To me, the alleged compliment, “aging gracefully,” sounds so woefully outdated that I cringe every time I hear it – it’s like saying, “forget about your dreams, your purpose here on Earth is now positively correlated to your night cream’s effectiveness. Hope in a Jar, I always hated that name. It’s such an old-fashioned and sexist concept, this idea of a woman living out her middle age years and beyond with some sort of passive resignation – hanging up her goals while trying to hang onto her looks. I realize that most of the time, the term “aging gracefully” is bestowed to women who are embracing their natural beauty over a plastic surgery-enhanced appearance. Well, how wonderful (insert sarcasm); however, isn’t the focus still on the exterior image and recapturing youth?
Before any guy who reads this blog gets his boxers in a bunch, the sexism around “aging gracefully” is almost exclusively self-inflicted and further perpetuated by women. You don’t hear of some middle aged man deciding he’s too old to wear his bathing suit to the beach or arm wrestle with his juniors. I’ve never overheard two old guys gossiping about “how good” another man looks for his advancing age – they’re just one upping each other with the profit of deals inked, the size of fish caught, golf handicaps dropped or some other measure of manliness. For the most part, the men I know have audacious goals and are always moving forward despite beer bellies, balding heads and furry ears.
I think it’s time we women start focusing less on aging gracefully and instead just live all our years left to the best of our abilities – and let passion trump polish! You are never too old to keep pursing a life dream or set the bar higher on what drives you now — women like Dara Torres and Julia Child stand out in my mind. Dara Torres for sticking with her passion as a world class swimmer long after colleagues had turned in their goggles – extra Olympic gold in the process!
And, Julia Child for finding her passion later in life – she didn’t even enter culinary school until age 36 and then later wrote the iconic Mastering the Art of French Cooking which ended up as a syndicated television show she hosted well into her later years.
“Find something you are passionate about and stay tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child
So, I’m off my soap box now and want to let everyone know about Prevention magazine’s Love Your Age Day on October 1st. Like me, the folks here want you to actually start living life rather than worrying about how many candles are on the cake. Prevention magazine has a lot of great content on this topic in the October issue and is kicking it off with a #LoveYourAge celebration on Instagram or Twitter . Please join me in posting a picture that shows how you love your age – don’t forget to hashtag it #LoveYourAge and also #TheFitFork if you have room so I can find the awesomeness of my readers!
I have so many reasons to love my age, but today I’ll share the fitness reasons that (surprise) have nothing to do with running. First, a biggie for me this year was finally getting my muscle up in CrossFit. It took me TWO YEARS of practicing but I was not going to give up! Also, I haven’t been able to do a backbend in TWO DECADES and recently got it back this year (ha- a pun), so this will be the #LoveMyAge pic I’m going to post:
Prevention will also be hosting a Love Your Age panel featuring the amazing Andie MacDowell at the R3 Summit in Austin, Texas on October 16th and 17th. The entire R3 Summit is about how you can refresh, revive and reinvent yourself at any age – other topics and the health and wellness conference include beauty, happiness, health, healthy epicurean, mind and body, and peak performance (the founder of barre3, along with others, will be on site leading workouts).
If you are interested in attending (I went last year and it was AWESOME), Prevention has a special offer for my readers! Enter code R3VIB at checkout for $20 off your R3Summit ticket. Also keep up with announcements and other happenings on social media with #R3Summit. Wear your workout gear and I will see you there!
What accomplishment are you most proud of this year? How do you #LoveYourAge ?
This post is sponsored by Prevention magazine, I received passes to the conference and other goods in exchange for promotion. However, all opinions and commentary are my own.