Does Life Really Begin at Forty?

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Does Life Really Begin at Forty?
(Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

No doubt you have all heard the saying, “Life begins at forty.”

Perhaps, like me, you have often wondered what bit of insanity inspired that statement.

Later next month, I am slated to take a physical test for a job for which I recently applied.

Having just turned 50-years old a couple of months ago, I have discovered, to my great dismay, that I am no longer a spring chicken.

This is certainly not a new revelation to me, but now I have other parts of my body screaming this same, painful bit of information to me as well.

The physical qualifications for this position require a prescribed number of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5-mile run in a specified length of time.

Fortunately, the minimum physical requirements for the job are somewhat altered by the age of the subject. Therefore, I do not have to beat people half my age, but I must beat the clock.

However, I know exactly what I must do to pass.

Currently, I am not too far off of meeting the requirements. But I am still not there yet.

Yet those who know me well know that I am extremely competitive by nature. In addition, they also know that I will never be satisfied with just meeting the minimum qualification for a man my age.

I want to do better that that—perhaps meeting the requirements for a 40-year old.

As a person who has run and completed several half-marathons, the distance would not normally be a problem for me. However, I have not run in about 4 years due to a condition known as plantar fasciitis.

Wikipedia says that:

Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition of the foot caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia or plantar aponeurosis that supports the arches of the foot or by biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation. The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. It is commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing or sudden changes in weight bearing or activity. Jobs that require a lot of walking on hard surfaces, shoes with little or no arch support, a sudden increase in weight and over activity are also associated with the condition.

Although plantar fasciitis is a condition associated with the foot, it can also be a real pain in the neck!

I haven’t had any real trouble with my heel in quite some time, but since I started running, I am beginning to feel a feel a tinge of pain in my heel and/or the arch of my foot. And I fear that this might just be the beginning, again.

For a 50-year old man, I am rather proud of the fact that I am not in bad shape.

Increasingly, however, I am noticing that it is much easier to stay in shape than it is to get back into shape. And the longer you remain out of shape, the harder it is to get back in!

And with each passing day, I am feeling better than the day before.

But as I ran on the treadmill today and labored with breathing that used to be easy for me, I longed for the days when I was 40-years old, the days when I completed the Parkersburg Half-Marathon, averaging a 7:31-pace for each mile of the race.

 So, I have increasingly thought about the statement, “Life begins at forty.”

And thinking about the statement, I have reached a conclusion.

The statement must have originally been made by a 20-year old, who obviously didn’t know any better, or an 80-year old, who longed for those glorious days of yesteryear.

Life begins at forty—what a moron!

I’d love to say much more about the subject right now, but I gotta’ run!

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