How do you define aging? #DadsDisruptAging

Disclaimer: The following post is sponsored by Disrupt Aging from AARP. All thoughts, opinions and body pains are my own. 

Have you ever thought about why you do the things you do? For me, it’s trying to be athletic and show my children how athletic I am, but that has not always been the story. I was never much of an athlete when I was younger. I ran around with my friends playing games like freeze tag, and hide-n-seek, but never anything too strenuous. When I went to high school, I joined a few teams, but not being physically fit, my high school athletic career did not advance at all. After graduation, I started thinking that I passed my prime. I passed my time to be fit and to be athletic, but all that changed when I had my daughter.

I have written before about how I knew I needed to get in some type of shape when my daughter was born. I mean a good percentage of parenting is cardio, right? Chasing your children around at home. Chasing them around at the park. Running them from one activity to another. So with all of this running, it was a no-brainer for me to take up running. Running was my sport of choice, by default and it not only proved to be beneficial but also good for my soul.

As I ran I would think about what I needed to do throughout the week. I would plan ways to potty train my daughter and think about what fun adventures we can have at home, but I also had time for myself to reflect. I started thinking about how good running made me feel and why I did not start doing this earlier. I also started thinking about how I can start pushing myself to do more physically.

So here I am. A dad in my mid-thirties and I have just discovered running and I started looking into doing obstacle course racing. When I went to my first race I stood out like a sore thumb. I did not look physically fit like the other participants, but my mind was ready. I figured that I would go into this race with the same mindset that I have for running: Just keep moving forward and don’t stop. I survived my first race and I was hooked.

Let’s fast forward a little. As I am approaching my mid-40s I have run two full marathons and have done five Spartan races. One of the great things is that by doing these races my children have seen that even though dad is an “old man” he can compete with the other people on the field. By seeing this, they have started running the children’s race themselves and that is a great thing. 
I am always trying to instill in my children that they can do anything that they want if they put their minds to it. I tell them that it does not matter how old they are, how tall they are or how fast they are, as long as they believe in themselves they can accomplish anything. 
I feel that as I am getting older I am getting younger mentally because I do not define myself by my age. I define myself by the person I am and right now I do not think I am in my mid-40s. I think that by my children seeing me run through mud and jump over obstacles, they will feel that they can do that too when they become my age. They will see that age is really just a number and they can accomplish many great things no matter what their real age is. 
Can you imagine that? A world where we are judged on our actual values and experience and not just age. I think that this generation of parents can help redefine that mindset and show people that we should not place people in a box due to their age. Age just equals experience and old dogs can show younger dog new tricks. I’m glad that I can be mentally and physically fit for my children and I can not wait until the day that we can all run an obstacle course race together. 
How do you define aging? Please join me in this discussion in the comments below. You can also visit or follow the hashtag #daddisruptaging on Twitter and Instagram to see how some dads are Disrupting aging.

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