My daughter asked me: “Mama, how old are you again?” I replied with my age. Then, she gazed back at me with a half-amused, half-shocked expression and exclaimed “You’re even older than my school!” (which is celebrating their 35th year.) Great. I am now older than concrete structures that seemed like they’ve been there before my Lolo was born.
Earlier this week, I was invited to an Olay Regenerist event at Tessa Valdes’ home. As soon as I arrived, a dashing young male model/usher (hence I couldn’t say no!) led me to the Visia computer which, upon placing my chin into a tiny little dome with an 18 megapixel camera, snapped close up images of my face, fed the info into a computer, and analyzed the condition of my skin.
I always thought my main problem was dryness and over exposure to the sun because of running, swimming, and biking. The good news was that my skin had proper moisture, it was well protected by my sunblock (Neutrogena 100SPF), and pores were good too. Now for the bad news. And this was baaaaad. I had wrinkles! Huwat? Me? Wrinkles?! Apparently, they’re all over my forehead and around my eyes. My next thought: Thank God my camera only has 12mp!
Sigh. I’m getting old. On top of those invisible wrinkles, I feel those flabs in the arms flapping away whenever I do a Ms. Universe wave (good thing I don’t try that stunt too often) and I need to have my white hair dyed every other month. It would be easy for me to spend an entire day sulking about this while bingeing on comfort food (Cheetos and Mountain Dew Slurpee please!), but I’ll surely end up feeling bloated and even more depressed after.
The thing is, when I lace up my shoes, head out the door, and run my vanity issues away, there’s only one thing that happens: They disappear. There’s something about feeling how strong or fast I can go that reminds me about the power I have as a woman with a rich history to draw motivation from. With each foot stomping hard on the ground, I think more about how far I can go with my own two feet. It’s all me. The older, wiser, stronger me—with all my wrinkles, age spots, and flab—that can choose to go longer, farther, faster than I did yesterday.
I started running at the late age of 30, ran my first marathon at 33, and I’ll run my 8th this coming September 30. The long term plan is to run one or two marathons a year for the rest of my life. Oh, I also have a not-so-secret dream of qualifying for Boston Marathon with a sub-4 when I hit 50 years old.
Aaah running, it’s a sport that I can definitely grow old with and I’m looking forward to our many more years of blissfulness together…with or without those wrinkles.