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.