Recently in some good natured joking around with a friend about how he was “gettin’ old” and he needed to work out more, my friend made the comment that I worked out so much because I was afraid of getting old. Although this certainly didn’t offend me because it had no malice just like my comment about about him getting old, it did give me pause. Being the over-analyzer that I am, I started to think about it. Am I afraid of getting old?
Of course, what I’m really asking myself is if my subconscious if afraid of getting old, because my conscious self tells me everyday that I look and feel like I’m 18 years old and can do anything. HA! So, is my subconscious secretly sending me towards these athletic hurdles because I am afraid of aging? Well, after hours of thought and self reflection… maybe a little.
Let’s face it none of us want to accept what aging eventually brings, no longer being able to do the things we love and there’s also this bit about dying and having to leave the people we love. We’ve all seen that one person who is of a similar age and thought, “Whoa! At least I am (fill in the blank) than them.” But that thought really isn’t about the other person. Aren’t we really realizing what we are proud of ourselves for? It’s so easy to get bogged down in self-disappointment so your subconscious reminds you that you are doing well at something. You’re telling yourself, “Hey, I do take good care of myself in this area.” I have realized that those judging thoughts, are really projecting something about me onto another person and have no place outside of my mind.
So, I am a bit afraid of aging. Now what? While I know the fear is normal, I think my self conscious is doing a bang up job of helping me to deal with it. It gives me constructive things to do with that fear rather than tearing down those surrounding me. It has encouraged me to go out and do things I’ve never done before, to encourage my friends to do the same, to keep my body running well and to keep it as healthy as I have control over. And, to have fun in each and every moment because I’m a little afraid of them slipping away. As a fantastic fellow champion, Gary Newell, likes to say, “Age is an an excuse, not a reason.”