Same Ages, Different Perspectives
We all know that guy in the gym. It’s a busy Wednesday evening at the local CrossFit box and everyone is talking about how their work days were and how they are planning to break up the reps for the workout. Sarah casually mentions how her shoulder is a little achy from sleeping on it wrong and then everyone looks over as Steve yells across the gym “try being FOOOORRRRTTTYYY!”
Steve (“that guy” for now) has told everyone the same story he continues to tell himself day after day. As if almost (probably) self-conscious about it, Steve continues to remind the world that he’s “not what he used to be” or how great it would be to “ just be 20 again”. In his eyes, he is already aging and life is all downhill from here. These people are the kind of people who are “FORTY!” FORTY is spoken as an excuse, an apology, an escape, a defense mechanism, and sometimes even an insult.
Then there’s the 40 group. Let’s name this guy, Damen. Damen is happy to have spent the last 40 years of his life learning and experiencing and can’t wait to spend the next 40 doing more of it! He never brings his age up unless asked, and has no emotional attachment around how many years he has been alive. Damen knows he’s happy and healthy and working to become even more happy and healthy. Damen shows up at the Box early if he thinks he needs more time to warm-up, but doesn’t broadcast it around the gym.
Same age, different perspectives. Steve (FORTY guy) isn’t any different than Damen (40 guy) other than their perspectives. Steve talks about being “older” as though it’s a bad thing. Damen embraces aging as he knows he’s continuing to learn, do, and become more.
If you’re not one of these people, I bet you still know one of these people. Ready to help them? Here are a few suggestions:
Don’t buy into the negative. Don’t laugh at degrading jokes or engage in conversation that continues any dialog shaming the body or self.
Walk away if any vibes start dragging you down. Go high-five and hang out with Damens. Maybe challenge them to a 100 push-ups for time challenge… I dare you.
Lift up the Steves by inspiring them to talk positively by setting an example yourself. Tell them they can join in on the push-up challenge next time. Maybe everyone will end up stronger (mentally AND physically).
So go be a 40. For anyone self-conscious about their age, just remember that you’ve leveled up. Each birthday is another life level unlocked. You’ve spent a year learning, failing, and growing. Your prize is another year to do it all again, just better. Life is too long to not life it well, and much too short to not live it exceptionally. Embrace and enjoy yourself now and every day to come.