Yesterday I turned 49. That brought about a few comments and questions such as, “you must be getting ready for the big one!” and “what are you going to do when you turn 50?”
Naturally I’ve been thinking about turning fifty and what type of adventures I could have to mark such a milestone. Writing about the journey has crossed my mind more than once. I lie in bed at night, close my eyes, and try to imagine feats that would create a real point of difference as that’s what we’re told continually as writers to try and achieve, but when it comes to writing about myself, I come up short. Not that it’s an uncommon phenomena – many people hate writing about themselves and hate the idea of sounding like a flagrant poser, and yet on some level aspire to be especially amazing at something. Thus a little seed had been planted about what sort of amazing adventures I could have going into my 50th year.
As many of you know, I’ve been an avid fitness enthusiast for most of my life. At nearly fifty, I’m still throwing my weight around training at high intensities and even race my bike. My non exercising friends accept that I’m just a little bit nuts in this regard, yet I have an entire other world of kindred spirits around the same age, and older, who train with me every other day. They consistently and cheerfully kick my butt climbing up hills and make me take my breath away trying to sprint after them. I consider these people to be part of my tribe as are the others I see consistently pedalling around at 5am because that’s what we do – end of story.
Because I am turning fifty next year, I’m going to write about the adventures and goals I set to get there anyway. Only, I won’t be breaking new ground or creating a point of difference with my endeavours or doing anything particularly special or unique because so many others have gone before me in achieving epic fitness goals. Rather I’ll be writing about the privilege of sharing these adventures with the most amazing group of women that I train and race with – and there are several! In my sport, road cycling, it’s inspiring to have such a good number of women in my age group who still want to give racing bikes a crack. If it was just me being different I would not have the benefit of such camaraderie and friendship with all of the women (and men!) that I train and race with.
The first event(s) to kick off the year of epic adventure involve the Cycling Queensland State Individual and Teams Time Trial Championships. Held at Rosevale this year, the individual time trial is 20km long and the teams event is 30km long. A time trial is essentially a race against the clock – cover the distance in the shortest amount of time possible! They’re tough, but a lot of fun as everyone tries to outdo themselves with the right gear – aerodynamic helmet, time trial bike and booties as well as ride as fast as humanly possible. A successful teams time trial is, yep, you guessed it, all about teamwork – smooth changes, communication, and in the case of this course, warning fellow team members about the swooping magpie that sits at the turnaround point which always adds a bit of colour to the event.
I can’t really report on any training that I’ve done on my journey towards turning 50 – after yesterday’s lovely evening at the local Thai restaurant with my family, I had a well deserved sleep in. It’s true that ageing athletes require more recovery so given the opportunity I’m going to run with it!