With the Cudworth-Astra wedding coming up in May, everyone in our household is knocking out workouts to get in shape for the dresses and tuxedos we’ll be wearing. The treadmill in the workout room has gotten quite a bit of work from Sue’s daughters and son. And one of the boyfriends who lives with us has been leading trips up to XSport, the gym where I’d belonged until Sue and I joined the Vaughn Center for the pool and 200-meter indoor track along with the weight room.
So the energy’s interesting around here. In fact, living with a house full of twenty-somethings has been a change in rhythm after the previous couple years of relative empty-nesting it in my Batavia place. But now that we’ve created this communal existence in our North Aurora house, even my own children have swung in an out with visits or stays. And I’ve learned a few things about twenty-somethings today.
They’re just like twenty-somethings from forty years ago. Virtually. The same.
I once rented a nifty little foursquare coach house in a town near here. It served as a gathering place for all my twenty-something friends. There were the requisite drinking parties and quite a few hits of pot taken during those nights. One male friend struck up a relationship with a female friend, and they spent a few nights banging each other on the couch in my living room. That was an interesting couple of months.
It’s all about connection. It’s always going to be about connection.
Cell phones and Direct TV and the Internet may have changed the entertainment rhythms a bit for today’s 20-somethings. But not that much. Last night I got home from a workout and an evening meeting to take a shower. I noticed when I got home that the kids were all parked on the couch watching some program they all like. So I went upstairs to change and shower and came back expecting to maybe hang with them a bit. And they were all gone. They had vanished like the flock of birds from a feeder when something startles them. Off to their rooms and gaming stations throughout the house. Bleep. Bloop. Millennials.
So I did not get the chance to hang out with them. Because that’s what twenty-somethings always do. They hang. Until they get sick of hanging. Then they move off to other things.
There was one small difference between my 1980s twenty-something friends and the crew that lives here with us. A number of my friends were fellow runners. That meant we’d train like mad and be more than half-tired before we even started partying. But it didn’t stop us. More than once my health collapsed because I was burning the candle at both ends and frankly, from the sides as well.
The distance runners and cyclists I’ve known in life have all liked to party. It’s part of the risk-taking psychology of athletes that they like to push themselves in everything they do. Athletes and twenty-somethings. They never really change.
Sue flies in and out of this existence with considerable organization panache. That woman has more discipline sticking to her workouts than Jesus avoiding temptations from Satan in the wilderness. But had she gone 40 days without eating, she would no doubt have given into temptation because she gets kind of ‘hangry’ when the blood sugar gets low. This I know from dating her four years.
Keeps me going
She keeps me going, that’s for sure. I sort of train along in her wake, keeping her company for most of her long runs and ride. I’m good for 10 miles or so on the run and then she’s on her own for the last three. My hips hate the long stuff.
When we ride together she prefers to pull most of the time because it doesn’t really help to train for a triathlon by drafting while in aerotuck on the bars. Plus it’s illegal to draft in most triathlons. So she trains the way she plans to race. That means she pulls a lot, and I take my occasional turn while riding in the drops. Overall we’re pretty compatible that way.
Not in our 20s anymore
We’re both aware, however, that we are not in our 20s anymore. Not physically anyway. The wear and tear of training requires adequate rest. We got to bed at 9:00 most nights, because Sue’s up at 4:30 to swim, ride or run.
So it’s nice perhaps to train with some (more) perspective these days. Sue follows her coach’s orders and I use the scale that measures my body fat and weight. That’s my coach.
It’s also an indicator of how I’ll look in that tuxedo come May. That’s the motivator for the whole house it seems. So we’re not so far apart, us fifty-somethings and those twenty-somethings. And all points in between.