Thursday, December 13, 2007

Birthday Boy

No, that's not me. That's my son Terry standing next to Richard Petty standing next to Terry's car. Terry's not that easy to impress; he's well traveled and has been around more than his share of celebrities and the rich and famous. But, when he and Richard Petty started comparing their cars - now THAT got him fired up.

We had a great time at the Run to Victory. But, if he's honest, I think the most fun he had was talking cars with Richard and Kyle.

So, I'm 59 years old today. Good Grief. At least I'm not in a new age group. Or maybe it would be better if I was. If I was trying to compete I'd be up against all those 55 year-old YOUNGSTERS.

I have no idea what being 59 means. I remember what I thought 59 was. I remember my grandparents when THEY were 59. I remember my parents, too. And they seemed OLD.

Maybe it's because there's still so much I want to do that I'm not ready to give in to being "old". I mean, when an icon of my generation like Dennis Hopper is out selling financial services for retirement, how can I be old? 

But, it's fair to say that I've reflected more as this birthday approached than many in the past. Something, I suppose, of knowing that this is the last 12 months of even pretending that I'm not out of what most would consider "middle-aged". I am, in fact, one of that growing number of aging baby boomers that seems to scare the poop out of the politicians. But I can guarantee you that I will not be going gracefully into my golden years. 

I'm not as young as I once was, but I am as youthful as I ever was. Life still seems to be more interesting every year. If I'm over the hill then at least I'm picking up speed.

Today I'll run some, write some, and sleep some. Why not???

Waddle on, 


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear John - Happy Birthday to you!

I hit the magic 50 this year! Life is only getting better.

Lisa Skier

26 - PT - TWO said...

When I go to local races and see all the fast, fit 70 and 80 year olds, I realize that age really is just a number.

My local running hero is a man in his 80s. Not because he runs in his 80s - that is not so extraordinary - but because I flipped open the National Masters News and saw his name there among the honorable mentions. He does break records, sometimes with times many younger people would envy. And his running career began before WW2!

I serve on the board of a trail group, where our chairman is in his 80s. He plays tennis two hours a day, founded his own company, and has no intention of retiring from his day job.

I go to track and field meets where 70 and 80 year olds, sprint, run, jump, and throw their way to records. I run and throw, but I am scared to death of pole vaulting. But I routinely watch senior citizens doing it like it's nothing!

Heck, John, 59 is like the new 29 I think!

When I turned 40, I realized that locally, my age group just got harder. That was the only down side I could see to 40. I didn't care about the number, I cared that we always have some scary fast women around here in 40-44 and my chances of ever winning any hardware just went downhill. That was the only reason I miss 39 - i.e., the 35-39 age group wasn't so bad.

One of my friends just turned 45 and she's looking forward to an easier age group than the dreaded 40-44. And I was glad to see her leave my age group, because she was one of the scary fast women I had to run against.

26 - PT - TWO said...

Oh, and PS, my favorite age to be so far (which I JUST hit) is 42.2 -kilometers in a marathon! LOL

C. said...

John,

Happy Birthday (my younger) friend...each Birthday I have celebrated recently, I am reminded of a line from the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes"--that, "I'm too young to be old, and I'm too old to be young."

Keep waddling...

C.

fatmantrying said...

Happy Birthday!

Hey, it beats the alternative, right?!!

stefanier said...

I say 59 is fabulous.

Heck, you are still running faster than this 26 year old.

Will you and Jenny be running the Disney Half?

Jennifer H said...

Happy Birthday John!

Marg in Calgary said...

Happy Birthday, John! I am writing as a 'Returned to Running' gal who ran steadily (though never rapidly) in my 20s and 30s. Then Life happened, and I turned to walking...but not enough to keep off the Middle Age Spread. Here I am now, a 55-year-old 'youngster' (!) and I'm back on the road, inspired by your RW column.

Best wishes for a great 60th year! ;-) Here's to Penguins!

Jen, TNT Northern Florida said...

happy belated birthday!

Will we be seeing you at Disney this weekend for the TNT pasta party? I sure hope so!

I did the half last year as my first TNT event and was happily star-struck to see you at the pasta party as you were part of my inspiration to get my butt off the couch. Now I'm a team leader and going for the full 26.2, one waddle at a time!!