Friday, July 2, 2010

Aging & Bravery

(Toby is showing off his beautiful "fresh" teeth. He is only 9 months old and they are very pointy and sparkly.  He wants you to know that he is not adverse to using them on you if you continue to hold yourself back in any way from your Life's Big Adventure.  He's just sayin'...)

If I let myself, as I have mentioned briefly before, I could get all caught up in a tangle of "what if's" and "why not sooner's" and "what the f'ck's" when it comes to my return to dance last year at the age of 40.

I could, but I am not going to.

First of all, there simply is no point in playing that kind of game.  It only leads to despair.

Second, I truly believe there are reasons that things happen the way that they do, and there are so many reasons that I didn't stay in dance from a young age but rather got back to it now.

Though I would never have imagined this for myself, I am happier, healthier, stronger, fitter, more graceful, more creative, more flexible than at any other time in my life.  Any. Other. Time.

And I am still improving.  I am still only about six months into any kind of serious fitness.  What could the next six months hold?  Only I can control that.

Yes.  It is up to me.

Yesterday, for example, as I was teaching, I could feel a weird little twinge in my left ankle.  When I was younger, I would have just ignored this and eventually hurt myself, but as I am wiser (by a wee bit...), I paid attention and adjusted for the ankle's sake.  I do not want any serious "down" time.

I have too much to do -- workshops to develop, choreography to experiment with, trainings to attend.

There is no delusion in this:  I am making a brand new life for myself and it is centered completely in dance and movement work.  I would never have been brave enough to do this at a younger age.

Which brings me to my point:  The thing that has developed the most during this process has been my bravery, my utter willingness to put myself on the line and take risks...risks that lead to adventure and a kind of bliss I never knew before.

As Dara Torres says in the title of her memoir, Age is Just a Number, and she should know -- winning Olympic swimming medals in her 40's.

She is my new hero, that's for sure.

Here's the thing I want to know from you all:  What have you accomplished or dared to do after the age of 35 or 40 or 55 or 70 that you would never have thought possible before?  What has Aging done for you?

(Feel free to leave a comment about this, to email me, or to leave a link in the comments to a post you write about it yourself.)


Torrie said...

Yes yes! I'm going thru a similar thing. At age 37 finally directing my first music video which I've wanted to do since age 13. I write about dealing with the fears here:

Linda-Sama said...

got certified as a yoga teacher at 48.

traveled to India, alone, at the age of 51 to study yoga and have returned every year since. alone.

attended the Kumbh Mela, the largest spiritual gathering in the world, with millions of people, this year, age 55, and bathed in the Ganges.

life just keeps getting better. and if I die regrets.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Torrie -- Awesome. I look forward to reading about your journey.

Linda -- You KNOW I was thinking of YOU while I wrote all of this. :)

Heather Plett said...

I got my nose pierced and then went sky-diving for my 40th birthday. It opened up a whole new level of bravery for me. Each year I try a few more brave things that I never would have had the guts to do at 20. So far, I'd say the 40s has been my best decade.

Linda-Sama said...

@christine -- ;)

oh yeah, I forgot....still getting tattooed!!

love the kitty yawn...they are so funny when they do that...channeling their inner lion(ess)

Tess said...

I've loved getting older (coming up for 57 in September). There's a greater sense of freedom, less concern about what others think - which was always a biggie for me.

There's very little I feel I couldn't do because of my age, and those are things I'm not interested in anyway (winning Wimbledon, becoming a famous pianist...)

I was reading about hula hooping earlier today - I had no idea there's this whole subculture, so I'm going to have a go at that soon.

I have to say I'd be seriously pissed off if I got killed tomorrow because I'm just loving life so much.

Yarrow said...

Hi Christine. I lurk on your blog occasionally, and I just have to tell you that I love these last two posts. Way to go! I am turning 42 in a couple of weeks. The last few years have been amazing! I began living for myself, as myself, instead of as who others thought I should be. I am back in college getting my degree, and doing what I love. I began yoga when I turned 40 and it has changedmy life. I recently began eating vegan and again, it has changed my life. Thanks for the posts and the link to the body image warriors. Blessings on your life journey.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Tess! that last line totally cracked me up. And the hula hoop subculture -- super FUN! :)

Carolynn said...

I took Swinging Trapeze lessons in my mid-40's. Hard. As. H**l. And so much fun! I loved it.

Lots of other things too, but that was the most outside of my box.


Tangerine Meg said...

I started going to circus training at the age of 37. Still loving it at 45! This is not for the most part relearning something I could do as a child, it's mostly new to me. I am pretty sure there is a blog post in there for me too :)

Tangerine Meg said...

Hi there! Me back again.

I finally wrote my blog post touching on the same theme. It's at:

Take care and thanks for the inspiration and company x o