I’m 54 Years Old Today

I’m 54 today.  When I was a kid, my mom made me a heart shaped birthday cake every year.  That was awesome!  I looked forward to it every year.  Once I wasn’t a kid, a Valentine’s Day birthday started to be a drag.  It’s hard to go out for a quiet birthday dinner without fighting crowds.

Hubby always makes it nice.  He’s awesome.

I’m sure most don’t think 54 is “old”, but I am very aware that I’ll be lucky if there are 54 birthdays ahead.  In fact, my mother died when she was 56.  Her early death was a motivating factor for me to fix my health in the first place.  Also a motivating factor to quit wishing to be a bodybuilder and actually do it.   It seems likely that I will live longer than she did.  Even so, I want to live as though nothing is promised.  Friends my age have died unexpectedly.  Each day is a gift.  Each hour is a gift.

As hard as I’m trying to work my gratitude, I’m feeling old today.  I have a sense of urgency to do things because there may not be much time left to do them.  I have things I want to accomplish in my sport and I started bodybuilding late.  When I get in a funk, I feel sorry for myself and feel isolated.  That’s when I feel really old.  Too old for this.  Silly old woman trying to hang in a sport with younger folks.  Most of the people I know who train like I train are decades younger and we don’t seem to relate to each other well. Different life stages, perhaps, but also my introversion makes it hard for me to establish connections quickly. And I probably make a few uncomfortable. Many people my age or gender don’t want to lift – much less lift heavy.  Yup, old and weird. I’m sure many have no idea why I’m doing this thing.

But when I lift, I don’t feel old.  There is something about training that makes everything else go away.  I’m calm.  I’m focused.  I feel like I’m in my element.  A fish in water.  I feel like that in my classroom, too.   It’s everyplace else where I feel like I just don’t quite fit in.  And maybe that’s a good thing.  Mostly that’s a good thing, I guess.  Just have these days…and they aren’t always birthdays.


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11 responses to “I’m 54 Years Old Today

  1. Lynda

    Happy birthday. I can absolutely relate to your post. Don’t worry there are a few of us oldies out there still training like 20 year olds. Recovery, well some days are better than others lol. The hardest thing is well meaning friends who try and talk me into a gentler fitness routine but I think I’ve found the fountain of youth in more ways than one. Keep doing what your doing, more women our age need to lift some heavy weights and surprise themselves.

  2. Happy Birthday! Congratulations on finding something you love to do and inspiring others. As C.S. Lewis reminds us, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Have a wonderful day.

  3. Happy Birthday!! I love your post & feel comfort in fact that others my age love to push ourselves to new levels Enjoy your day

  4. Great post! As a teacher and athlete who’ll be turning fifty in May, I find your blog and FB posts to be so inspiring. Knowing you’re out there doing what you do makes me feel less alone in my pursuit of building muscle in the gym and participating in contact (roller derby) and “extreme” (aggressive skate park skating) sports at an age when most are settling down. Happy Birthday, hope your day is awesome!

  5. Happy Birthday! I first heard you on the Half Size Me podcast. A few days later my (24 year old) trainer at the gym showed me your picture and said: have you heard of this woman? Yes!! I am 55 years old and lost 48 pounds in the last 14 months. I still have a long way to go. You are so inspiring! I have a blog, too (who doesn’t?) about losing weight and having a better life in my 50s in case you want to take a peak. Take care

  6. Thank you. Age has a way of causing us to focus. All the feelings and thoughts you shared I have had and more often than I would like.

    Happy Birthday and long healthy life to you.

    Sent from my iPhone


  7. Happy Birthday!!!! Girl you are soooooo freaking inspiring to me! I am 57 and would never have the guts to compete! I love love following you! you are killing it!

  8. Linda

    Great reading! I feel you. I’m 53, lifting heavy & boxing with people young enough to be my children, even my grandchildren ! But I shine in the gym. A fish in water. My Mother, also passed, made each child,6, & each grandchild s pink heart shaped cake on Valentine’s , and she delivered them to our house. Thanks for sharing, & Happy Birthday & Happy Lifting !

  9. Tina

    Thank you for being so honest in sharing these feelings. I’ve been following you on Instagram for awhile because I’m SO inspired, not only by your accomplishments, but by your mindset. I turned 59 last December (which means the dreaded “six-oh” is just around the corner) and have promised myself that this is the year to focus on myself. So far I’ve been all intention and no follow-through… still obese, tired, and dragging along this wet blanket of a feeling that my life has “peaked” and it’s all downhill from here, trapped in inertia. Its hopeful for me to read that you feel young when you train…my son is a trainer and promises it’s never too late. You are living proof of this. You inspire me and give me hope….especially after reading this post. I know it’s your birthday, but it’s I that received a gift from you today. Happy Valentine Birthday to one badass mentor, to kids and granny’s alike!!!❤️

  10. Regina McAlister

    I will be 55 in July. July of 2015 I joined a gym and was determined to do something for me. So I read and follow some programs on bodybuilding.com. I have thought about trying to hire a trainer but can get lost in the process of it all. Reading your article is assuring to know I’m not alone in doing this. But I want more out of my body than what it is showing. Which it is a process slow and sure.

  11. Happy Birthday! Just think on these things: Many of those who are decades younger than you now won’t be doing what you’re doing when they are your age. There are so many bodybuilders of old who are on the way down as they age. The way I see it, you are just getting better with time.

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