Monday, February 1, 2016

Guess Your Age

by Sue Aquila

Shock and awe.

I don’t know why, but I recently saw my true self in the mirror. Not the every day, I towel my hair dry and I just need to make sure I don’t look like a brunette Billy Idol mirror check. No, for some reason I stood in front of the mirror and saw that I have developed a patch of gray hair. And not the Bonnie Raitt cool patch of gray.

No, this is more like the mature older man’s temple gray. Except I am not mature, nor old and definitely not a man.

I am the woman that claimed she would never color her hair. The woman who embraces aging and the maturity I hope is inevitable. After the shock and awe, I shrugged my shoulders and resigned myself to the journey.

Two recent pieces may have changed my mind.

The first one is the World Fitness Test. In a few questions, you can find your fitness “age” versus your real age. I am borderline a teenager based on the results. No surprise given that my hobby requires me to be self-propelled for 10+ hours.

The second article was in the New York Times entitled, “What if Age is Nothing but a Mind-set?” It’s a long one but I think it shows the incredible power of our minds. The message that resonated with me is if I look my age or old, do I become the age I see?

I coach triathletes of all ages and abilities. They have a common thread of being high achievers. The one thing I never allow age groupers to do is to refer to themselves as old. I find this mindset is one of excuses rather than opportunities.

If you had no more mirrors or birth certificate, what would your guess your age to be? I know my guess would be far short of my known chronological age. I am sure I have never felt better in my life.

The larger question is how do you frame your life to create the age you desire as a mind-set? I am fortunate that my core business employs lots of dynamic college students. They keep me current and amazed.

I have a hobby that reinforces my choices to be active and healthy. I enjoy technology and stay as current as possible by learning how to use it in new and different ways.

At the end and beginning of the day, the mirror remains. If I see the gray overtly, do I become the age I see? Is it time to bite the bullet and shed the gray? Can I sit still for two hours and justify $200 every few months?

I have no answer right now. I can tell you that watching all the 70+ year olds compete in Kona this year has me considering my choices in how I age.

So walk over to the mirror. Take a hard look. Guess your age.


Sue started her triathlon journey with a 50 pound weight loss and continues as a multiple Kona qualifier. In 2013, she was named the Overall Ironman All World Athlete Champion in her age group and in 2014 won her age group at Ironman Texas. As a successful entrepreneur, she believes that, “You can run your business like your training and your training like your business!” As a coach (USAT Certified), she helps athletes to develop success in all areas of their lives: family, health and work. She blogs regularly at fewoman.com. You can find her on Twitter @fewoman.
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