Oldest One in the Room
“What’s it like? To be the oldest person here?”, she asked.
Let me punch you in the throat, I think to myself when I look at her because it probably feels the same.
This question was posed to me last summer when I attended (as a participant) a fitness class – where, as you guessed it, I was the oldest one there.
It was the first time, in my 50 years on this planet, where I was the oldest person in the room. And I know this for a fact because I asked the one guy who I thought was at least my age or a few years older, and it turned out that he’s actually five years younger than me. I wish I could say I was also the wisest one there… but I will never be that, in any room, at any time, no matter what my age is.
But in this room, on this particular day, I was the oldest and I was surrounded by people who wouldn’t be able to sing the chorus of “2 Legit to 2 Quit” with me (and do the awesome hand moves to accompany said rhyme). They also probably never heard of Jack Palance let alone have seen his one-arm push-up feat on the Oscars – at age 73. And, this group would never get my jokes about dialling up for the internet either (When I was your age the internet went “Skaweeerurweeert”😆.).
I was also in a room where I wasn’t the fastest.
And this was an eye-opener for me.
You see, in the past, I’ve been accused of being competitive. I don’t think I am, I just prefer the view from the front of the pack that’s all, but here I was at mid-pack and sometimes at the back of the pack with my inside voice cheering my 50-year old ass on (which oddly enough sounds like Morgan Freeman).
Now, where younger-PJ would have just about killed herself to be the fastest, 50-year old PJ, well… she didn’t care.
This amazed me. This sense of “who gives a f*ck” as people were passing me. This was so unlike me.
Could this mean that I was evolving? Was I getting, dare I type it, more carefree with age?
LH says “thank God” that we are less inclined to keep up with those who are younger than us. He says life goes too fast and we need to slow down.
When I point out that that is so “cliche”, he says there’s a reason it’s a cliche, it’s because LIFE DOES GO TOO FAST (his voice always goes up an octave when he has a point to be made). And now as we get older, he continues to tell me, we can finally get off the treadmill – he always uses fitness equipment metaphors with me because he knows that’s how you can hold my attention.
I think I agree with him… to a degree.
While I am totally a-okay with slowing down, I am not going to get off the treadmill entirely. Sure, I’ll bring the speed down a notch – but I’ll also add some incline to make up for the lost speed – because that’s how I roll.
And if you’re wondering how I responded to the sweet twenty-something-year-old asking me how I felt about being the oldest in the room. Well, I kept it violence-free and smiled and told her that I could still kick her ass.
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