Perhaps the calendar indicates you’ve been around the sun forty or more times.
Perhaps you stepped on the scale today and thought of a few four-letter words.
Perhaps you looked in the mirror and noticed a few more wrinkles.
Perhaps walking into your office building makes your skin crawl.
Perhaps your employer just downsized you.
Perhaps your teenager daughter no longer thinks you’re cool.
Perhaps your significant other wants you gone.
Perhaps you need some change.
I know I sure did.
In late 2008, I was 40 years old, and working in the IT department of a manufacturing plant. You may recall the housing bubble burst in 2008, taking the US economy down with it. Our plant made luxury electronics, and since most people cut back on luxury items in recessions, our sales had evaporated. Our plant manager stood in front of the employees right before Christmas break and told us the bad sales news. On top of that, he said there would have to be changes in the new year. We knew this meant layoffs.
This had an eerily familiar feel to the dot com bust seven years earlier, when I had my first experience with long-term unemployment. I went home that evening and had a decision to make. Did I mention the meeting to my wife and tell her my prediction about layoffs or did I keep my mouth shut. I knew mentioning the possibility of layoffs would ruin Christmas, my wife’s favorite time of the year.
In the interest of saving Christmas, I kept my mouth shut and headed to the garage. Buried underneath moving boxes and yard tools was an old treadmill. Over the years it had served us well as a clothes hanger and not much else. I dug it out, unfolded it (it was a space-saver type model), plugged it in, and stepped on. I didn’t know it at the time, but those were the first steps of a new journey. This journey would take me from an out of shape, slightly overweight 40 year-old who couldn’t even run a mile on an old treadmill to running 26.2 miles at the 2018 Boston Marathon.
Along this journey, I’ve come to this conclusion: The second half of life can be better than the first, especially when it comes to fitness. There are many areas in life you cannot control, like the economy or whether your employer moves your job out of the country. Fortunately, some areas you can control, like your attitude and your approach to fitness.
So, that’s what this blog is about, fitness after forty and the motivation to keep at it.
Welcome to the second half. Be stronger.