How old is that woman riding a tricycle? |

How old is that woman riding a tricycle?

Tina Turner recently celebrated her 60th birthday a few days after I turned 49.

That prompted me to ponder this thing called “age” that defines us as individuals. Nearly a senior citizen, Tina shows no signs of retirement and neither do I, but for different reasons. Tina can afford to retire, should she so desire. Fortunately, I don’t desire to, but would like that option someday.

Anyway, the pop queen recently transformed one floor of her 120-year-old Switzerland home into a fitness center and she’s planning a world tour this year. Age is not stopping her. The city recreation complex serves as my fitness center and I’m not planning a world tour – but having a birthday generally causes one to look around at what others are doing who are near your age or older.

Look at singer Little Richard. He’s still rockin’ and rollin’ at age 67. Actress JoBeth Williams is 46 and could keep working as long as she wants to. Singer-musician Gregg Allman is 52 but because of his lifestyle, it’s a miracle he’s still alive. He also looks older than his allotted years. Donny Osmond is 42 but he looks 22. I think he was born that way. Actress Rita Moreno is 68 and still as feisty as ever.

My question is, “is this middle age?”

If you live to be 98, then, yes, 49 is exactly middle age.

I’m now old enough to know better, but young enough to still take risks. Old enough to keep my cool about most things, but too old to be totally cool. (Thank God.) While 49 sounds old to anyone younger than that, it doesn’t feel old.

It feels perfect.

At 49, you’re old enough to think about death, but young enough to consider this the best time of life. It’s at this stage of the game that we can have life-long friends and still be young enough to make new ones. Middle age feels more textured, more adventurous, more fulfulling than my younger years. There’s an emotional stability and inner wisdom we gain that no one can shake – unless we let them.

What is interesting about age is that is doesn’t necessarily tell you much about a person, their life experiences or their maturity level. We all know Twentysomethings who have deep insight, and just as many in their 40s and 50s who can be as childish as the day they entered kindergarten.

But still it’s a number assigned to us all and were I to lie about my age, I’d add on several years. That way people would say “my, you look good for someone who is 94.” There are those who refuse to reveal their age and that is certainly their right. It’s their choice to divulge or not because, for the most part, age is a state of mind. Then our wrinkles and gray hairs give us away.

Anyway, to celebrate my 49th, a bunch of friends gathered for a birthday party at Turtles nightclub. Even being “middle age,” I’m still young enough to compete in Tricycle Races, which is exactly what we did. It was a sight to behold.

I don’t care how old I get, I’ll take Tricycles Races to an old person’s rocking chair any day.

Science now reports that women between the ages of 40 and 55 experience aches and pains previously unreported. Of 10,000 women in that age range who were studied over the past four years, 8 percent reported significant difficulty completing simple tasks such as climbing a flight of stairs, carrying groceries or walking around the block. More than 20 percent reported some difficulty completing such tasks. Such physical weakness traditionally had been expected of much older women, according to investigator MaryFran Sowers, of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

Hallelujah! I’m so happy to know these aches and pains are now considered fairly normal.

I thought I was sore from riding a tricycle.

Denise Sloan is the entertainment and cuisine editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

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