I was a little ambivalent about this milestone. Which is odd because turning 50 didn't faze me at all. But 51 - that's on its way to 60.
Luckily I know some pretty damned awesome 60 year olds.
60 year olds that do their first marathon. 60 year olds that return to triathlons after having back surgery. 60 year olds that smash me at speed session every week now. And for the record Bevan, yes, I was trying and no I wasn't sick - you're just better than me now :-)
So rather than being maudlin about my slow slide down the slippery slope of old age I decided to focus on what I actually can still do.
I can still eat an apple with my own teeth. That might not seem like a huge accomplishment to some but I can still remember my Grandpa sitting on his front steps with an apple and a spoon. His dentures wouldn't let him have the simple pleasure of biting into a crisp apple and have the juice dribble down his chin. Most people from that generation had dentures by the time they were in their 40's and a visit to your grandparents would be a revelation of the marvel of modern dentistry. Nothing is more fascinating to a six year old than a glass containing a full set of teeth and nothing is quite as amusing as your grandpa sticking them out of his mouth at the dining table when your grandma's back's turned.
I can still fit into clothes I had 28 years ago. And that's just as well because I really, really hate having to buy new ones. I recently ran into a parent from one of my son's primary school days and his comment was that I hadn't changed at all. I think he was probably talking about what I was wearing rather than how well I'd aged but I'm going to take it as a compliment on the latter just because I choose to.
I can still touch my nose with my big toe. I know, I know - you're pretty impressed and pretty confused about why I'd even know that. Some things are meant to remain a mystery so the why will remain unanswered. The fact is that I can - even if it's harder than it used to be when I was three.
I can still make a cake without a recipe. I know the day will come when my memory has deserted me and I won't be able to remember if it was two eggs or four but that day is not today. Or at least it wasn't on Thursday. And once I do forget the recipe I'll be fine for a while - until the day when I forget where I keep the recipes. And that will be the day I give up baking forever.
I can still run around Mt Coottha. This is probably one of the things I'm proudest of. When I was growing up it seemed that as you got older it was inevitable that you became inactive, overweight and infirm. Once you became a mother you became matronly. I am so grateful to the pioneers of women's running who pushed through to force society to accept that women could and should be physically active. That our femininity wasn't in peril and our uteruses (uteri?) weren't going to fall out of our bodies if we ran. And I'm also grateful to the runners who chose not to retire once they got a little older and proved that it was something that you could do until your body said you couldn't any more. That day has not come for me yet and my plan is that it won't come for many years yet.
And I can still learn new technology. Which is just as well because the boys gave me a Kindle for my birthday. Talk about leading me into temptation. Reading is up there with running as one of my favourite things and having a Kindle, a credit card and a WiFi connection means that I have access to hundreds of thousands of books.
There's still a bit of life in this old girl yet.
I think there are heaps of people half your age who'd be chuffed to be able to do half the things you do!ReplyDelete
Well, I don't think I told you happy birthday! So a huge Happy #51 - just getting started!!!!ReplyDelete
The toe to nose thing is pretty impressive!!!
The funny thing on the teeth, at 98 my Poppa still had his full set of teeth when he died but my Mema had false teeth for years. Around her house she rarely wore her teeth and her last few years in the nursing home she never had them in!!!
Charmaine you are awesome. It is great to run with you and to have your company. It will be a sad day for the Squad if you ever stop baking. And us 60 year olds still think of you as one of the pretty young ones.ReplyDelete
Anyone can make a cake without a recipe - the trick is making it delicious like yours appear to be. I'm sure you'll be an awesome 50 something just like in your 40's!ReplyDelete
You will continue to rock for years to come! And getting older seems to be only getting better from what I can see.ReplyDelete
Happy birthday! Remember, you're awesome. My grandpa used to do that too. Apparently he was really strict with my dad and uncles, and mellowed out with age, which means by the time you're 98 you'll be even more of a riot.ReplyDelete
Personally, I think these are fantastic things to celebrate! I hope my list looks just as awesome when I turn 51!!!ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday, and I think you still have a PB or 2 left in you, so make this the year...ReplyDelete
Oooh, a Kindle, lucky you! And as for turning 51, you make it look like a breeze to all the rest of us fast approaching it behind you!ReplyDelete
happy birthday - I hope I can still touch my toe to my nose at 51. Hang it, should go and try it now :)ReplyDelete
Happy birthday! I love your list of the things you can still do! I'll make sure to check if I can still do them when I turn 50! :-)ReplyDelete
You are certainly full of life for your age! Most youngsters where I work won't keep up with you. My dad ran his marathon PB of 03:34 when he was 53. So there is much to achieve still.ReplyDelete
Yes, there is life in the YOUNG girl!ReplyDelete
This is part of why I like reading blogs by awesome people who are older than me. It reminds me that things can & will continue to get more awesome for many years to come. :)ReplyDelete
(Okay, wow, that kind of sounded like I was calling you super old. Mostly I'm just saying you're awesome.)
Happy Birthday! It sounds to me like you are just getting started. :-)ReplyDelete
OK …. so you do know that I took my shoe off and tried to touch my nose with my toe!!!!ReplyDelete
I did it btw ;-)
60 is not so bad. You won't even notice a difference.ReplyDelete
happy happy birthday!!! i haven't been around blogland much lately but glad i got you on your birthday. anyways, 51 is still a spring chicken...i probsbly feel that way because i'm not that far behind you and still think of myself as in my 30s!!ReplyDelete
Our running club president is 60 and she kicks behind as a runner and really on all fronts. I need to try the toe thing. Right now.ReplyDelete
Great list, Char! Happy birthday!ReplyDelete
Hmm looks like my comment is gone?ReplyDelete
Again: don't ever mention old again. You are not, I wanna be you when I grow up in 5 years. I want to look as good as you do, I want to run as good as you do and most of all I want to have baking skills as good as you.
You look fabulous and are a huge inspiration to me.