’t let others tear you down.
It’s time to fully embrace what makes us happy, to dance more, to laugh like crazy until you tear up and your belly hurts, its time to make connections stronger with those who challenge you but also bring you along with kindness and caring. Eat delicious food and share it with a friend. Giggle with your kids. Cultivate the things in your life that make you feel creative and that inspire you. Love the ones around you and be sure to tell them and show them how much you care. Run far, bike farther, swim, paddle, skip, hop . . . do whatever it takes to get you to the stronger happier you.
I know this all sounds super cheesy but can you blame me? This is a big birthday or so I’m told . . . I’m turning 40!!!
Have a joyful day! What are your wishes for a great year?