Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Better with Age

So far Cardio tennis has achieved some of my intended objectives: I'm back on the court and I remember why I loved playing so much. The class consists of a woman in her mid to late 40s and her two teenaged sons. One boy is a decent player, the other is not. A friend of hers who has little tennis experience recently joined. On my first day the instructor fed some simple forehands and backhands and I hit my first two shots perfectly. Wow! I've still got it! I thought to myself. Then I missed the next two and was abruptly reminded, nope...not yet...

The muscle memory and timing for my strokes did return and by my third class I was being asked to demo the drills. The instructor also suggested that I could take an evening class called 'late night drill' which is like an advanced placed version of Cardio tennis. The class meets from 9-10 at night and contains a variety of professionals who have quite a bit of tennis experience and all have better than average strokes. Interestingly, there are two lefties, two one hand backhands and two two hand backhanders. It's a Noah's Ark for tennis. Most importantly, they're a fun and enthusiastic group, and I truly enjoy my time on the court

I also completed my training sessions and started Cross-Fit classes. I've concluded that it's just a really effective way to exercise as you use so many muscle groups and combine cardio and strength training. In order to avoid the cult aspect of it, I've precluded myself from ever entering into any competitions. A triathlete friend recently commented, "Cross-fit competition? What the fuck is that? Ooo I'm the best at working out?" (apologies to any Cross-fit competitors) Although I realise that I'm just getting started, I got on the scale the other day:152

I told myself that one of these days I'll really accept that weight is just a number and move past the scale, but it would take some seeing is believing. After the death of our friend Pierre, mutual friends asked for photos to use during the memorial service. It's always fun to take that stroll down memory lane, and we hadn't looked at our photos from University days in ages. It was quite shocking to see my 21 year old self. I was actually a bit chubby.

I figured that when you're in your early twenties and you perceive that the world is your oyster, it follows that your self image is distorted as well. My 21 year old ego stayed with me as I aged. As I've grown older, I've whined how I can't get away without exercising or eating well as I could when I was younger. Now I was confronted with evidence on film to the contrary. I couldn't get away with bad habits in my youth either. While it was slightly disturbing to be confronted with this reality as I looked through these old photos, it was also a bit satisfying. I may not be as light or as thin as I was when I was thirty -although I'm much physically fitter now- but at this old age of 37, I am hotter than my 21 year old self. (wow, that is a whole person who can drive ago...)

My RE usually wears his surgical scrubs in the office; but at my most recent visit, he wore regular clothes, which revealed that he is carrying a bit of extra weight. I always thought that scrubs could make women look frumpy -apparently they have a slimming effect on men. I wasn't quite sure why, but I began to feel a little smug.

Later in the day, I recalled that a few years ago, I had seen some photos of the swimmer who I dated back in college through a mutual Facebook friend. After his deflowering, he informed me that he had to break things off as I was interfering in his relationship with God. As my aforementioned triathlon friend exclaimed, "He gave up [kitty] for Jesus!" Actually, I'm a little embarrassed to say that I don't really know what his specific religious affiliation was, but apparently it was one that disapproved of pre-marital sex. Anyway, while scoping out these photos, I discovered that he hadn't let anything interfere with his relationship with Twinkies, as he had become quite heavy as well as prematurely grey. All I could think was, wow. if these are the pictures you're posting on-line, then the reality may be even worse...

As I had also dated someone who is a doppelgĂ€nger of my RE, (a relationship that ended rather bitterly) the thought that he too could also be fat brought pause to make me smile. I realise how shallow and petty I sound, and I'm a little ashamed to reveal this aspect of myself. Yet, in the on-going battle with my body image issues, this was somewhat of a victory. The pictures prove it. Whatever hangs-ups I still hold, I can say that I have become better with age. All one hundred and fifty two pounds of me.


  1. You made me laugh! I can so relate-I have never been so fit or sexy in my life. I always think of something you wrote in a previous post, something like, those that cannot get pregnant, get fit. It makes you feel like you some power, at least me anyway.

  2. you should feel hot! you seem to be super active and always trying new things to keep in shape and have fun! be PROUD that you have stuck with that through all this IF bullshit

  3. LOL, "he hadn't let anything interfere with his relationship with Twinkies"! That's awesome. I also like to think that I've gotten better looking with age. I often think if I could go back to college now with my current self-esteem. I wouldn't look back on those years with so much regret. I think it's amazing that your 37-year-old self is hotter than your 21-year-old self. You don't sound shallow or petty at all--you sound healthy and confident, both very good things!

  4. I agree with the if you can't get pregnant, get fit. I have been exercising more than ever for the last 6 months and I didn't realize it until I read Eve's comment that it's because I feel in control of something.

  5. I can totally relate to the body image issues! I like to think that I am now hotter than my 21-year-old chubby self too, and I took a lot of delight in finding my ex (a long term boyfriend with whom things ended badly) on Facebook and seeing that he'd put on a lot of weight. Petty, but true. And I agree with the other commenters on fitness making you feel like you're in control...I've definitely replaced fertility with fitness and it may not fix everything, but at least it takes some of the sting out of it. I couldn't work out as hard as I do if I were pregnant.

    1. Best feature about Facebook! That and scoping out a friend's new boy or girlfriend before you meet!

  6. I'd be interested to hear how the Cross-fit classes help with your swimming and running. I've been tempted to start, but it's so much easier for me to find the motivation to roll out of bed in the morning to go for a run.

  7. I'm aiming for better with age...but sometimes that comes out "bitter with age".

    Concerning weight...so many women battle with it. I don't think I've ever mentioned it on my blog for fear of angry comments and flying tomatoes...but I actually struggle with weight on the opposite side of the spectrum. I tried to put a on a few good pounds to be in the "ideal BMI" for fertility....but of course it didn't work. I just got constipated from too much iron in the meal supplement shakes. LOL.

    But seriously...you sound like one of the healthiest people ever!

  8. Ha! Love it. I also feel like I'm more attractive than my 21-year-old self. At the very least, I know how to apply makeup properly and dress to flatter my figure. (Oh, and now I can afford beautiful things!)

  9. I'm so glad you are loving being out on the tennis court again! You sound like such a great athlete, and one I can totally relate to. I was always super athletic and pretty good at most sports, but was also always heavier than I probably should have been. Although I can most definitely say I'm not fitter, or better with age now :) even though I wish we didn't have such body image issues, it's nice to know we aren't alone!