Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Aging Debate, Part II -- Youth vs. Wisdom

Age seems to be a taboo topic. As some people get older they start to lie about their age or refuse to reveal their age. As an athlete, our age and everything else about us (probably even our blood type) is always attached to our name... as if the one can't be seperated from the other.

Personally, I take pleasure in my age and find myself wanting to learn from the experience of those who are older and provide my own experiences to those whom are younger or less experienced then myself. To be quite honest, I would like to volunteer my time at a retirement home, not to be altruistic, but to hear the stories of those who have been fortunate to experience a long life, thus far.

Youth is celebrated and placed upon this high pedestal. It represents boundless possibilities and potential – a better tomorrow. But, when we’re young we are bombarded with unique images of beautiful, airbrushed models and Ads advocating a new and improved image. We are constantly told through various mediums that what we are, is not good enough. One is not smart enough, thin enough, or beautiful enough – simply put “just not enough. And as that person ages, that message becomes – “You are too old! Better hurry, life is passing you by!” Certain standards of life are put into place as measuring, how far you’ve come in life, and where you’ll end up. Thank God, I don’t fall for any of that crap!

I can’t help but think of how much naivety I held about age, when I was just a few years younger and my lack of comfort of being in my own skin. But, I’m growing up and getting a little bit wiser, day by day. As my mom says ‘You can’t get wiser without getting older.’

I believe the physical impact of aging is merely a reflection of how we take care of ourselves along the way. Most people are so busy taking care of everybody else that they forget to take care of themselves, and physical aging can bare its truth. However, to paint everyone with the same brush for being old because of a simple number, reflecting one’s age is not accurate. Life is an individual experience and so are the effects of growing old.

I am a proud 31-year old woman, just shy of celebrating another fabulous birthday! As I grow older I will continue to be proud of my age and who I’ve become and who I’m becoming. Life represents boundless potential, and I will never subscribe to the limitations which others may place. I am grateful for the wisdom that age brings to me. And I hope you are too!

Life is beautiful and it should be. It’s about daily self-discovery – daring to fail and daring to succeed. We should never give anyone the power to decide our expiration on potential. If your not where you want to be, when would NOW be a good time to start?

Remember -- “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it!” ~ Anne Shirley (from the movie Anne of Green Gables)

Simply enjoying the best that life has to offer,

Continuation from Blog: Age, Women & Sport – Age is Mind over Matter…if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter, and I don’t mind so it doesn’t matter!

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