Age Pride

“Why do so many of us demur when asked our ages, or just flat-out lie about how old we are? Breaking this habit isn’t just good for women, it’s good for all of us. Because every time you mention your true age as if it’s no biggie, or excitedly tell the world exactly how old you’re turning on your birthday, you sound a note of sanity in our youth-crazed culture. You tell the young girls in your life that confidence grows with time. You signal to your guy that you’re in full possession of your hotness.”
~Jill Herzig, Editor-in-Chief – from Editor’s Notebook in the October 2012 Issue of Redbook Magazine

This article spurred quite the conversation between my husband and I on the way to my annual birthday backpack and climb. Interestingly enough after much discussion and contemplation, we both came to very similar personal conclusions:

  • We feel younger now than we did a few years ago.
  • Physically, we are in better shape, are stronger, more agile, and less injury prone.
  • Mentally, we are braver, take more calculated risks, more driven, and laugh more.

Hey! How can this be? Well… we now have better gear, plan trips more thoroughly, and more importantly prepare ahead physically. I vividly remember the  first time I climbed Mount Whitney quite a few years ago. On the way to the summit I was nauseous, dizzy, and disoriented from altitude sickness and also came off that mountain with a very swollen knee that took months to heal. This season I have climbed Whitney twice and even spent the night on top feeling great and coming home with no injuries. Back then I was not hiking with poles and training primarily by running on flat land. I now train on varied degrees of surfaces, circuit train, and never leave home without my hiking poles.

How old? 55 at the top of Cirque Peak ~ Golden Trout Wilderness

So with all that said in the end still we ARE older and look older, but inside the spirit whispers not so. Age has brought on a confidence to say and do things that are important and out of the box. I am in love with this time in life and can’t wait for what is around and over the next mountain.

For my annual birthday hike we climbed Peak 12525 and Cirque Peak. Both mountains are a cross-country (no trail) route with fun class 2 and a little class 3 climbing. The peaks are just south of Mount Langley and Mount Whitney in the Southern Sierra Nevada.

Our trek started with a night hike 5 miles into South Fork Lake from the Cottonwood Lakes trail head. The next day we climbed both peaks and headed back to the car. This is my favorite itinerary for short overnight backpacks. Go in the night before, climb a challenging peak and head back. Good food and a hot shower are the rewards. I recommend this great hike for exercise, beauty, and celebrating.

Sunrise at SouthForkLake
Sunset – South Fork Lake
Far Left, Peak 12525 – Far Right, Cirque Peak
Taken using the new iOS 6 iPhone Panorama camera feature



Enjoy the trip video created on my Mac using iMovie “Photo Album” theme. Music “Beautiful Day” by U2


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  3. My grandmother is so wise and beautiful. She reminds me that age is simply a number (of which to be proud) and says two things about this topic that really speak to me: she says that even though she’s 74, she is also 12 and 29 and 34 and 47 and 55 and 63 and all the numbers in between; and she says that every morning she still wakes up and looks in the mirror making funny faces until she laughs.

    Thanks for rockin’ the pride in your age, missy! I’m loving it!

    • First of all your family is amazing. What you have done with a bus takes minimal living to a whole new level and flare. I love reading your blog entries and look forward to every one. They make me smile.

      So as for your grandmother…what a wise and articulate woman. This is so true! Please tell her thank you. What a special goal to live up to.

      Funny face in the mirror until I laugh.

  4. Jenny Alexander

    I LOVE this post!!! I turned 60 this year and I’m sooo ready for the adventure of this new decade. I go hill-walking and stuff, but I wouldn’t say I’m super-fit, but then I never have been – just happy and healthy and able to do all the things I want to do. All these years feel like such blessings and you’re right – we should declare it, out and proud!!!

    • Hello Jenny,
      Thank you for being proud and sharing it all. I think we both can agree that being out there well into our 70’s smiling, breathing, walking, and enjoying the outdoors is where it is at.

  5. Happy belated b-day! Inspiring for this spring chicken 😉

    • Thank you! Thank you! Readers check out Maureen’s blog “The Outdoors Betty” for more ideas and tips to get outside in Southern California. Gotta love this sport we call hiking.

  6. LOVE IT!!! Things only get better with age! Such a great post. This is the best video so far too! I love the transitions in it. Well done, well done:)

    • Thoughts? Feelings? Revealing of oneself? You got it all baby! Yaaaaaaayyyyy! Thanks for the feedback on the video. Each new video I am trying and learning something new. The upcoming video “Falling for Fall” I am hoping to feature violin music from the one family member you have not met. I think a bribe might just be in order. So great.

  7. Rockin,

    I look forward to every one of your posts. I’m glad you had such a great birthday. I’m not yet quite fifty (got a year to go) and here I was thinking you weren’t either. You go, and that’s for sure. And thanks for sharing that. I have worked hard the last two years to get in trail shape and in fact it does feel great. -I’m off to the beach now for a little surf.

    • Ahhh Warren hope I didn’t spoil things for you and it is encouraging to know the age number I am. 🙂 Surf? That is one sport I have not embraced, but appreciate it through others. So glad you are making goals and making them happen. Isn’t that the best we can do? I think so.

      • Knowing what your number is just stokes me even more. You are a real inspiration to me. As I’m sure you are to all your faithful readers. -I’m really thankful that Wired mentioned you in one of her posts.

  8. I very much appreciate all you have said. I turned 60 in August and just returned from a week of intense hiking, slickrock scrambling and canyon clambering in southeastern Utah. I am curious, after your comments about not hiding your age, how old are you?

    • Hey Lisa wow I would have liked to have been on that trip. How fun and challenging is that? Congrats! I am so sorry I should have made my age more clear. My hands in the pic on top of Cirque Peak tells it all…55!!! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Teresa Skye

    Totally agree! I’m very excited about what I can achieve in the next few years. Poles have helped me, too, along with daily stretching and exercise. And I’m much better at reading the trail and being careful about lifting my feet, avoiding pesky roots and rocks. Being smarter about equipment has helped, too. We have a neighbor who was telling us he has started a walking program. The first day, he walked down to our nearby lake ( about 1/4 mile) and his knees killed him – he had to take a few days off. This guy is my age, not overweight, works a lot around his place, but isn’t being smart about other kinds of ways to keep fit and healthy. Three cheers for the hiking life- soooo many benefits!

    • The Beekeeper

      I started a hill climbing series last winter for my adventure group – 1/2 mile up, 1/2 mile down for 4 miles. In January, we started carrying our packs and adding 2 pounds per week, so that by backpacking season I was carrying 35 pounds. I had the best ever backpacking season with no aches or pains, no sore shoulders, no sore back. Best yet, I had a bone density test and I have the bones of someone 25-30 years younger!

      • You need to write a pamphlet or book. More people need to get this message. You have got quite a system! I so agree and have personally experienced the luxury of not feeling like I want to lay down and die after strenuous trips. Consistency…is the key. If you stop using the body you have to start all over again working out. I hate that. So I keep getting out and moving. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom and helping others.

        • The Beekeeper

          I am definitely an adventure cheerleader! I help manage a 900+ member outdoor adventure group in far northern California, founded in late November 2008, that grew crazy fast and meets a very needed niche. It is based on members “posting and hosting” activities. For me, it’s all about hiking, snowshoeing, biking and backpacking. I can post an invite tonight for tomorrow morning and just like magic I’ll have a few folks ready to be my adventure buddies. We call it our “field of dreams!” BTW, I think you’ll like the name of our hill climb series, “Huff and Puff”.

          • Okay I am jealous. You must live in an area where people are ready to go and embrace getting outside to get dirty, tired, and very happy. Huff and Puff…yes that would be me. Thanks Beekeeper for your work.

    • Hey Teresa. Isn’t this the truth? Those muscles around knees need some strengthening BEFORE tackling uphills and downhills. I used to be that person years ago. So glad you are continuing to enjoy getting out. I still cannot believe all the snow you guys got in Washington. Age what’s that?

  10. The Beekeeper

    I applaud the thoughts and am in constant amazement at those much my senior doing things I’m not yet able to conquer. I remember joining a hiking club when I was in my 30’s thinking there are all these “old” people at the carpool and what kind of fun (aka challenge) will this be. I sure was surprised and elated when they hiked my pants off! And now, I’m excited to be one of the “old” farts who is finally able to experience a better work/life balance and can now hike the pants off those 30 somethings! Your blog is a great inspiration and continues to motivate me to strive to achieve more!

    • The Beekeeper

      BTW, what shoes/boots are you wearing? I’m having a problem finding something with sufficiently aggressive tread to deal with the multitude of conditions, especially steep downhills with loose soil/rocks and off-trail forays, while simultaneously not being so stiff as to give blisters, etc.

      • I am a huge fan of Merrell Moab Ventilator low tops. They are comfy around the ankles, grip well in all conditions, are very durable, soles are stiff enough that you don’t feel every rock, prevent blisters like no other, and are relatively inexpensive. After 500 miles I always replace them for better support and I always pair them with a good orthotic. Right now I am using Spendco Earthbound. My husband also wears and loves them.

        • The Beekeeper

          I’ve been wearing mid Keens, and I like you replace them about every 500 miles and wear good insoles. I’ll check out the Merrill Moabs. THANKS!

    • BIG thanks for the encouraging words. Amen to out hiking anybody younger and of course pulling it off with grace. I just think any sport you can do life long is so cool. YAAAAAYYY for hiking!

  11. I feel the same way. I’m in much better shape now than I was ten years ago. Great birthday trip. Loved the photos and video.

  12. I agree with you, and often think that of myself. I have to look in the mirror to remember that I’m not 30 (or even 40) any longer. Great photos and I’m going to look at the album next.

    • That pesky mirror! But in a way when we gaze at our reflection it is a reminder of all that we love, cherish, and remember. I am trying to remain positive.

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