30 Is Not Old. (And Why I Need To Explain That)

For the most part, I’ve kept this blog about Maryland politics. The original alter-ego of mine, The MoCo Millennial, is the left-wing pundit that contextualizes local elections with philosophical meandering. The other, Takoma Wild Child (which is visible on Instagram) is the condescending “healthy lifestyle” advocate, who wonders, “I never get sick because I live a certain way, so why don’t you?”

I am saying this tongue-in-cheek, of course. (Note: A lot of what I say is facetious/tongue-in-cheek). There is an over-arching point, though: that I don’t particularly care how old I am or what I am “supposed to be doing” at a given age. And that works for me.

In this section of the blog, I will be revealing more about myself, but those who know me IRL know that I have about only five weeks left in my 20s. That’s right. In September, I will no longer have any excuse not to properly “adult.” I am no longer a “young adult,” just a full-fledged, non-bullshittable, ADULT. So, what’s going to change?

Absolutely nothing.

I can still run fast. I can still do back handsprings. Nothing aches, nothing pains, nothing is sore unless I do an intense workout to really justify the soreness. I feel the need to point all this out, because self-professed medical know-it-alls tell me that muscular composition declines after 30, as does fertility, skin elasticity, you name it. Whatever. Challenge accepted. I still feel invincible.

At the risk of being condescending (and didn’t I just give you a trigger warning that I was about to be condescending?) I think I have my own lifestyle to thank for this.

See, I don’t diet. I never count calories. I don’t restrict eating times or consciously eliminate certain foods. That being said, I do have particular “dislikes” that help me out automatically – I don’t eat McDonalds (mainly because I detest the form of Capitalism it epitomizes), I don’t drink soda except for the occasional root beer (I just don’t like the taste…?) and I don’t particularly care for a lot of creamy-rich foods (it’s a weird texture aversion I’ve had since I was a kid).

I’m a long-distance runner. It’s been a given, a lifestyle, since I was 15. Every job I’ve had, schedule I’ve worked, country I’ve lived in – running has stayed with me throughout. My first thought with a new adjustment is – when and where I will run? My training cycle generally averages between 40 and 60 miles per week. Admittedly, the 60 mile weeks result in a rather voracious appetite, which I have no shame in satisfying.

I am aware that for some, long-term distance running can do a number on your joints or cartilage in the knees – which is why I am particular about my shoes, my resting periods, and also considering options such as swimming, biking, trekking, rock climbing etc, to mix it up should I encounter a day when running doesn’t seem to be working for me anymore. Long story short, my natural state is to be active. Even at work – and I DO have a desk job – I fidget incessantly and often have to get up and stretch.

I’m a big time water drinker and rarely am without a glass or mason jar of water nearby.

I generally avoid medicating myself unless it’s absolutely necessary. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I was prescribed something or encouraged to take something over-the-counter. Maybe when I had my wisdom teeth out, when I took vicodin for a day while drinking smoothies and watching Bollywood? I did get mono a few years ago, did I take something for that? Can’t remember. Anyways, I’m not talking about being a hard-core naturalist to the point where it’s irresponsible. If and when I come down with something serious, I would complete an antibiotic regimen as directed. What I am talking about is the very American tendency to pop a pill for every minor ailment. When I get a headache, for example, I tend to let it run its course without medicating it. My philosophy is painkillers address the symptom without addressing the problem. When I get a headache, chances are it’s because I’m not hydrated enough, not eating enough, or not sleeping enough (usually the latter). When I address the cause, the headache goes away, and I’m back in commission.

Speaking of sleep – that’s where I fall short. I average probably about six hours per night – which is not enough for an active lifestyle, for sure.

At some point, I want to challenge myself to a month of no-excuses eight-hour nights. I did it for a week – and while I had to cut certain activities short, I felt amazing. But yeah, it wasn’t realistic for the real world.

So, there you have it. My secret for feeling as strong, if not stronger, at 30 as I did when I was 20. (Notice I prioritize feeling healthy over numerical values like weight.)

There is a caveat, however. I don’t have children (not against having them but it’s not a priority). I also haven’t really internalized the inherent stresses of adulthood. I don’t have a mortgage, I’m not a homeowner, I don’t work overtime, I’m not exactly “building wealth,” I guess this is to say I don’t prioritize material gains, for better or for worse. I do what I can to manage my finances, but I tend not to waste energy stressing over them.

So, going forward, readers should understand that this is my ethos. As the MoCo Millennial rants about politics, the Takoma Wild Child continues to play outside (in the wild!) and embrace physical youthfulness in a way such that age means absolutely nothing.

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