50 Thoughts # 3: I’m not freaking out. I’m running marathons.

I have been turning 50 for more than two years now.

At age 48, I decided to train for my first marathon. Actually, I hadn’t even turned 48, but that January, when I started my usual three-month preparation period to deal with the psychological trauma of my birthday in April (the cruelest month), I realized with some horror that my mom was 48 when I first took note of her age and by then she was already old.

Though I’m a writer, I can do some basic math. At 47, you’re closer to 45. At 48, there is no turning back. It’s a flashing, fret-lined, fat-fuelled, free fall to the big ‘ffing fifty. Might as well skip the denial and accept that you’re already 50.

The number has a way of concentrating the mind — even mine, which given my sign, a goat, is prone to scrambling up this mountain pass, only to reach an impasse; then scrambling up that dead-end path because the view is just spectacular over there; and then trying another whole new route because I’m curious like that; and on and on.

As I stared down 48, 49, 50, I realized there was no more time for scrambling. I had just two years to grow up!

Bizarrely, that’s when I decided to train for my first marathon. Never in my previous five or six lives did I ever dream of running one. I have flat-feet for gadsakes.

But in the middle of some hot flash of genius, this idea came to me: The marathon had something to teach me.

I figured that by chasing that terrifying goal, I might develop superior commitment, discipline, focus, even fearlessness, and perhaps other things (maybe a tight runner’s butt?), which I could apply to my career.

Because there are a few really big things I want to accomplish and time, as they say, is running.

So far, my strategy has worked, for running anyway. This April, a week after I turn 50, I will toe the line of my third marathon, at the big kahuna of all marathons, Boston. Yes, I qualified in the 50 to 54 age group. Yep, moving into THAT age category (another set of numbers to prepare for.)

But I’m okay with it. Really, I am. I mean, I’ve been preparing for 50 for more than two years now. How bad can it be when it really happens?

4 Responses to 50 Thoughts # 3: I’m not freaking out. I’m running marathons.

  1. beton February 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    That’s definitely the GOOD kind of quiet! So sweet! beton

  2. margaret@margaretwebb.com March 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Sorry, a friend designed for me so I don’t know much about the technical side of things.

  3. margaret@margaretwebb.com March 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    I’m using wordpress, but customized by a designer. re writing tips — whoa, where to start? Maybe with a course? A book? A writing group? I teach at Ryerson & have been at this writing game for quite awhile….

  4. Susan dunham September 21, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    Margaret amazing book and so empowering. I teach at an elementary school and would live to see if we could get you in to speak to the grade 7 and 8 students.

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