Golden Gate Half Marathon. 2018.
This last weekend, my last races at age 51.
On my 52 birthday it will close out 30 years of triathlon racing which led me to fall more and more in love with running racing, all kinds of running races and a marginal but consistent geek interest in running shoes.
22 was a pivotal and emotionally charged time.
Engaged to be married. The wedding was broken off seven months out from the date booked, after the engagement party was had and the house on the beachside down the south coast was purchased together.
He had been seeing someone else while we were engaged, it's a long story but more than anything I was shocked at my naivety, at my lack of maturity, that I had nearly totally and completely signed up for something without even knowing him well but in all honesty who am I? I did not really know.
For many months in the last year of our impending doom I had been happily and cheerfully following him around while he did his triathlon training.
I swam with him.
I ran with him, one night I beat him back to his parents house because I got bored with the slow pace and felt like going faster. He was mad, his mum loved it. She was nice. very nice to me as was his father very loving and nice to me too.
My bike was a red bike, I had saved up for myself at 16 but not good for triathlon and yet still very loved.
So it was over.
What do I do now? I am not getting married, I hate this stupid conservative job I took, why do I have a perm?
We sat in the car and he handed me a check for my part of the house because I just wanted it all to go away and be free.
Handed him the rings, bye rings.
My friends were set on a seven week trip to Europe and urged me to join them.
But I said no, and stared at the check.
I bought a car.
A brand new gorgeous triathlon bike and traded in the red bike at the same time and the guy that sold me the bike took good care of me, he knew this was a game changer.
Bought some new running shoes, real fast ones.
My old boss Phillip rang me and asked if I was interested in going to look at a job running a telemarketing office in sunny Queensland.
So I drove up with a friend to meet the other partner, another Phillip. LOL
We got on, he showed me the ropes and my new office in the centre of Surfers Paradise. We shook hands and I took the job then drove all the way back to Sydney to tell my parents.
Gave away things from my big bedroom at home, packed up my new Holden Barina Hatchback with my bike, my clothes and running shoes, my mum and dad waved me off in the driveway. Bye mum, bye dad, I love you. Bye red brick house.
Thirty years later a lot of chapters have happened in between during the last thirty years.
But I can say even though I am still digging around with, who am I?
I feel like me.
When you turn 50 it is sort of great, weird, wonderful and confronting. Everyone makes a big deal about 50. In Nov 2016 that number clocked up for me. Now at July 2107 I am getting my groove on, getting a good handle on the number. And ignoring it.
It's about attitude, age is about the "tude"
Labels are easy to let stick on you. Peel them off.
On Tuesday July 4th I fronted for The Kenwood Footrace, wanted a good hard workout and to see how my base speed, strength and power was coming along as I build the 10% miles up each week and charge towards later year goals.
Fifty is pretty good, different to what I expected when I was 21. Far more interesting and fun.
My wheels are on, and it's full steam ahead. Fifty is not the new thirty and all that rubbish.
I was thirty, now I am fifty.
And I own it, and love it.