I have been thinking a lot about this lately. It’s a personal thing that seems foreground right now.
So I guess I’ll start with a confession of sorts, or an acknowledgement more like it: This is a LOT about ego, a lot about body shame, a good deal of it is rooted in resisting getting older (and invisible).
Also too, I presume to know my audience…and that some of you might identify with some of this and do me the honor of replying either in the comments or privately…
Be sure I don’t SUFFER this as much as it nags at me.
I am in my sixties and it sometimes feels like it. But most of the time I am just me, like I have been for decades and decades. I can wear the same jeans, the same shoes, the same swimsuits…maybe a bit of a change in the eagerness to get into designer underwear and such…but it’s more an issue of not wanting to be ‘that guy’. You know, the one who is OBVIOUSLY old enough to be a grandad to the kids at the_______[insert here: party, bbq, bar, nightclub, tailgate, Super Bowl party] who is tragically insistent on trying to wear whatev Timothée Chalamet is sporting and is SO oblivious to the fool he is making of himself. PLEASE STOP ME if you ever see me do that on here or anywhere.
As time has evolved I have become quite the amateur athlete (have talked some about that) and so bucking the trend of my peers a bit…but it is a very private activity….not a lot of people know I am such a committed rower…it is really what I like to do in my spare time.
But recently I have noticed that I am NOT ok with the way I look when I catch myself in the reflection of a window on the street, or worse, see a pic someone took of a group of us at some place…I look nothing like the way I think I look. My self image is nothing like the real thing.
This has now gotten to the point where it is bugging me enough that I am super determined to get the real me closer to the self image me.
Now here is the rub: how much of this is pathetic.? Is it something I should just give in to? Try to come to terms with? I mean it’s not like I am unable to do any of the stuff I am now engaged in during my shred: weights, rowing a ton, eating cauliflower and kale, and resisting sugar and caffeine….
Because I actually want to look at myself, take pics for this site and others and LIKE what I see, actually truth be told, get turned on by what I see.
And let me stress: I am not in a place of hating what I see in the mirror, it’s more like that wince you do when you hear a recording of your own voice and it is NOTHING like your voice….but FUCK! That is what people have been listening to all this time!
One more thing about this. I touched on the invisible thing. It sucks to know that no one sees you. This is not something I can change by the way I look, or act, but it does matter that I let it matter. The better I feel about myself the less it seems to happen. So I wonder how much a positive self image (or lack thereof) has to do with the sense that you are undesirable, unnoticeable, even a bit repellent?
I know I can’t control what other people think of me. Trust me, been down that road. But I can and must work on how I think of me. It is an inside job. And then there's that idea or approach that I have to be the best steward to the body that I have...be kind to it...feed it well...change the oil every 5000 miles.
To wrap up I am on a rowing team. There is one guy who is just 100,000 meters ahead of me throughout the season…I bird dog him every season…he’s 74…and the best season distance on the team? 75 years old and has done 5 times the meters I have done this season. So I am in their wake…and that keeps me from thinking I am getting too old for this shit. It actually makes me so proud to be on their team! And they’re mentors of course…and kick my ass into gear….All important roles to have someone in by my reckoning.
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