On turning 40

In early 2013, I completed my first tri. During the  check-in phase my calf was marked up with my age, a practice this rookie was not expecting. It was with mixed emotion that I walked away with this glaring and constant reminder of my age.


Thankfully, the mix of excitement and nerves kept me distracted from that gigantic, black, Sharpied 39 on my calf. This isn’t a race re-cap post, so I’ll skip to the relevant part of the story. It was somewhere mid-run that a feeling of fatigue started to well up inside me and a little annoying voice began telling me that a short walk break wouldn’t hurt a thing. Afterall, I was 39 and I deserved it. My only goal was to cross the finish line and in no particular time. Certainly, just finishing was enough.

As my spirits dropped, so did my head and guess what was in my line of sight? Yep. Everyone else’s Sharpied age marked right on their own calves. Passing me were 59, 12, 48, and 64 year olds. This is the exact moment when I made a conscious decision to shift my focus. Literally.

Lifting my head up brought into my line of sight the path that lay before me and the friends and family that lined that path. I let their cheering lift my spirits. Your job is to do this and give it your best. Push through. What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. You’ve got this, after all your only 39. If that 59, 12, 48, and 64-year-old can do this, you can too.  And just like that I was passing up that 59, 12, 48, and 64-year-old and crossing the finish line. Nicely done, Amy.

tri finish 2

And just like the finish line, my 40th birthday has come and gone. Life is so much like a race. Over the course of this last year from time to time my spirits waned but, when I made the effort to lift my head and take a look at what lay ahead of me it didn’t appear all that bad. My job here is to live the best life I can and I will push through the hard parts and find ways to experience joy as often as possible. Afterall, I am ONLY 40! I’ve totally got this and there is no time to waste dwelling on what I haven’t accomplished or how overwhelming it can all be sometimes.

 Last year I spent my birthday with an amazingly wise friend who reminded me that I was entering my 40th year of ilfe upon turning 39. My year has been filled with amazing experiences, love, and so many blessings. Not only did I complete my first triathlon during this 40th year of life, I have also has the sheer pleasure of

  • watching my boy turn  16-year-old, get his drivers license, get his first job, lose his first love, and get his first car
  • falling in love all over again with my best friend
  • watch one of the most precious ladies I know adopt the most special little girl ever
  • personally witnessing the amazing impact of the Girls On the Run program  on the lives of almost 20 incredible girls in San Antonio
  • learning to enjoy swimming for fitness (age+injuries= lots of pool time in 2013…I had no choice)
  • completing Priscilla Shrirer’s Gideon bible study that touched my heart in so many incredible ways
  • running a 5K for the first time  with both my sister and my mom
  • planting and watching our first herb garden grow
  • being spoiled by an amazing summer get away with my love
  • drinking mint juleps, listening to the amazing music of Mumford and Son’s under a beautiful summer night, and dancing the night away at a Fiesta party with my love
  • seeing the Market in Seattle, falling in love with a farm-house and the quaintest little town of O’Connor, Washington
  • watching the cutest niece ever turn 3
  • making memories with some of the best gals I know riding horses, drinking wine, swinging from trapeze, running races, drinking wine, watching Pink! swing from the rafters, and drinking wine 😉
  • doing my first  gym workout with my mom and watching her use heavier weights than me…she’s strong y’all.

There are too many fun memories to list them all, but it’s been a great little trip down memory lane. Most of all it’s inspiring and thrilling to think I have an entire year ahead of me to make a whole new list. Thanks to so many of you for making this year incredible for me!

So I am curious friends, have you ever struggled with a monumental birthday? Or do you just embrace getting older, one birthday at a time? If so, how did you manage to get through it and find joy and acceptance in your new age?


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