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Fifty

April 23rd, 2014

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I recently celebrated 50 years of life, yet I don’t really feel worse for wear.  In fact, as long as I don’t look in the mirror or at the stopwatch or power meter – I’d think I was still 25.

But I can avoid mirrors all I want and it still won’t stop my kids from innocently reminding me of my battle scars and ever increasing imperfections.  There’s also no escaping the chiding of friends regarding the increase in grey hairs, ear hairs, and nose hairs, the receding hairline, the increase in wrinkles, and any other general age related issues that come with numbers greater than 49.

And as good and as young as I feel when I leave the watch and/or power meter at home, allowing me to be blissfully ignorant of PR times and power numbers from years gone by – there’s no shortage of youngsters (and a couple oldsters) running and riding by me as if I were standing still, to remind me that I’m not as fast as I feel.

So while I subscribe to the “you’re as young as you feel” philosophy, it’s also true that at some point, time waits for no one.  Fortunately, however, it seems that even though time isn’t waiting – it’s apparently not in a big hurry, either.  After all, 50 is the new 30, right?

Trust me, I keep telling myself that, but when I think about the number 50, I get a little freaked out.  Regardless of the fact that in my mind, I’m about 25 years old – I’ve still been here 50 years.  And 50 is a pretty big number.  When I think about the number, it doesn’t really matter how good I feel or how young I feel.  50 years is a lot of years to be alive.

I’ve managed birthdays for the past 10 years by trying not to dwell on the number, choosing instead, to focus on the fact that I truly feel great.  But 50 had me feeling like I’m at a point in my life where I need to live life in the present instead of yearning for the past or thinking too much about the future.  I suppose this happens to many of us when we celebrate being half way to 100.

However, certain milestones bring friends and family out of the woodwork.  I’m shocked and genuinely touched at all of the notes I’ve received regarding successfully reaching 50 years.  After being reminded of so many wonderful memories of good times and fast times from my family and friends via Facebook, cards, letters and emails, I’m not sure that living life entirely in the present is the best strategy.  It occurs to me that the present is not as meaningful without the journey.  And if memories from the last 50 years are any indication of what the future holds, I also have a lot to look forward to.

So thank you, my friends, for reminding me that 50 really isn’t as big as it seems.  It’s just a point along the way.

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