A long time ago, I was a young girl who thought I would never grow old. I imagined I would be the chosen one and either something would happen, like the Millennium, or I would just never grow old.
I didn’t worry about it all that much. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and wasting time doing who knows what and all of a sudden I was a teenager. Then I was a young adult, a married mother and before I knew it, one morning I turned 50 years old.
On the morning of my 50th birthday, my eyes popped open from a night’s sleep and for the first time I thought, “I could possibly die.” It was startling.
Then before I turned 60, I decided to do something to mark this birthday. It came so fast, and suddenly there were likely fewer years ahead of me than there were years behind. I determined my goal would require something physical to show I still had stamina and possibilities.
All this happened during a summer I needed to spend some significant time in Utah. I had promised Steve I would work at sorting out his jumble of sports memorabilia he kept at his horse farm, so when I wasn’t needed at my daughter’s, I would go there.
Just before returning to Connecticut, my friends Jordan Robert and Traci Wimmer volunteered to hike Mount Timpanogos with me. We climbed to what seemed like the top of the world. Traci took a picture of me standing by the tin shack at the summit as proof and then we slid down the glacier and stuck a toe in freezing Emerald Lake.
The going down was harder on my knees than the climb up, but I still was able to walk to my car feeling very accomplished and happy.
Now I am pondering what to do 15 years later for a new milestone at the three quarters of a century mark. There’s a need for haste as it’s coming up this month and leaves me shaking my head -- how did I get this old?
Talking to my friend Joan Fisher she replied, “One day at a time,” then told me what she did to mark her 75th.
Joan, her son Peter and two 16-year-old grandsons, Jacob Fisher and Spencer Powell, set out between storms early September. At the bottom of a slot canyon there is ice-cold water requiring them to wear full wetsuits. Using a friend as guide, they completed six rappels down Pine Creek Canyon at Zions National Park.
They screamed, laughed and had heart palpitations but they all had a breathtaking experience.
Talk about “joy in the journey.”
Needless to say whatever I do will never top Joan’s experience, which she completed with two artificial knees. I am pleased that I can still play tennis on my achy knees, but you will never catch me rappelling off a cliff or into a canyon.
Maybe I will invest in a Kindle to show my brain still works with technology. Or perhaps I can talk Grit into stopping off to visit friends and drive along the Pacific Coast Highway in his red Corvette.
Looking back, would I sell my soul to the devil for a younger body so I could be a tennis champ like Joe Hardy did for baseball in the Broadway play “Damn Yankees”?
Hmmm, it would be tempting. That is as long as everything else in my life turned out just the same.