That’s not really news since I’ve been 40 for a little over 8 months. (Shit! I’m closer to 41 than 40 now?) But, because a good friend of mine had his 40th birthday two days ago, we got to talking about The Big 4-0. Turning 40 wasn’t a big deal for me.
The only birthday I had a problems with was my 25th. I was still in school, and felt like I was waiting for my life to begin, but had already wasted a quarter of a century! Turning thirty was fine. That doesn’t divide into 100 evenly.
My 40th was actually good for me. The last two years of my 30’s had some rough spots and as I was approaching 40, it felt like things were finally turning around and going in the right direction. I had a quiet birthday with a few close friends, but really didn’t do a lot of celebrating. I wanted to just focus on the really good things in my life and enjoy them immensely. Quality over quantity.
But now that my friend, Gary (not his real name because he doesn’t want me to tell his real age), turned 40, we got to talking about what it meant to us. For me, there were two realizations that came with being 40. I call them realizations even though I had thought about both before, but hitting 40 made them sink in.
The first realization was that since I remember when my parents were in their 40‘s and they were old then, I must be old now.
The second was that there were a lot of things that were never going to happen in my life. That’s the hardest part of getting older. I’m not sure that some of these were really things I wanted to happen, but it was nice to know there was the possibility of it happening. But, now that I’m older, even the possibility is gone. Here’s a partial list.
- I’m never going to be a college or professional athlete. (Let’s face it. If it’s an activity you can learn and excel at at 40, then it’s not a real sport.)
- I’m never going to have kids in my 20’s or 30’s.
- I will never be an astronaut. (I guess this is ok, since I hate to fly.)
- I’m never going to just up and move to San Francisco and work in a coffee shop or bookstore.
- I’m not going to get married before I turn 40.
- I will never compete in the Olympics.
- I’m never going to be the “hot, young thing” walking into the gay bar. (Unless I go to the bar above Dupont Italian Kitchen.)
- I’m not going to backpack across Europe for the summer.
I guess some of this is ok. I’m actually in some of the best shape of my life thanks to the gym and my trainer. I’m actually feeling more athletic than I ever have (more on this in a future post). I have great friends. I had two first dates this week, both of which went well. And when I finally finish school and pay off student loans, I may have enough money to have a kid on my own if I want to. (Is 75 too old to be a father?)
Overall, 40‘s looking pretty good.
My weight loss and exercise plans continue to move forward. Slowly. I’ve been losing about a pound per week. Even this past week, I lost 0.8 pounds and that was after I pulled something in my back and couldn’t exercise. I also relaxed my diet for 3 or 4 days, instead of one day a week like I had been allowing. So since I still lost weight while not being as strict, I felt like I could be less strict again this week.
I had the afternoon off and was heading downtown to run some errands. I was going to have a late lunch and decided to go to a Greek restaurant I like. They have delicious chicken kabobs which come with pita and fries. I figured I could splurge a little and eat some fries.
As I was walking out of my apartment, I saw a guy in incredible shape walking down the other side of the street. He had shoulders out to here! (Ok. You’ll have to picture it in your mind, but they were big.) And his arms and chest were also big and very defined. He was wearing a black tank-top and black pants and was looked like he was on his way to the gym.
That’s when it struck me:
This guy doesn’t reward himself with french fries!
It’s the little things that make the difference, especially in derailing goals. I could treat myself to french fries today and I’d probably still lose weight this week. But if I treat myself today, then it’ll be easier to justify treating myself tomorrow to a dessert, or a frothy coffee drink. Or pizza! (I miss my weekly pizza.) And next thing you know I’ve gained a pound instead of losing a pound this week.
If I want to stay on target, I need to avoid the creep that can occur if I start to give myself a little leeway. So I went to Potbelly’s and had a sandwich (530 calories – right on target) and a big container of water.
Tonight it was torture!
I would have treated myself to the french fries if I had known what tonight’s workout was going to be. The last two days have had a heat index of about 105 degrees. Today it was cooler with a high of only 93, so I was already sweating by the time I got to the gym.
After a warm up of mountain climbers and planks, he had me do a circuit of six exercises:
- Barbell squats
- Bosu-ball pushups
- Romanian deadlifts
- Incline chest presses
- Side lunges
- Overhead pulldowns
I had to do as many reps of each exercise before moving on to the next one. And I had to keep going until I reached 400 reps total. Four hundred!! It took the entire hour. By the end, I thought I was going to pass out. That was ninety minutes ago, and I’m finally starting to feel ok. I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow though.
Here’s a new feature on my blog: A segment I’ll call “Training or Torturing?”
I’ll describe an exercise my trainer made me do, and you can decide on whether it’s a legitimate exercise, or just a sadistic way to torture me.
- Get in a push-up position. (Doesn’t sound that hard, right?)
- Did I mention that your hands are on two different sized medicine balls? (Ok, even that’s not THAT hard.)
- Roll one of the medicine balls forward about 6-8 inches.
- Now, shift your weight to the ball you just rolled forward, so you can roll the second ball forward 6-8 inches, too. (You may not remember this from geometry, but a sphere rolls. And they roll even easier when you’re pushing them from the side!)
- Now, pick yourself back up off the floor, since you fell off the rolling ball. Try again. If you get past this stage, you get to:
- Slide your feet forward so you’re back in a push-up position with the medicine balls directly under your shoulders.
- Repeat the whole process 6 to 8 more times. And then two more sets.
I survived Hurricane Irene with no problems. We had lots of rain, and some wind. I spent most of Saturday studying, then took a break to watch a movie and drink some wine before going to bed. By the time I got up on Sunday, the rain had stopped, and by afternoon, it was clue skies and sunshine. My lights flickered twice, but the power never went out. There are a few trees down in the neighborhood, but mostly just small branches and leaves.
The earthquake was much scarier.
Washington College of Law is still without power, so there’s a chance my classes will be canceled this evening. I suspect they will have power by then. I’m also not sure there’s any benefit to missing class, as I assume we’ll have to make it up. I already have an extra class Thursday from 8-10 this week.
It’s going to be my first week with full-time work and class. That was my justification for skipping the gym and sleeping in until 6 a.m.
So, orientation starts in about an hour and a half. For the part-time students, we have orientation tonight and tomorrow night. Friday evening is the Dean’s BBQ, and then orientation again much of Saturday. I’m excited!
About a week ago, I finally got my Legal Rhetoric schedule. It’s Monday nights from 8-10 pm. That’s going to make for a long Monday, but at least it’ll be done for the week.
Tonight’s activities are mostly general welcomes, learning how to link to the wireless network, picking up the books we pre-ordered from the bookstore, and introductions to some of the student organizations. Tomorrow is a longer session on how to do legal research. Saturday is a mock class, and a part-time student reception.
I took three days off this week. I had scheduled the vacation days it before I learned the orientation activities were all going to be at night, but I figured I’d enjoy the relaxation and use the time to get things together. I ran a few errands this morning, including an early session with my trainer. (Today’s treat was getting into a pushup position, while he stood down near my feet. When I heard the racquetball bounce off the floor, I had to jump up and grab it before it bounced a third time.) Tomorrow, I’m going to make a trip to Costco to stock up on a few things.
Next week, I took the mornings off work, so I’d have more time to do reading and get up to speed with briefing cases.
Last night, we went out for drinks after Restaurant Week dinner at 1789 in Georgetown. I ended up meeting a third-year student from American, who gave me some background on my professors. We will have to see if his assessment was correct.
Ok, time to get a few things done before I leave. I’ll have to write more later.