Friday, October 7, 2016

On age and abnormality and awesomeness

This week I went to the Muscular Rehab Center and as Benson was fixing my right vastus medialis, he said "You're not in your twenties anymore" (in reference to my apparently advanced age of almost 35) and "What you do is not normal" (in reference to ultrarunning). I think his comments were meant to be cautionary more than anything else. But I found them mostly comical. I can't argue with the validity of either statement. Currently, I'm the oldest I've ever been. And let's be honest, I did not acquire the nickname Robot due to an excess of normalcy. The thing I find humorous is the implication that either of those things - age or abnormality - are negative or undesirable. Age is an accumulation of adventures in aliveness. Abnormality is what happens if you go about being who you are instead of trying to contort yourself to fit into the box of other people's expectations.

Personally, I don't think I run all that much. I haven't run 100 miles or a 24 hour race, which is what I would consider to be "a lot." That's not even on the horizon for me. Though admittedly, my perspective is skewed. I've been a runner for two decades. I've been active pretty much since birth. Physical activity is so much a part of my life that not running feels abnormal. If I had to be someone else's idea of normal, to "settle down" and "sit still," I'd be restless and bored and terribly unhappy.

And I know I'm not in my twenties anymore. But I don't think I could have been an ultrarunner in my twenties. I didn't have the muscles or the mental resilience for it. Not that I have any discernible muscles now, but at least I've built up a habit of consistent, weekly strength training (compared to the approximately zero strength workouts I did in my twenties). Age has been kind to me so far. Probably far kinder than I deserve, given the shit ton of sugar I ingest (that is the focus of my next life improvement project). So I'm not getting any younger, but that only makes me want to cram in as many miles and adventures as I can into whatever time I have left. I don't want to be an action figure preserved in its original packaging, unused. I want to use my allotted aliveness up, to be active for as many days as I get. I suppose that some age related decline is inevitable, but I'm going to fight it off as long as possible (or get bionic parts!). Because I intend to be active and abnormal and awesome until I die.

Lyric of the moment: "Running now, I close my eyes. Oh I got stamina. I see another mountain to climb. But I got stamina..." ~Sia "The Greatest"

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