For me as a former high intensity endurance runner, the realities of aging are something I have to learn to cope with.

My best marathon was a 3:15 back when I was 47. I used to hesitate to say or type the word was in that context. I always focused on the next lower time goal. Getting faster. Outperforming myself.

But that’s not going to happen now. That’s a reality to face. I’m not going to get faster any more. I’m too old for that.

I can say that now without pain.

I’ve had to learn to focus on the joys of running. And of biking and swimming.

I had to ask myself, do I run marathons for the times or for the pleasures and benefits of running?

Is it any less pleasurable or beneficial if I can no longer aim at a sub three-hour time?

The answer became clear to me when I realized it was either stop focusing on beating myself or give up what I love.

Ah, the joys of aging!

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com