You never know who you can be.
I think it took everyone by surprise when I became an athlete in my 40s. I was the shortest, weakest, puniest kid in P.E. class, but I loved to move. Picked last for teams. The first target in dodge ball. And then in middle age, I found myself heavier than I should have been and bored to death with a job I’d had for years, and I knew I had to do something. So I started to walk, then jog, then I bought a grandma bike, then little by little I started to run. I just kept trying new things. Life gradually got more interesting, and I was willing to take more risks in just about every aspect of life.
I believe you stay light of heart if you seek wonder in your day. I also believe exercise is the best pursuit for both mind and body; a day goes well when it starts with sweating and preferably, sweating outside. I’m 57, and I’m both troubled by the realities of growing old (wrinkles, fatigue, weird hairs growing in weird places) and curious to learn age’s lessons.
A friend in Texas is fond of saying, “Girl, tell them your bona fides,” so for the purposes of adventure, wonder, health and happiness, here they are:
- “Balance” is a challenge for me (isn’t it for you?) given I hold a high pressure job promoting a cause that is dear to me. Sometimes, I must admit, I envy my retired friends
- For nearly a decade I ran a little non-profit in Far West Texas, the Texas Mountain Trail, which encouraged travel and adventure in the beautiful frontier along the Mexican border
- Co-founder of the Far West Texas Wildlife Trail
- President of Texas Master Naturalist Tierra Grande Chapter
- If you pinned me down and made me pick one sport, I’d say trailrunning is my favorite. I’ve won two races, the Big Bend Ultra 10K Masters race, in Big Bend National Park; and the El Paso Senior Games 5K. Placed 2nd in the Texas Senior Games 5K. I don’t mind poking along, though, at a leisurely pace. Hiking, cycling, x-country skiing, walking, lifting weights also make me very happy.
- So unlikely given my start, I was a brand ambassador for a women’s adventure clothing line, Stonewear Designs
- I’ve maintained a plant-based lifestyle for four years now. I like it.
- I used to be a visual artist, so taking time to see and ponder is important to me
- I’ve climbed Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas; and did a solo mountain hike around Bucahaille Etive Beag near Glen Coe, Scotland, which meant getting lost on soft unstable peat soil, hopping over half-frozen waterfalls, and freezing in a June snowstorm.
Where I used to be and where I am today. Beth