You Are as Old as You Think You Are

I turned 52 last week and I am not sure how to be 52. I know how to be 30 and was pretty comfortable being 40, but not sure if I have all the characteristics down of being 52. I still like to drive fast, I still like lifting weights and still cut my hair weird to be different. Sometimes my body reminds me of my age though.

For twenty years during Thanksgiving Week I would sponsor Turkey Bowl, a hard touch football game. I would ask my friends of similar age to join me and rarely did they accept my invitation. They usually said things like, “Dude, you are too old for that kind of stuff, you’re going to get hurt.” The average age of the other players was always twenty years my junior. Two years ago while playing quarterback I was sacked by a 28 year old who was 6’2″ and about 215lbs. I hit the frozen tundra so hard that I felt the life flow out of me. I felt like I was in a major car accident. I laid there for what seemed like six hours, in reality about three minutes, before my brain would function again. I figured at 50 years of age that would be a nice number to stop playing in turkey bowls.

My mom had the same problem, she didn’t know how to be old. I remember her coming to play bingo at an Aegis Living community when she was 80. She was still mentally alert and active. When I asked her how she enjoyed the day, she responded by saying, “I had to help the old ladies, they couldn’t keep up with the caller like I can.” About half the people she was with that day were younger then she was.

Mickey Mantle once said, “If I knew I’d live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”  I think we let society and a number dictate our actions too often. We should just live like we always have.

I like what baseball player Satchel Paige used to say, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”

Turkey Bowl at 53, well maybe?

One Comment

  1. Jump Start Jim
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Love the question: "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"

    First heard that about 20 years ago, and mentally I'm ready to play linebacker against the college kids…but my 45 year old body reminds me that no matter how much I think I can…sometimes the body yells stop it!

    My father was like your mom, always moving and still trying to put roofs on at 70 years of age. I expect to be teaching others how to sell and market until the day I die, and actually, with my soon to be finished books and seminars…I hope for many years after.

    If you want, I'll fly up from Vegas and block for your blindside!

    Thanks for the post.

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