As I wrote on my 41st birthday, “I don’t celebrate my birthdays. I don’t see the point of marking one more year closer to the grave. I prefer to celebrate myself every day. And I do, oh I do.”
I turned 44 last week. I don’t feel 44. In my head, I’m still 18. My lower back, on the other hand, definitely feels 44. You know you’re middle aged when Advil gets added to your daily dose of morning vitamins.
Now, I make it a point to publicly mock my decaying body, with frequent references to my paunch, my baldness and my moobs. The truth is that I’m actually in pretty fabulous shape. (I’ve been working on a blog post detailing my new workout regime for about 8 months now). I had hoped to have 6-pack abs to show off for my 44th birthday (an 8-pack i well beyond my genetic potential), but I definitely did not make it. Mind you, if I flex hard enough, you can sort of make ’em out; but that just might be subtle rolls of subcutaneous fat. (My mother, bless her soul, exclaimed, “You’ve got ribs on your belly!” See, we Indians rarely get abdominal definition, so it’s shocking when it happens.) I’ll get there eventually. And I’ll be sure to blog it when I do.
Comedian Tim Minchin has a song that goes something like he complains about his body all the time, but his body never says a bad word about him.
The lesson, of course, is that getting older can also mean getting better. In many ways, I’m in the best shape of my life, more or less; and do remember that I was pretty athletic in my 20s and 30s. But some things definitely get worse with age: joints, connective tissue flexibility, digestion, etc. But I think even these issues can be staved off with extreme healthy living. In your 20s, you see, you can cheat on your lifetsyle once in a while. In your 40s, there is no room for wavering. And so my routine is basically to make sure that I have an extreme 1-2 hour workout every day, six days a week. And my diet is strictly whole foods, fresh foods, no added sugars, no processed foods, amost no baked goods at all, and a steady flow of unsweetened tea.
I’m trying to add more yoga to my life, as well. I used to love yoga 15 years ago. These days, I just dread it. But I think it’s an increasingly essential component to a sustained healthy physique.
Anywayyyy…. thanks for all the birthday greetings. Aarti (whom I call SpAarti –don’t ask) sent me the following mantra that I’m supposed to repeat 108 times. Let’s pretend that I did that. Or better yet, how about 108 of you repeat it once each for me? Here it is:
“Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat”
Thanks, too, to Katie for sending me the Three Stooges Birthday Song, which I will re-use muchly.
I leave you with the following brilliant beat poem from my current favourite comedian, Tim Minchin. It’s called “Storm“. Click and listen. Go do it. Now.