I loved this conversation I had with my mom while visiting back home over the holidays. My mom will be 80 in March. She doesn't think she's old, she doesn't talk like she's old, she doesn't laugh like she's old, she doesn't sing like she's old. The woman is in denial. And that's a wonderful way to live, I think. Case in point...
Me: Mom, I saw you have a sample of that "Age Defy" shampoo in the bathroom. I got some, and it's great!
Mom: Oh! The black sample pack?
Me: Yes. You should try it!
Mom: What's the "age defy" for?
Me: (Being sarcastic) Old hair.
Mom: (Being completely candid). Oh, well, I'll try it, but I don't have any old hair. I got a great trim at David's Salon last week.
My point. This woman is in her eighth decade and she doesn't think she has any old hair! I love it! So, in keeping with the "If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make any noise"-philosophy. If I don't think I'm old, will I not BE old? I think so. And I believe science backs me up.
Let's all decide this month that we don't have old parts, old skin, old legs, old wrinkles, old thinking, old worries...or old hair. I think it works!
Here we are in a new year, and I am again struck by how quickly the time passes when you have kids at home and a busy life spinning in your head. The 2016 outdoor spring track & field season will be here before I know it and building on 2015 successes, (and a new coach, more about that later) it should be a great year.
In 2015, I became a "national champion" for the first time ever, at age 55, and I passed my USATF Level 1 coaching certification. I'm not sure how I'll use it yet, but I am now a certified track & field coach. Frankly, it was a tough thing to "go back to school" and then study for, and pass, a 150-question test. But, there's a goal completed. Boom.
But enough about 2015. Now to plan for the year ahead. I truly believe the older you get, the better you get. And, I am a planner and an organizer (Hello, excel spreadsheets!). But, with a fascination for anything historical, a B.A. in art history and a genealogist for a mom, I can't help but enjoy looking back. What happened before? How did it contribute to how we are now as a person, a family, a city, a country? There's so much to learn when you reflect, but, I do know in my heart that too much looking back can't be helpful. One can get stuck, churning with shoulda-couldas. Have you ever met those types of people? I WILL myself to learn from experiences, add the corrections to my navigational chart for life and then turn on my heel and move forward. It's a little out of my comfort zone, but so is jumping backwards, over a bar, at full bore.
Actually, I had two pictures from a recent track workout to add to this blog. Me running ahead (above), or running back, and I chose the running ahead to push me to do exactly that. Look ahead. Keep moving, don't look back, open the curtain and step through.
Julia Curran-Villarreal is a three-time USA W55 national masters high jump champion. After a 35-year break from her favorite high school sport of track & field, Julia returned to competition in 2013 at the age of 53. Follow her journey on @juliajumping on Instagram and @juliacurran on Twitter.