While my liberal political interests are obvious and well-known, there is a conservative side to my soul that is also revealed on occasion through this blog. I am conservative about the most pragmatic issue of all. I know that someday I will really age. And someday I will die. And I accept that.
Of course we spend a significant part our lives in denial of both those realities. We run, ride and swim because it makes us feel and look healthier. Usually.
Sometimes I see people who overdo it a bit. They get wizened from their efforts, or grow too skinny from training. They look strung out.
Actually I was too skinny in my 20s and early 30s. I could have used some weight work on top of all that running. Through middle age it has been a balancing act, and I’ve emerged as a relatively healthy senior (if that’s what you insist on calling it) with just a touch of softness around the middle.
I think it pays to be realistic about our bodies. There are many things you can do to make yourself healthier as you age. Frankly I’m happier with my body now in many ways compared to my hyper-skinny youth.
But I’m also caregiver to my father who is almost 90. And I know that sooner or later the human body takes its own path. Aging is not for the weak of heart.
Which is why I’m not afraid to take a hard look in the mirror now and then to gauge what is happening, and why.
Youth does not last forever. Personally I think that’s what’s behind so many of the selfies we see young women taking of themselves and posting to the Internet. There’s nothing like aging to change the fine toned shape of a woman’s body into something else, and I think people sense that. Motherhood also can do a number on “the girl” and that turns her into a woman.
Real men appreciate this transformation and learn to love a real woman instead of lusting after young girls. There is no greater turn-on in the world than a mature woman that takes care of her body. If you don’t know what that means now, then give yourself a few years. Grow up. Look around you. There is far more to life than the images in a magazine.
There is real activity, for one thing. The sports of swimming, running and triathlon are great for both men and women in terms of body image. They give you some degree of control over how much fat hangs out on your frame, and how your muscles look and perform.
So it pays to approach fitness, training and life like a realist. There are some things you can change about yourself, and some that are rather fixed. I’ve always wanted more muscular calves, yet some people tell me I’m lucky to have thin legs to run fast.
As you can see from selfie photos shared in this blog (and that’s not me with the bodybuilders, by the way) I’ve also paid attention to Rule #7 on The Rules on Velominati, and been careful to maintain crisp tanlines according to the cyclist’s bible. Or so they claim. They would not approve of my tri-kit tanlines on the shoulders. Tough luck.
I’m not afraid to post these photos because I know you’ve all done the same damned thing. Taking pictures of yourself is a natural thing to do. I run past large windows to check my running form as well. Some things about that have changed over the years as well. My stride is shorter now, and that’s on purpose.
But the purpose of this blog is to encourage you to appreciate yourself in the moment. Whatever age you are now, try to enjoy it. Age will come along soon enough and change your body. There’s plenty of time for that.
But you don’t have to take it lying down. That’s what I’m saying. Stand up and look in the mirror. Learn to like what you see. And if you don’t like what you see, work to change it. Seriously, and conservatively, that’s the meaning of life.