I just turned 67 in April.
There it is…
Aging and pretty excited about all of the knowledge and freedom that comes with it.
Do you know that the average life expectancy for a woman is 81 years, and the average age at which women hit menopause is 51. The long and short of this is…we spend nearly 40 years of our lives “AFTER” menopause. Wow! If you add in all of the “pre or peri-menopause” years one might have – it’s almost HALF of our lives spent in this phase. And yet, not many are talking about it openly. It’s just sort of “there”.
Years (not that many honestly) ago, this was referred to as “the change” and women were, quite often, committed to asylums for their behaviors during this time. And today, we’re not that much better at saying this word out loud. Or, publicizing it in blogs or training sessions. Although we’ve made huge leaps in understanding what Menopause is – we are still a looonnngggg way from “normalizing” it.
It’s still somewhat of a “dividing” line between young and hot and powerful / to older, of a certain age and weaker. That just fries me! I was at a casual evening get together and a very attractive and accomplished female friend made a comment about “disappearing” in the last couple of years. She was in a store and the only “older” woman shopping. She felt as though she was invisible. The clerks were busy buzzing around the younger women trying on clothing. She finally put the $1200 skirt down and left the store. I was just shocked by this story and sad that we as fellow women don’t do more to bring this awful behavior to the attention of all that we can!
It’s all about good old PERCEPTION. Culturally and socially our views impact how we handle this natural progression of life. We notice that daily ads both in print and in media are still packed with women in their 20’s and 30’s. I have seen a very few women in their 50’s used in ads, but they are still far and few between.
Lately, as a part of my studies (I’ve always had a curiosity and passion for fitness and staying active – this prompted me to go back to school at Cornell to learn about nutrition and it’s effect on the aging body and chronic diseases) I’ve been researching older athletes and the affects of aging and menopause on their performance and lean muscle mass. And, while one or two were willing to admit to being a bit older and entering or going through Menopause – most were not for fear they would be perceived as weaker or “past their prime”. These women are still claiming Iron Man titles (why can’t we name it Iron Woman??!!) and running with the best of them.
It’s my intention to bring these issues to light through this blog space. And, hopefully to show other women (not world-class athletes) who are still out there running, skiing, hiking, biking and generally kicking ass that we’ve still got it. We may have to deal with some small issues like weight gain and training options – but we are still forces to be dealt with and absolute SWEAT GODDESSES!
Let me know what YOUR experience has been with this natural passage of womanhood. I’d LOVE to hear from you.