Forty Is the New Twenty

I am turning 40 on Tuesday. Gulp.

Michelle with birthday cakeFleeting moments of “midlife crisis” emotions have overwhelmed me in the past few months as I’ve considered aging and all that it entails. This came as a surprise. Age rarely matters to me—but this milestone feels different. The statistics on what happens to a woman as she ages aren’t great. I have access to this data on a weekly basis, and I found myself going down a rabbit hole until I realized it wasn’t helping.

After some contemplation, I directed my thoughts to my life and my health, specifically my post-40 trajectory. Clients have shared some pretty inspiring and unique goals in recent years, and I decided to take my inspiration from them. What matters to me? And where am I headed? In terms of my fitness and health, I set out to tackle a few specifics. On Tuesday, I’m going to put myself to the test.

1) Squat my body weight: 1 rep minimum

2) Handstand hold for four seconds (This might take a while.)

3) Pull up from a dead hang: 1 rep (Overly ambitious for such a long-armed woman, but I neurotically suspect it’s a skill I will need someday.)

4) Front support hold with perfect form for 90 seconds (Two pregnancies inspired this one. One expert insists 4 minutes is the sign of a healthy back. One thing at a time.)

5) Run 2 miles (Might seem like I’m padding the test, but I am a slave to heart rate range and rate of perceived exertion, and running for 2 miles straight is not my thing. Really want to see if I can do it.)

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And if all this fails, to calm myself, I will repeat Jack Donaghy’s quote: “Forty is the new 20.” It makes me laugh and reminds me to think young to be young.

Strength Training Exclusively for Women, Chicago, IL