Call it mid-life crisis… I noticed that quite a few people I know (myself included) start becoming health nuts around the time we hit our late 30s to early 40s.
There were friends who have signed up for the Spartan Races, Ironmans, Triathlons, Biathlons, Marathons, and other extreme sport events, all spending copious hours running, swimming, cycling, in the gym, … and in the process, becoming toned, healthy, and fit, with many hoping to feel like their 18 or 19 year old selves and get back into that ol’ pair of jeans that they have secretly stashed away at the bottom of the wardrobe.
I am no exception and this year, I signed up for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon at the end of the year. Yup, the full marathon (it’s funny how people keep asking me if I was running the 10km, the half or full marathon… doesn’t marathon mean marathon???).
And I do not intend to walk or limp my way through the 42.195 km. I am aiming to finish it well – meaning like I was young again. So I have been running since April, initially struggling and in spurts through May and June, eventually managing to build up a regular cadence in July of about 4 to 5 runs a week, 30 to 40 km each week.
And then, amidst the almost daily grunt of dragging myself out to run, IT happened. One July evening, in the middle of a 12 km run, I suddenly experienced feelings just like how I felt as my youthful 17 year old self once did pounding the pavement (I was a cross-country and long distance runner in my school team). I felt young, light and fast, and like I could run forever (okay, probably not forever, but definitely for many, many more kilometers).
Those feelings, like an old familiar friend returning from forgotten shadows, embraced me warmly and gifted me back a sense of carefreeness, possibilities, and fearlessness that I had when I was 17. Suddenly, it felt like everything is once again a possibility – as long as I willed it, the universe will conspire to make it happen.
Age can sometimes be a cruel robber of hope, dreams and possibilities that we have given up in our youth due to initially lack of money, then the pursuit of our careers and the setting up of our homes and families and eventually lack of time and a belief that we are now too old physically or mentally but it does not have to be. I am rediscovering and remembering my dreams and hopes of 16, 17, 18, and beyond as well as new dreams and hopes and I am not going to let age come in between. I hope others will be inspired to do the same and throw the heavy mantle of age off and be young, light and possible again!