Feeling optimistic at 54

I had another birthday a few weeks ago. Yep, they’re coming around faster each year! This one was number 54. There were so many candles you could barely see the cake…


It was a neutral birthday number – 54 didn’t do anything for me. Not like 50 did or 55 will. It was kind of, “Okay, another year… yay!”

But in a sporting context it was HUGE. That’s because this year I change Age Group! *jumping up and down* I’ll be entering the F55 age group for both running and triathlon. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. Exciting because I’ll be the youngest in my age group. Scary because this is the age group where about 70% of participants disappear into thin air.

An example? At Ironman Zurich back in July the F50 age group had 21 finishers. The F55 age group only had six. Six! Even scarier, there were no women in the F60 age group whereas there were 21 sixty year old male finishers.

So… it scares me just a teensy bit.

I feel fine. I’d venture to say that I’ve never felt better in my life, physically and mentally. My family life is fabulous, my health is fantastic, I love what I do and the only thing I think I’m missing in my life is world peace. Yep, may not see that in my lifetime…

Part of me thinks that the huge drop off is due to women going into menopause at around the 50 mark. But I’ve been-there-done-that and came out the other side unscathed. The other part of me has my antennae on alert and ready to pick up on any slight signal that my body is sending me.

My good and slightly younger friend Erica likes to say, “We’re sending you out ahead of us to explore and discover”. So that’s how I’m seeing it. Exploration and discovery of keeping fit and healthy, ready to report back to my female pals into the future years. And that thought actually has me looking forward to it. I’ll keep you posted!

  1. anne
    I'm so glad you're going on ahead for us Julia. It makes it so much easier for the rest of us. Happy Belated Birthday!