I’m turning 30 this year (at the very end of this year, but as USAT sadly reminds me by moving me to the 30-34 year old age group prematurely, it is this year). For the first time in my life I don’t feel “young.” Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t feel old – I know I have a lot of life left to live and 30 is now the “new 20” as they say (or do they?), but I’m no spring chicken. Lately I’ve been noticing some “signs” that I’m leaving my youth and entering a new period of my life.
In no particular order:
- I wear SPF 50 sunscreen to the beach. Not only do I wear sport SPF 50 sunscreen on most if not all runs, I also now wear SPF 50 sunscreen when I’m sunbathing. Gone are the days of SPF 3 tanning oils and cramming myself into a tanning bed coffin.
- I actually look back on some of the things I did in my early 20s and wonder how I survived. I’m starting to realize why mothers always want to rain on your party parade – they understand that although they certainly survived some crazy shenanigans, it doesn’t mean you will too.
- Teenagers annoy me. Not individually (hello, my Girls on Track girls will soon be teenagers!), but rather in anonymous packs. I live next to the beach and in the summertime swarms of obnoxious, loud, and smelly teenagers hover around town. Mike and I have nicknamed them the locusts and we try to avoid walking in their path. I actually think I can relate to the teenagers’ parents more than I can relate to them.
- On the other hand, I absolutely love to look at photos of babies. It used to annoy me when friends on Facebook constantly posted sonograms (still maybe TMI, still TBD on this one ) and photos of their babies, infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers doing “cute” things. Now that several of my friends are having babies, I now enjoy these photos. I even show them to Mike and say “Look at the baby!!!!” (No, there are no immediate plans for our own babies post wedding).
- I look back on the things I did in my early 20s and admit I was a bit immature. At the time, I thought I knew it all. Now I know I didn’t. I also am wise enough to know that I don’t actually know it all now at age 29 and this probably won’t ever change.
- I can run faster than ever. Fortunately for me, running is my passion and not gymnastics (gave that up in 3rd grade after realizing I was already too tall), so I actually haven’t even reached my prime in my favorite sport yet. Since a large factor of running speed is time on your feet, I’ve actually heard that the 30-34 year old age group is more competitive than the 25-29 year old age group. I’ve gotta step up my game to compete in my new age group next year!
- I eat for health, not appearance. Although I certainly care about the way I look, I primarily base on diet on what will prolong the length and quality of my life as well as fuel my workouts. In the past, I ate whatever food could convince me that it was “healthy,” even if the box listed 100 ingredients or it was a nasty poison I used to be addicted to called Diet Coke. I know that eating a diet high in animal protein will probably help me get my strong P90X body back slightly faster, but I also believe that that diet is not best for my long term health so I avoid it.
- I’d rather sit on the couch with friends and drink wine than go to a club. Case in point this weekend in Chicago when my friend planned a big night out at a nightclub on Saturday and by 9 p.m. we were on the couch, our headache from the previous night’s drinks still lingering, chatting blissfully make-up free. Instead of going out and creating new memories at the club, we reminisced about the crazy things we did when we were single, living downtown and on the prowl. In this case, we didn’t even drink wine due to the aforementioned headache.
- My hair stylist found a grey hair & I’m too old to try out for American Idol. Enough said.
- I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I always heard that women grow into their confidence and happiness in their 30s and I’m beginning to believe them. My life is by no means perfect but I’m pretty happy with the way things are going. Running, triathlon, fitness, and this blog are a big part of that contentment as well. I’m learning that happiness doesn’t always come in the form of the perfect job, owning a house, or a BQ (three things I’ve been known to chase). It comes from loving others and accepting their love in return, treating your body well, saying yes to adventures when they arise, and enjoying the most simple pleasures like my personal favorite of drinking coffee on a sunny patio on a Saturday morning with the one I love.
What clues have you noticed about yourself as you neared a certain age? Did you figure any of the above out way before 30?