“In my late thirties, my intuition had tried to warn me about the possibility of a midlife struggle. I experienced internal rumblings about the meaning and purpose of my life. I was incredibly busy proving myself in all of my different roles (mother, professor, researcher, writer, friend, sister, daughter, wife), so much so that it was difficult for any emotion other than fear to grab my attention. However, I do remember flashes of wondering if I’d always be too afraid to let myself be truly seen and known.” Brene Brown – The Midlife Unraveling – April 2018
So you’re 40. Kids are growing fast and becoming more and more independent. They spend more time with their friends than with you. You are competent in your work, probably well-appreciated. You have seen it all and you can see the patterns and don’t get ruffled as easily.
You finally have time for a long bath, trying something new, like a painting class or a hobby.
When you go to your doctor and tell her what is new with you: trouble sleeping, anxiety, pains and aches, she says: Welcome to mid-life! You start dreaming of grandkids and retirement.
… You need to keep healthy for tens of years, be able to run after those kids. Your news feeds keep talking about HIIT, aerobic, strength, weights, Whole 30 diet, Keto, fasting… There’s so much you need to do… and those extra pounds. The last time you tried to be active, your knee hurt. You take a yoga class once a week. After yoga your shoulder hurts the next day, so you switched to restorative yoga… better than nothing.
You read an article about the life expectancy in US dropping to 79 years. You are halfway through life. Halfway through life and already having those feeling old complaints. A new gym opened in the neighborhood. You get a free week. You take a few classes, try a few machines. You hurt the days after, but it felt good. They hook you up with a trainer for a half an hour free training. You like it. This could work. You’re ready for more. After a week, the pain is high. You soldier on. After a few weeks you get injured. You need to take it easy, then you need to start over.
Again and again and again. A new diet, a new gym, a new program. Will this ever end?
A new gym will open in your neighborhood. It’s a kickboxing gym. You had a couple of fufu kickboxing classes with no gloves on at another gym and you kinda liked it. The gym has a table at a street fair. You wanted a new gym. You like the guys. You don’t know why, but you sign up for a whole year. This needs to be it.