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13/05/2011 / melgardener

Ageing disgracefully

Where is it written that we have to act our age? And who determines what that looks like?

I’m 41. I don’t have a problem with being 41. Turning 40 didn’t provide me with any particular angst. I proudly state my age when (if) asked and will quietly admit to a certain amount of pride when people express surprise (I am assuming, of course, that they thought I was younger).

Over at mamamia.com.au they are discussing whether 47 is too old to be wearing a bikini and some of the responses are hilarious (mine included, natch). But I’ve been seriously pondering such a question since last week when my mother gently informed me that I was too old for pointe class.

While there may be some merit to that (and, no, there is no photographic evidence to be posted) I still disagree that there should be a cut off of any activity (or clothing) just because you are a certain age.

A few years ago, in desperate need of some exercise and totally over the gym scene, I enrolled in an adult jazz ballet class at my daughter’s dance school. Not only did I re-discover my love of dancing but it turned out to be a great workout, as well. Three years later I’ve now added a tap class and, this year, a pointe class.

The last time I was on pointe was 20 years ago (when I was, ahem, 21) and I stopped going to dance class in favour of the gym and teaching aerobics. So, it’s not a stretch to say that going back on pointe at 41 was a bit of a shock to the system. Just as they say we forget the pain of childbirth, so I had forgotten the pain of pointe shoes that are not properly broken in and toes that certainly aren’t used to bearing that much weight.

Last summer a friend and I decided that life was definitely too short and we became bikini sisters – only in the privacy of her back yard but it was a substantial leap forward for two women who had borne two children each and had the stretch marks to prove it.

I’ve been loving the influx of leggings in the last couple of years, not only for the comfort value, but because I can feel as though I’m being stylish and fashionable without having to wear something unflattering (and long tunics, bless them, hide a multitude of sins).

I want my daughters to grow up feeling as though they are never too old to try new things, meet new people or have new experiences so I guess I’m going to have to walk the walk and lead by example. Such a shame, not!

What do you do that makes you feel young? Is there anything you’d love to try but haven’t because you feel you are too old? Have you ever been told you are too old for a certain activity?

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