June 08, 2014

Birthdays: Fun? Or Do They Scare the Crap Out of You?

By Crabby McSlacker

Well, I'm not thrilled that the number keeps getting bigger.

54?  How the hell did that happen? I feel... 33.  I'm not sure why that seems like the right number, but it does.  Sure seems a better fit than 54.

How many more birthdays do I even have coming to me?  It's creepy when you pass the halfway mark. Starts feeling really important  to be less of a nitwit about how you spend your remaining years. Some stuff is important and some isn't, and at least one great thing about middle age is finally knowing the difference.

But screw the whole aging thing, I love my birthday.

I do whatever the hell I want, all day long.  I exercise, eat fun things, get a massage, spend time with my lovely wife, and wander around town taking time to look at things I normally might walk right past.

I recently came across a blog post I wrote about 6 years ago on strength training for the long haul.  And in it, I confessed to my laziness and antipathy toward strength training in general, and mentioned that I am not overly ambitious about my goals.

I said the one thing I wanted to do was just preserve the strength that I had then, year after year, until I croak.  While I've internalized it, I'd forgotten I'd formalized it and mentioned it on the blog.

So, six years later, it was kinda fun this morning to test myself: yep, can do 3 unassisted chin ups in a row (or 1.9 pull-ups). Thirty full body push-ups with good form, a few more if I cheat a bit.  Ten dips off the Crabitron.  All as good or better than back when I wrote the post.

Which is no big deal compared to what a lot of you can do, but as I said, my goals are not lofty.

Anyway, this is all just to say, from my perspective:

The best birthday present you can give yourself is to keep at this healthy eating and fitness crap, year after year.  Find as much stuff that you absolutely love as possible, but it also helps to suck it up and hang tough sometimes with the stuff you don't love so much.

It's so fucking worth it.

Oh, and the other best birthday present to give yourself is to surround yourself with loved ones, friends, and lovely communities like this one! I am so damn lucky.

OK, off to enjoy the day!

photo: James Vaughan again


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You left out another option besides having fun or being scared of birthdays...ignoring them. At this point in life (in my 60's) very few friends even know when my birthday is. The day comes and goes with a verbal birthday wish from my husband, possibly an email birthday wish from one brother, and almost always a card from a card-sending friend across the country. This is all fine with me! Quite a big deal was made of birthdays when I was a kid--gifts, special cake with some relevant theme in the frosting, party with friends, then party with adult family members. But now? Just another day. It stayed pretty special while my mother was alive, since it was actually celebrating an event that we shared on a very primal level.

    I hope you are indeed enjoying your day!

  2. Happy Birthday! Yay! Hope it's the most bestliest ever!

  3. Happy Birthday, Crabby! It is so easy to lose strength, and not get it back, over the years. And it is so important. You are doing great!


  4. Happy, happy day!!!! And - hey - your goals may not seem lofty to you, but to those of us who can not (yet) do chin-ups or pull-ups (and thought they were the same thing, in fact) - you are absolutely awesomely amazing!

  5. Happy Happy Birthday, Jan! You hit the nail on the head - keep doing what it takes to stay fit and healthy because it IS worth it. And then you get to enjoy more years doing the fun stuff! Hope you have a blast on your special day...of course, Ima recommend you stretch this out into a week, at least. :)

  6. PS to my earlier comment--OMG you can do chin-ups??? Very impressive!

  7. Happy, happy birthday!!! I hope it is the best day ever and the start of your best year yet!!!
    And, I'm beyond impressed with your chin-ups, push-ups and dips - pretty awesome!!!
    Enjoy your day!

  8. Like Peggy I'm not very interested in my birthday. It stopped being exciting after I turned eighteen. If you still find yours exciting, enjoy to the max! And I approve of your goal of having a strong and healthy old age. I'd like to have one, too; it would make up for my extremely unhealthy young adult years.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  9. Happy birthday! I'm glad my husband and I aren't the only ones who are stuck going "Really?!" when we have to actually admit how old we are. His BFF is 34, and yeah... that's about right. (He's 46 and I'm 44.)

    Oh - and I celebrate birth month. Forget the gifts - except my sister and hubby; they OWE ME GREAT presents - but I love to have dinner and a glass of prosecco with friends all month long!

  10. Woo happy birthday!

    I turned 40 in December. I kind of felt like I said all the usual stuff "I can't believe I'm 40!" and gave a lot of lip service to the getting old shtick, but I am not sure I really believe it. My age is what it is, and I can't do anything about it.

    I just went to a surprise 60th birthday party last night for a friend in my running group. I'm figuring that sticking with the healthy path means that I'll be like her - still out and doing it 20 years from now. I sure hope so!

  11. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love this & have a wonderful day!!!! You deserve it!

  12. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! * drinks champagne in your honor* ;)

  13. I am a big fan of my birthday. I like to go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner, have a massage, go to the casino and anything else that I may feel like doing that day. The Boss likes to do the same on his, minus the casino, so that works out wonderfully!

    Hope your day is fabulous, Crabby!!! And I love your strength!!!

  14. I hope you have the best, strongest birthday ever!!! Like red wine Crabby, you're getting better!!!

  15. Happy Birthday! When I turned 40 I remember thinking how weird, I am 40. :) Depends on the year, but mine are generally very low key. I do always make sure I get something good to eat...although this year it was peanut butter oreos which is pathetic, but the best I could come up with considering I also started a new job that day and had a drug test for new job. :) First year I have had a drug test on my birthday.

  16. Wishing you many happy returns of the day!

  17. Happy birthday! I am celebrating my 44th tomorrow and I am totally OK with that. I'm a new reader to your blog but looking forward to getting caught up with you. :)

  18. Hi everyone, thank you all SO MUCH for the birthday wishes and fun comments!

    I had a lovely day, consumed inadvisable quantities of refined sugar, flour, and butter in various combinations, and am ready to begin my 54th year... or wait, I guess I'm beginning my 55th, sheesh... anyway, ready to begin the next year of my life feeling properly indulged and grateful.

  19. I'm late to comment, but happy birthday!
    Wisdom = knowledge, strength and experience, sounds like you are doing well in all those categories,

  20. Happy Birthday!! Sorry I missed it. I was face deep in yard work and a carton of frozen yogurt. Want to feel like a million bucks? Cut down a small tree with a chain saw, hack it up and then inspect your handy work from the deck chair while eating pretend ice cream.
    I always think I am 18 and regular size. It surprises me every time when evidence refutes that idea!

  21. Death Ride GrandmaJune 9, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Happy birthday, Crabby! Sorry to be late. I was out riding yesterday, never touched the phone or computer - have reason to believe you don't need to worry too much about aging until you are at least as old as I am! And, let's hope, quite a bit longer than that.

  22. Happy belated birthday! (And pffttt about being past the halfway mark. Who SAYS you aren't gonna live to 110? ;-) )

  23. Belated Happy Birthday, Crabby! From a fellow Gemini. ;)


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