...and it isn't fatal. "It" is my 40th birthday, which is today. And I'd like to thank everyone for all the good wishes. They mean a lot. As I mentioned to a friend, I am truly a lucky bastard.
As some of you know, I've been contemplating the big day for some time now. But in keeping with the idea that jiu jitsu is like life, turning 40 is like getting a belt promotion: in some ways maybe it's a big deal, but in other ways you're the same person you were before the occurrence. I've heard many people, black belts and otherwise, say that anyone who gets promoted was actually the belt they have just been promoted to for several months. So if you apply the analogy, I guess that means I've been 40 for a couple months now.
Okay, maybe not. It is a fact of life now, though, and it doesn't change my day-to-day existence very much. I realize that much of the trepidation and anxiety I have about entering my 40s has to do with the expectations I imposed on what 40 is supposed to be long before I ever got here--and my concern about the ones I believe I don't meet.
Of course, realizing that mentally is a far cry from internalizing it emotionally and psychologically. I just got finished telling a grappling acquaintance who is closer to the beginning of her journey than I am that there is no percentage in comparing her progress and her trajectory with anybody else's. It's tempting, and it's human nature, but it's ultimately a dead, depressing end. And it's dawning on me that I was supposed to have that conversation with her so I would realize it for myself.
Duh. I guess epiphanies are epiphanies for a reason. Okay, that's a good day's work.
In other news, the CrossFit Games are this weekend. Imagine an Olympics of CrossFit. They are being held pretty much in my back yard. I can only go on Sunday, but that's the day to go if you only have one day--that's the finals day. And it's all going to be streamed live, so I'll get a taste of it on Saturday too. But Saturday we have our belt promotion ceremony. And since it's as hot as Hades around here, cramming 75ish people, all wearing heavy cotton pajamas, into our academy at high noon is going to be very pleasant. But anyway, so I'll go to the belt promotion ceremony on Saturday and the Games on Sunday. Should be a good time all around!