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Day 54, August 30th


broken image

Well, another calendar page that made the wall and I am not exactly sure why. It's spunky when a 100 year old record holder says she's running from old age. I'm not sure exactly how it comes across when a 55 year old woman says the same thing. Aging in this country, and aging as a woman in this country, is kind of weird and full of mixed messages, but the subtext is this: you don't matter that much. But I'm not interested in unpacking all those cultural messages, I'm just interested in why I kept that page. Am I running from old age?

Well, yes I am. Hell yes, I am. I am definitely running from old age. I am engaged in a gigantic, cosmic game of tag with aging. Sometimes it catches me and sometimes it doesn't, and we will run on and on like that until one day I'm gone, I guess. That's how I see that going. I handed over my prime years and it's a project to figure out how to make peace with that. I'm not handing this over too. If aging wants pieces of me it's going to have to catch me first. Game on.

So aging: you can take my fast twitch muscle fibers (if I ever had any in the first place). You can wear down the cartilage under my knees. You can make my hormones go haywire and keep me up all night with hot flashes. And you can slow down my recovery after big efforts. You can make me forget words mid sentence and you can make it harder for me to drive at night. You can sprinkle gray through my hair and you can stick a kleenex up my sleeve, but you cannot have my spirit. I can choose to do hard things. I can choose to keep trying new things. I can keep dreaming. I can keep a good attitude. I can keep pushing the limits. And I can put my fingers in my ears and sing when you and anyone else says I'm getting too old to do whatever, fill in the blank. I can run from you. And if you catch me on something I'll just incorporate it in and start the game again.

Ida Keeling started running at 67 and continued to run until she passed away last year at 105 years old. She didn't buy in to the cultural messages about aging, she wrote her own story.

I am taking a page from her book. I am running from old age.