Older yes, but bolder than dirt

Technically, dirt is 3.9 billion years old. However, the dirt that is in your backyard has only been around for about 2 million years; a mere babe in the grand scheme of things, huh?

August 10th is my birthday and even though it’s not a milestone birthday it’s knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door…:). I only mention this, because now it’s to the point the remaining milestone birthdays are not as cool to bring attention to anymore.

No need to divulge which milestone, but I definitely know what a rotary dial phone is.

The reason I use this analogy as the topic of my post is because my nephew just turned 15 and we were sitting around the table at his party talking about the upcoming birthdays in the family, and of course the inevitable how old are you going to be was directed at me. When I mentioned my age the inevitable dirt reference was made. Therefore, I Googled how old dirt was just to make sure I can speak from authority.

Because if it’s on the internet it has to be true; right?

Birthday’s are cool

I like birthdays. Out of all my milestone birthdays with the exception of the 20th, they all have been memorable. I was in the Army on my two-O and whatever I did to celebrate it, I don’t recall it being special. In fact, if I recall anything it was being deeply entrenched in the woods on a 28 day training exercise. The highlight of the entire trip was being able to clean up by jumping in a river on our next to last night out there. Other than my fatigues, I threw all my other clothes in the trash when we returned to base.

As an aside, whereas it might look like camping, in the military there are no camp fires, no booze, and no fun because you are playing pretend war the whole time. Serving was probably the best thing for me at that point in my life, but it also strongly enforced considering other career choices might be a good thing for me.

You’ll never get rich digging a ditch, you’re in the Army now…

Anyway, being the self aware guy that I am, my wife has totally surprised me on every milestone birthday since then. I mean every single one caught me totally by surprise. She has a year to work on the next one, but I will be ok if if it doesn’t garner any undo attention.

But age is only a number

Physically, I was a late bloomer but have always been somewhat athletic. To me, it seemed I was always about 2-3 years behind my age group where I needed to be physically to compete on real teams. So hence the frustrated athlete still trying to show I’ve got what it takes.

Of course, the older I get the better I was, huh? Maybe if I wanted it bad enough I would have put more time into it.

Anyway, I mention this because to this day most of my activities involve play. For about 15 years you could catch me at the YMCA playing basketball during lunch; after two knee surgeries I moved on to running to stay closer to the ground. Also during this entire time I was playing adult softball, tennis and golf.

The point being, fitness and fun have always been a part of my life and for being older than dirt, I feel like I am still in pretty good shape.

My new girlfriend

My Scott mountain bike of course.

Even though it was love at first site I can share she hasn’t been the best of girlfriends. I try to treat her like a queen and with respect, but sometimes she just gets ornery and becomes difficult at times. This certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with the operator, it’s strictly her temperament.

I have actually become a pretty decent rider (in my own humble opinion) but the last two weekends she has been a bucking bronco and thrown me to the ground twice; hard. I’ve got more scabs, dings and nicks than a goofy 8-yr old riding a bad bike with a loose chain on a bumpy gravel road being chased by an angry dog.

Whereas it used to be cool to share my biking adventures on Facebook I am now reluctant to do so. My wife sees everything I share and she is quick to point out how dangerous my hobby is and somebody of my age doesn’t need to be doing foolish things on a silly bicycle.

Personally, I think she’s jealous and wants me to break up w/ my girlfriend.

Can you be too old to mountain bike? I think I’m still athletic and coordinated enough to be a skillful rider but given the terrain there is always bound to be some bumps and bruises, right? I might not be a pretty site on the beach with band-aids and scabs, but I’m long past the days those kind of looks really matter. I have lost 10 lbs since I have been riding though.

What do you think? Is there a point where your participation in an inherently hazardous sport preclude you from participating solely because or your age?

I don’t know if you have seen the #8Fact app, but one fact says research concludes doing things that scare you will make you happier. Yes, some of the trail riding scares the beejesus out of me but also comforted I have the skill set to accept the challenge. And I have even been given the moniker of Mr Happy, so maybe it’s true.

My biggest fear?

If I grow up, then I really will grow old…and that’s the truth.

How about you; are you out there doing things at your age your parents would have never done?

Life is short, don’t be afraid to live it large.


20 thoughts on “Older yes, but bolder than dirt

  1. Never grow up: keep that wonderful childlike wonder, and of course…don’t break up with that girlfriend of yours:) Now I think we should take a poll on what birthday/age we think this Sunday will bring you. Winner gets a rotary dial phone:) Cheers! Kaarina

  2. Well Happy Birthday in the coming days and though I’m younger than you, I certainly understand the struggles that come with aging…but I might add, we come from a long line of “living life to the fullest” family, so just keep on livin’! Btw, you are quite the blogger aren’t you 🙂

  3. Hi Bill, I’m right there with you. Racquetball takes a toll on the body and I know I won’t be able to do it forever. The day I have to hang up my racquet will be a very sad day indeed. I know that day is coming but the longer I can postpone it the better…

    Happy birthday in advance, Bill. I like that you celebrate by giving us a present, another wonderful article!

    • How many other women play in your group. I know of the morning crowd at our YMCA and I haven’t seen any women join in yet. I can tell it’s quite the workout however.

      With biking, you can always back off if you need to. It’s just the more comfortable I get on the trails the more I want to try…:).

    • Good idea….she used to read it all the time but I’m not even sure if she knows I’m still blogging. I have been writing most of my posts away from the house and I’m not scrambling to keep up with everybody like I used to so she doesn’t see me on the computer all the time doing that.

      I actually passed up on some photos recently; they would have been pretty good…:). It was like a mini-car wreck, it beat the mud out of me.

  4. Like Carolyn said, pictures of your bike would be aweome Bill. Reading your post, I’m thinking I need to get out more. I’m getting older as well, and even though I’m out there riding my bike in my thoughts, I’m actually more inside than I’ve been for years.

    Happy birthday in advance.

    • Thanks sir; I would think you should have some great bike trails around your place. Mountain biking is definitely a sport that if it doesn’t kill you first it will certainly make you stronger…:).

  5. Bill – We are NEVER Too old if we keep on doing things we love and trying new things. I got back to jogging this year and riding a motorcycle. (and I had a big b’day in Feb)….It’s just a # only. I have to get my mountain bike tires changed, that’s been a while 🙂 Happy pre-birthday!

    • Absolutely; and my wife should be glad the motorcycle wasn’t my new hobby…:).

      Age is certainly only a number and I have a good friend who turned 70 earlier this year and he is active as can be; as long as he can do what he does, he’s my role model.

      Hope all is well; good to see you.

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