Ground down, but not out


I have been contemplating an entry for about a week now and in that time, two things have come up that mirrored my sentiments. For one, on last week’s Bones episode, Booth wakes up and is feeling his age. As he stumbles from bed to the bathroom, he cracks and creaks like an old familiar chair might. He takes a good long look at himself in the mirror and it’s apparent he realizes that he’s getting older and his body cannot do what it once could.

Then this morning, I was scrolling through my blogroll and, as usual, went on to Sundry Mourning wherein she laments her younger self and being free, virile, and not so… domestic. I have been thinking a lot about these topics.

Ash was going through old pictures last night and regretfully mentioned that he had never really looked at our photos from 2006. We were married in October of 2005 and so 2006 was our first entire year of being a young married couple. He says he couldn’t really remember what all we did because in 2007, Elliot was born and his memories of being childless were basically wiped away. I sure as hell remember them. In 2006 we vacationed and we rode our bikes all over Tallahassee and we rock climbed and ate out a lot and we saw movies. We stayed up late watching mindless TV and we played Everquest II.

Also, we were in the best shape we’d ever been in as a couple. The years before Elliot were good to us and we reveled in them, in our time and our magnificent bodies and our friends and partying.

***********

Monday morning I rolled over when the alarm went off and shuffled down a bit under the comforter. Normally I get up while Ash is in the shower and I prepare Isaac’s bottles and Elliot’s lunch and then I head to the shower myself. But the unfathomable back ache and my clogged sinuses compelled me to forgo the domestic minutia and sleep just five. more. minutes. I stood, bending backwards only to feel a searing pain down my spine that settled at the base, pulsating, making me want to double over and cry. Why did I feel this way? Perhaps it was getting back to running or the chores I spent all of Sunday doing, all the while making meals and taking care of the kids. All I know is that I felt old that Monday. I felt…used.

I don’t tend to wear a lot of make-up, never have. But lately, as I notice more wrinkles and the clear signs of aging on my skin, I’ve turned more to foundations and some mild eyeliner to boost my appearance. It feels so vain but I always have had great skin. It pains me to finally realize that it has begun to deteriorate. Sure, this sounds awful; to be at 31 and complaining about these things. But nonetheless they are concerns. This is why the half-marathon means so much to me. Why I look in the mirror and see relatively toned calves and thighs but also, the leftover belly fat from two pregnancies and I groan. I want that gone. I do. Is it wrong to want to be thin? I’ve not been “thin” since about 5th grade. I was always slightly chubby or built from middle school on. It’s not my body type to be thin; I know this. I am OK with that. But it’s an experiment in self-discipline for me to see if I can achieve a relatively flat stomach. I want to be healthier even as I age because lord knows I haven’t always appreciated the power I have in my body or how I could use it.  Looking forward to the rest of my 30s and into my 40s, I want to still utilize what I’ve been given.

Sometimes when I run, I relish in the sheer power of my body, as my legs propel me forward and I feel strong, slicing through the air, going faster, farther. I appreciate the burn of muscles tearing down, only to be rebuilt day after day. I take pleasure in the fact that I am honing this machine, if for nothing else than to keep up with my kids. If I could have even a fraction of Elliot’s energy, imagine all the things I could do in a day!

3 thoughts on “Ground down, but not out

  1. Nick and I often comment on how old we feel. There are just days when the light is right to show every flaw, or I wake up feeling so, as you say, used. And not well used but carelessly used. The joys of getting older.

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