How worrying about your age could be holding you back

Renata Joy, Founder, Pure Joy Wellness

Renata Joy, Founder, Pure Joy Wellness

I turned 58 last year, an age where some women might be dreading the next two birthdays coming after — but I am feeling better than ever. That might sound like I am just saying some feel good bullshit but I promise it’s the truth. I have worried about my age at certain points in the past, many years ago. Now, I rarely think about age unless someone else brings it up. A recent conversation got me thinking a lot about how much people — particularly women — worry about their age, and how much that can hold you back from being as fit as possible. Not only that, it can hold you back from moments of pure joy and bliss because you talk yourself out of something you feel spontaneously inspired to do, thinking, “Hmmm, I might be too old for that.”

Now is a perfect time to throw that thinking out. Here’s why: That’s just a story that people tell themselves; and when you define yourself by your age, it becomes an excuse to not push yourself out of your comfort zone.  And just beyond that zone is exactly where you grow stronger and better in life, in every way, including mentally and physically.

I was 46 years old when I first started thinking about starting Pure Joy Wellness. That was back when “age” was still a thing for me so I thought, “I might be too old to do this now.” I started thinking about leaving the supposed comfort and security of my corporate job. I was a producer for a major television show at a major network and I was worrying about this idea of stepping out on my own even though I really wanted to do it. Obviously, I scrapped my doubts. I put my age on the back burner and moved forward because I really wanted to help people. What if I had allowed my age to hold me back? Where would I be, and where would some of the people be who have said that my unique approach to training has helped them in a way that nothing else ever has? Just think about that for a moment. Not only might you be holding yourself back by letting your age stop you from doing certain things — you may also be holding someone else back who would have been directly helped by you or simply inspired by your example. (By the way, what’s really funny is my age has turned out to be a big asset in my business!)

To change your thoughts and actions around age, try letting yourself go and tapping into your inner child. Children don’t worry that they’re a particular age. They don’t even think about it. They just say, “Hey, my brother is climbing up that jungle gym and that looks fun. I want to do it too. Weeeeeee!” Never mind the fact that they are three and their brother is six.

Reinventing ourselves can and should happen at any age.  In fact, among my clients and many of the people I see on the fitness circuit around New York City, I am noticing a trend: Some of the fittest people in training and classes are in their 40s. The reality is, midlife has changed. People who are over 40, who are not thinking about age as a limitation, are crushing it.

Mary Kay Ash, one of the wealthiest and most successful American businesswomen ever, said “Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know that, so it goes on flying anyway.”

Forget your age. Spread your wings. Fly.