I did an easy 40 minutes on the elliptical today, one of four or five workouts I’ll do this week. No big deal, you say? In fact, for me it was a big deal because it wasn’t! Let me explain.
Until I turned 50, I never worked out regularly. I’d been active periodically throughout my life – softball, walking, bowling, dancing, golfing and so on. I was least active in my 30s while I was getting my bachelor’s degree while mothering my four kids and working part time. I didn’t work out regularly in my 40s either, while I was investing a lot of time at work and still had two kids at home.
Why did I start working out at age 50? That was a magical turning point for me in many ways. I realized I was at about the halfway point in my life, and I was ready to start becoming me.
In my late 40s, I found myself divorced, my nest empty of children, and I was working stressful hours through a major acquisition. My parents were gone at the far-too-young ages of 60 and 69. I wasn’t feeling great, physically. Mentally and emotionally, I was drained. I had spent my life being a daughter, sister, wife, mother and employee, and generally living in reaction to the events of my life. I had no idea who I was or wanted to be, now that it was just me. And there were days when I didn’t have the energy or motivation to figure it out.
There were only two directions to go from that point, and I chose UP. I took on the work of finding and investing in me. I tapped my one dear friend for frequent reality checks. I read books, journalled, went to workshops, started going to church again, joined social groups, and explored people, places, food and activities.
I started working out, and remember that my first time on the elliptical I couldn’t finish 10 minutes. I spent fewer – but higher quality – hours at work and made more friends. I discovered I had Celiac Disease and proceeded to educate myself and change my diet. My mental and emotional strength were enhanced by my growing physical strength; together they gave me a greater sense of control over my own happiness.
Discovering and developing me, Tomboy Tam, over the past several years has been the most rewarding challenge of my life. Today, I’m grateful for those challenges because they helped me become a strong, happy, healthy woman. The year of my 50th birthday was a little like being reborn.
Earlier this year, my job was eliminated for the second and final time, as a result of that major acquisition at work. So I am currently unemployed, which you may have read can be tough to recover from at my age. But just like 40 minutes on the elliptical, it’s not as big a deal as it would have been five years ago. Because shortly before my 50th birthday, I started preparing my mind and body to be happy and powerful, no matter what events happen outside of my control.
I’ve learned that I can attract wonderful people, opportunities and blessings into my life simply by knowing and believing in myself, investing in my physical and mental health, and living my best life deliberately and with gratitude every single day. I’m letting good things happen. I’ve taken my power back.
I share my story with you today on the chance that you may find some inspiration for starting or continuing to live your best life beginning today and that you may share some feedback that will inspire all of us.
- Do you have a good sense of your own personal identity? If yes, have you always had it, or did you have to work on getting it?
- Did you have any major epiphanies or life changes related to “milestone” birthdays?
- What has helped you triumph over some of the greatest challenges in your life?
- Can you share any examples of how you have attracted people, opportunities and blessings?
- What have you done to create your best life today ?
Love, Tomboy Tam