It’s not all being past your prime and over the hill. Age can bring with it a newfound acceptance of your body, a celebration of what it has achieved – or survived, and a deeper appreciation of working out and what it can do for you.
A recent fitness tweet entitled ‘Reason to Exercise’, presumably aimed at motivating young women, included, be one of the hot girls, get the good looking guy and make other girls jealous. The great thing about getting older is you remember these sentiments, but no longer feel them. You chuckle at how ridiculous they are and even feel sympathy for your younger ‘sisters’ who still inhabit this fickle world.
This does not mean you don’t care about your appearance. You still exercise to look good. But it is also to feel good. You keep fit and healthy for yourself. To be your best 30,40 or 50, not someone else’s – even your own, best 20. You know life is different and so is your body. You care about the density of your bones to prevent osteoporosis. You aspire to have strong muscles to lift kids and do daily life without back pain. You cherish mental wellbeing, because juggling a career, relationships and mortgage payments is sometimes a challenge. You now know your body is so much more than a showpiece and exercise is about so much more than a tight tush.
There is a new found acceptance of your body, even an appreciation of what it looks like, what it can do and all the things it has done. The ankle that twinges since you broke it in the netball final at 16, the scar on your leg from when you fell off that unsuitable boyfriend’s motorbike at 21 and the pregnancy stretch marks that have faded but not quite gone, are not blemishes to be hidden, but parts of your story. Finally you truly realise that even the models in magazines don’t look like the models in magazines. You don’t feel the need to be airbrushed or photo-shopped. You know you are so much more than the sum of how you look. You and your body become a team, looking after each other and are no longer the adversaries of earlier years.
Age doesn’t take your beauty, it changes it. Your beauty comes from your confidence, wisdom, sense of peace, knowledge of who you are and empathy for others, as well as from your great eyes and shapely legs. Your workouts are about health, longevity, quality of life, a happy mind and some time out to look after yourself.