In just a few days, I’ll be turning 30. Yup, the big “three-oh”. I’m excited. I have to admit, I don’t get the fear that many have for hitting 30. Is there some mystical significance to the number? Is the birthday bumps threshold 29- and 30 is just too painful? Somebody fill me in!
As far as I’m concerned, turning 30 simply means entering another year in which I can challenge myself, and grow to be someone better than I was at 29. That being said, with all of the negativity around this apparently prolific decade entry, I decided that I would make a big deal out of turning 30 and put a concerted effort into challenging myself in the 30 days leading up to my 30th birthday (Feb 6). I called it my “30 in 30 Challenge”.
My goal was to present myself with a new challenge every day, and build some new habits to positively propel me into this coming year. I started it off with one big challenge, which was my nutrition challenge. I decided to do the Paleo diet, which meant no dairy, grains, legumes, or added sugar of any kind for 30 days. This in itself presented me with a daily challenge, as I love my Greek yogurt and cereals. My next challenge was more of a big goal as I was beginning my training for my first full marathon in July. As it turned out, these took a lot of energy away from accomplishing new goals for the remaining days.
However, there were little goals that I presented myself with each day. Whether they were physical challenges, taking up more cooking responsibilities at home, or even committing to intentional time doing spiritual reading, they all pushed me to do something that was not the norm for me. Admittedly, a few days in, it was hard for me to think of new challenges for myself as I was working on the challenges I had already presented myself with.
Although I didn’t actually accomplished 30 challenges in 30 days, the last twenty-some odd days have been a very intentional time of disciplining myself in ways that I haven’t disciplined myself before. It’s also been an opportunity to re-enforce my belief that life is what we make of it. Turning 30 is what you make of it.
One thing that changed my perspective on getting older, was getting to know Johnny. Over the course of many training sessions, and hanging out, we’ve both expressed excitement about being the 60-plus year olds who are still killing it at the gym. This image has stuck in my head since, and has been a reminder that I can make a lot of choices that will influence how getting older is going to look and feel.
Just before writing this, my wife Melanie told me that she thought that I’m probably in the best shape and the healthiest I’ve been in my whole life. This, even in spite of the fact that I had two wrist surgeries in the last 6 months. There are a lot of roadblocks that life will throw at us that will be legitimately tough to get around.
When I told one of my high school students that I was turning 30 soon, she said, “wow, you’re going to be middle-aged.” I corrected her, and said that that’s not for another few years. However, I did say that I look forward to the day that I hit the middle ages, and I’m even more excited about being able to get seniors’ discounts.
As excited as I am about turning 30, you best believe I’ll have big plans for my 60th.