Coming To Terms With a New Rite of Passage

I went to the gym today. No, I didn’t go to the gym to run on the treadmill. I’m still not embracing winter, or running on the treadmill. Today, I did strength training to help with my 70 day pull up challenge.

Update: I still can’t do a pull-up.

While at the gym, I took the time to look around me. It struck me like a ton of bricks: I was the only individual below my -ahem- 30’s sporting underwear lines. And they were distinctly delineated over my spandex. Since the introduction of thong underwear, I’ve always associated underwear lines as an 80’s thing. Which really translates to “out of style.” This moment led to the acceptance of a rite of passage we all must traverse: aging.

In middle school, my friends and I called each other Golden Girls. I was Dorothy.

In middle school, my friends and I called each other Golden Girls. I was Dorothy.

Yes, I understand that age is nothing but a number and that you are only as old as you feel, but you don’t hear teens and people in their twenties exclaiming the insignificance of turning 16 or 21. The physical evidence further supports the metamorphosis I’m currently experiencing. Where I was once able to run five times a week with little pain and scoff at the idea of rest days, sore muscles now force me to park my exercise routines for a day or two in order so my muscles have time to recuperate. Joints that I took for granted now creak to make their existence known. I’ve also done a complete 180 on weight training, so much so that I now prefer a workout with weights over one with just cardio. It’s good for the bones and muscles. That thought would have NEVER crossed my mind a few years ago.

Aside from the physical signs of aging, there’s the social-cultural signs of aging. It is the social-cultural sign where something that once played an influential role during a specific time in your life no longer means anything to you. For example, MTV was once a staple of my adolescent life (especially when they actually played music videos), but now, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what channel it’s on, what music videos they play, and what umpteenth season of the Real World they may be filming. Episodes of Full House (I thought Stephanie was cuter than Michelle), New Kids on the Block songs, and Garbage Pail Kids remind me of my “good ole days.” Come to think of it, adolescence really bites, so maybe they just remind me of days when I was actually young and never for a second thought about anti-aging creams or osteoporosis.

I watched this show religiously.

I watched this show religiously.

Finally, there’s the technological sign of aging. Here’s my take on that:

1) A tweet is an onomatopoeia.

2) Getting up twerk on Mondays is horrendous.

3) Updated post means the kitchen chair is no longer broken.

4) Babies touch screen, windows, dirt, and anything their little fingers can reach.

5) Legos have wireless connections.

6) Telegrams are vintage instagrams.

7) An application of Vicks Vaporub on the the chest will help you breathe easier when congested.

8) Silverware is fancier than hardware and more durable than software.

9) The World Wide Web serves as a good example of alliteration.

10) You ipad, I etch-a-sketch.

Etch A Sketch

I guess there’s a trade-off to aging. You are confident enough to sport underwear lines at the gym and not give a hoot about keeping up with the latest trend. You are no longer easily influenced by pop artists who eventually go out of style. You have a greater sense of identity based on experiences as opposed to what others think or say. And that rotary phone that has been replaced by smartphones will one day sell for millions on the Antiques Roadshow. So here’s to the rite of passing of aging.

How are you dealing with aging? Are you fighting it like Joan Rivers or savoring it like a judge on Iron Chef America?

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