Every year is a big deal. I feel strong and capable as I hike into the hills behind my handmade house. I feel quick and responsive when I climb into the saddle of my "mongrel" bicycle, a hybrid that does everything well and without complaint and I still bounce up stairs when pursuing an idea or project like putting in a new bathroom sink, (which I did yesterday).
Over forty years ago when I took up a lifestyle that excluded red meat, sodas and fold-over fruit pies...and included regular cardio-vascular self-propelled activities such as swimming, hiking and bicycling, I had hoped that I would live well into my sixties, maintaining a vibrance, a sense of humor and a level of energetic enthusiasm that would be envied by those half my age....I couldn't have foreseen how thoroughly today's "thirty-somethings" would have neglected their health by being couch potatoes, gamers and whiners (especially when presented with exercise opportunities...like walking to the store to buy their cigarettes).
What, me critical? No, I'm wildly appreciative of the good fortune I've had...a wonderful relationship with the eighteen year-old that I shacked up with nearly four decades ago, one very healthy child who has grown to be an enthusiastic vessel of unique ideas and humor, a degree of luck that has kept me and my loved ones (mostly) out of harm's way, a perspective that see's most cups in front of me as being half full, not half empty.
So, how could I have known, all those years ago, when I first heard the Beatles song...When I'm Sixty-Four...that I would show-up at this ripe age feeling like I could go out an run a 10K or ride a 100K with the most active of my relatives and associates....all of who are much younger. I don't want to jinx this great run I'm having but, I'm also not too worried...having made some great choices in those early years "has made all of the difference." (Thank you, Robert Frost)