I turned 40 years old earlier this week. Now I'm not the kind of guy to get all concerned about age -- I prefer to think I'm 30 with 10 years experience -- but 40 is a big one, I suppose. It's a birthday that makes you look at what you've accomplished so far versus where you thought you'd be, and take inventory of your life. It might also be a reminder to "act your age".
Looking back, I feel I've had a wonderful first 40 years. I've married a wonderful woman, raised two incredible kids, traveled to 8 countries, lived abroad, and built 3 companies (helping take one public in London). I've summited Ranier, Shasta, and Baker, rockclimbed multi-pitch routes in Yosemite, Tahoe, and Squamish, ice-climbed frozen waterfalls, trekked glaciers, canoed my way across 80+ miles of Canadian wilderness, backpacked 100 miles around Mt Ranier, fly fished all over the Northwest, and jumped my mountain bike all over the UK, Whistler, and Seattle. I've spent many nights camping in blizzard conditions, skied well over 3M vertical feet of "steep and deep". Most importantly, I'm provided for my family, been a good husband, and instilled good values in my children, plus I am a healthy, intelligent, and productive member of society. All in all, things are good.
As for acting my age, I'm not so sure I always do. Just after my birthday, I sent an email to my brothers, sister, parents, etc. thanking them for the warm wishes and telling them what I did for my birthday. I told them I had bought myself a new set of golf clubs (to finally replace my set from 1982), a longboard/skateboard (which I'd wanted since longboarding the Long Walk in England), and a nice bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon. I also got Halo3 from Jenny and the kids -- Hunter and I had played 2 hours already. Here was my twin brother Justin's reply -- quite apropos, I think:
Work, video game, golf clubs, a frickin’ skateboard, sushi, and high-priced bourbon…….hmmm, you’re clearly having an internal struggle between an age of 40 and somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 to 25. Good on ya. May you never quite figure it out.
The day I turned 40 wasn't bad at all. I didn't think much about it -- hell, I was just enjoying sushi, bourbon and Halo3. But the next day I woke up and it kinda sunk in. I think perhaps I am grasping at my youth a little bit ...
- On Friday I had an errand to run in Seattle and opted to take my longboard from the office. On the way back I greatly enjoyed cruising down 3rd avenue in Seattle, weaving around three lanes of stop-and-go traffic -- not something 40 years olds typically do.
- I got up Saturday morning and decided to run a mile, to see if I could do it in 7 minutes. I don't run at all (the last time I timed a mile was in high school) but try to keep in reasonable good shape. I did it -- 7 minutes exactly, without throwing up!
- I've been eyeing this new line of dirt jumps since I found out about them a couple months ago. I haven't been jumping much this summer, but yesterday afternoon I put on my armor, got on my dirt jump bike, shook off the fear, and gave 'er hell. Three foot lips and 5-6 foot gaps -- so decent air, with a little rain mixed in to make it nice and slippery, but I did it.
- I've been loving Halo3 and played 5 hours with Hunter this weekend.
I suppose I might always forget how old I am. I suppose as the years continue to pass, I'll only be a little more surprised each time I look inthe mirror. But I don't care -- life is for living, and I'm going to live it to the fullest. If the first 40 years are any indication, my next 40 are going to be pretty damn good.