Ever since I turned 40 I seem to be in some hardcore race against the clock to undo the neglect of my youth. Sure, I get the whole "you don't look 40" or "What? You're 40?" all the time. I get that the zits and immature attitude throw people off my cougar trail. However, as I chase down my youth, mostly on muddy single tracks or lately up many, many flights of stairs, I "feel" 40.
So I do things like say "hell yeah" to joining my younger and super fit husband on a beautiful sunny day on a trail run. I'm feeling good about getting out there, spending time with him and enjoying the sun on my face and the mud on my shoes. Well, about 3 miles in I realize that I am in fact a cougar. Yes, I am chasing my younger prey through the forest trying to keep up, wheezing like a Vegas grandma. My attempt at leaping over a creek bed like a Gazelle falls just short and I more likely resemble a water buffalo than anything else. His attempt to console me falls flat. "Well, you almost made it". Almost, the dreaded word of the middle age woman.
However, as I look down at my mud covered feet and legs I brush away the nagging thoughts of doubt trying to infiltrate my mind. "What are you doing out here", "you could break a hip", etc... I realize, while one trail run won't make for the fountain of youth, it is the journey of one run at a time that will change me, make me stronger. So while I didn't set any speed records today, I did have a great time, and challenge myself on some pretty technical trails. And this mud on my legs...I think that might just have been the best bonus of all. I think my legs may look younger already!