Approximately three weeks ago I met with my dietician. It's an obligatory ritual as part of our health coverage, and it is honestly something I don't mind doing. Well, except for the eight to twelve hours of fasting before the required blood-draw in order to run biometrics like HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar glucose levels. This skinny man has difficulty fasting that long; I enjoy and need food.
Discussing my health status has taken on another level of meaning for me as I've grown older. I've begun to care more deeply about my health, and take it more seriously. While I never have lived recklessly or lived a lifestyle that puts my health in question, age has made me different. Eating a more balanced diet becomes conscious and deliberate. Caring about how I feel, and, listening to my body and responding accordingly has become a central priority instead of just plowing through whatever it is that seems more important than how I'm feeling.
So each year, when I get the results from my dietician and we discuss my health indicators, I take great pride in the fact that I'm very healthy for my age. And it's not necessarily the "healthy" part. It's the "age" part that has me most concerned. As each year forges on, I begin to cherish all that is good around me. This may begin to sound like old-man writing here, but priorities have shifted. Existing beliefs have solidified. I now focus more on the present and what matters most, dismissing more triviality, taking stock in simplicity. Age 35 came quickly this year, and I hope 40, 45, and 50 do as well. It's important for me that they do.
This thinking could be man's version of "nesting," as the due date of our first child passed on Sunday. Thinking about our daughter is definitely the driving variable in this meandering post about the years of age.
But there are other variables. Like the fact that it's much harder to run these days. Even though I've been running more consistently now than I have for quite some time, running isn't necessarily running anymore. It's jogging. Even when I'm sprinting, it's jogging. And I feel those "sprints" the next day. Breathing when I run has also become more predictable. Mile three I'm about to give in. When I get past that marker, don't even get me started about the motivation and mindset needed to thrive past mile 5.
I've developed the habit of snoring. And not just little snores, but those old-man, bear-like, throat-and-nose-all-at-the-same-time (if you're going to do it, do it big) type of snoring. How do I know? Michelle lets me know by kicking, hitting, and down-right punching me throughout the night to get me to stop. This, obviously, wakes me up, while also interrupting my sleep cycle, making me exhausted the next day. Or, sadly, I wake myself up with my own noise. This definitely is an old man problem. I wonder if my dietician can run some sort of biometric related to snoring?
Hair grows differently. And out of my nose, ears, and in extremely long singular strands on my lower neck. I have no idea why this all happens. I refuse to be that one dude with the bushy hair you see creeping out of his nose, or flapping in the wind from his ears. I trim regularly. Weirdest thing.
Five in the morning is no longer invigorating. And neither is 9:30 at night. Or even 1:30 in the afternoon. Sleep, naps, and resting are all great activities. (Reference the topic of snoring two paragraphs up).
I've begun to notice that instead of seeking advice, I've somehow turned into the confidant. The adviser. The one people listen to more and doubt and question less.
By habit I listen more. I ponder and am more gracious with others. I only speak when it's prudent. I actually have multiple scenarios and experiences from which to draw upon, instead of seeing most everything as an exciting revelation.
I'm more confident. While I still care about impressions, I care less about making impressions.
Despite all these indications of oldness, I feel good. 35 yeas of age is just a marker, a name, language, and gauge of time. It is surreal. My dietician says everything about my health is outstanding. I'm proud that the care I've invested into my health is paying off.
And so tonight, instead of taking advantage of the perfect weather to go on a long run, I instead chose to drink beer on the front porch, watch the neighborhood, and write this blog post. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.