My Birthday Ramblings…

A clean-shaven MustacheMan (circa 1969)

So I am turning 47 years old this year (2013). No big deal for me, really. I don’t mind it that much. I have nothing profound to share about getting older and staying in shape. Frankly, it annoys me when people post quotes like, “Age is merely a number!” and “You are as old as you feel!”. Although somewhat true they are mostly just stupid cliches that older people use to justify their sad, drunken nights of trying to party like a college kid. YOLO, dude.

What I WILL share with you are a couple of my earliest ponderings about growing old.

For some reason I can vividly remember the year of my childhood when my father was 44 years old. It’s probably because of the double digit thing. Anyway, every now and then my father and I would toss around the baseball in our front yard. Remember, he was 44 which made me 9 years old. Sometimes I would throw like a spaz and my dad would have to struggle to catch the ball. Occasionally my throw would end up soaring completely out of his reach and out of our yard and into the street. Surrounding our small yard was a split rail wooden fence. It couldn’t have been more than three feet high. Whenever my dad had to retrieve the ball he would to take the long way around the fence. Clearly it would have been much faster to hurdle the railing and get the ball instead of walking all the way around the fence to the opening. Why wouldn’t he just hop the fence? I thought about it and I just couldn’t picture my dad doing that. I wondered if this was my fate. I loved hopping that fence. At an early age I used to run at that thing top speed and clear the rails easily. Would my 44th year of life render me incapable of such an easy (and fun) physical act? At that moment my future frightened me.

A quick follow up to the above story had me at the softball field about a year ago warming up my teenage daughter at her team practice with a game of catch. She threw the ball too high and it went over the left field fence. It was a chain-linked fence about 5 feet high and to go around it would take too long. Defiantly avoiding my fate I ran at the fence and scaled up and over it as quickly and nimbly as possible. It may not have looked pretty but I was damn sure I wasn’t going out like my old man. I got the ball and noisily scampered back over the fence. Breathing heavily I tossed the ball back to my daughter. She looked at me, horrified. A few of her teammates also gave me odd looks. With a cocked eyebrow my daughter said, “Dad… that was weird.”

My second story goes back even earlier than my previous memory and it’s only just flashes of images. Sometimes during the summer my family would drive about an hour to a lake in the Poconos. My mom, dad, sister, and two brothers would spend the day swimming and cooking out. Great childhood memories. I was probably 4 or 5 and I wanted to go to the deep part of the lake. My dad held me and carried me out into the water. I remember resting my head against his chest and having his bushy gray hairs all in my face. That wasn’t really a big deal but, what was more memorable were his big, fat, pointy tits. My dad wasn’t a heavy guy mind you. But, he wasn’t in shape either. And those tits… Aye Carumba! My little brain was envisioning the horrors of becoming and old man and having a huge pair of my own pointy tits covered in bushy gray hair.

Now look, before anyone gets all bent out of shape because you are a pointy titted, non-fence jumper just calm down. You are not a pariah in my eyes. I simply thought that via genetics this was to be my fate. Well, it wasn’t. But, it very well could have been.

To quote a line from one of my favorite movies of all time, The Iron Giant: “You are who you choose to be.”


18 Responses to “My Birthday Ramblings…”

  1. Gavin jones March 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Totally understand what you mean. You don’t always have turn out the same as the mould.

    Make your own shape.

  2. Matthew March 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Man, I lost it with the pointy tits line…wow! Too funny. I began getting physically active as I was about to turn 30. I saw my friends that sat and watched football while drinking and eating mind boggling amounts of processed foods and meats. I knew that I was at a crossroads in life. I could give up and join them or go in the opposite direction and grab life by the balls. I started mountain biking every chance I got, really technical stuff. I felt the rush of adrenalin and chased after it, going faster and over more difficult terrain. That lead to trail running as a way to train for biking. The running took over, but I have my bike on standby! I pushed myself to longer and harder races in far off places, everywhere from the top of a ski resort in Maine to the swamps of Georgia.

    I have no idea where I’ll end up, but I have some lofty goals…

    Thanks for your inspiration and training help, it’s greatly appreciated.

    • Mustacheman March 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      Sounds like you are on the right path Matthew. Keep on doin’, brother!

  3. James March 8, 2013 at 4:46 am #

    Great post. Made me think about who I should choose to be. Also laughed my arse off at the second last paragraph.
    Looking forward to your next post.


    Sydney Australia.

  4. Will March 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    thank you for sharing! great posts!

  5. robjan March 12, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    Another gem! You write very well. It must take a lot of effort and time =]

  6. John March 31, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    A great story. I am 47 this year myself and also I am determined to be different from my father, not too much as he was a great man but healthier. My father took no exercise at all his whole life and in his later years I think he paid for that. He died last year aged 78, which is a good age you might think but he was plagued with diabetes, prostrate cancer and he passed away from a stroke and he was very weak hislast few years. I am determined to do everything I can to avoid that so I have kept fairly fit and have recently discovered the joys of cycling for pleasure and fitness.

    • Mustacheman April 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      Thanks for sharing John. Your father sounds a lot like mine. Sure, he didn’t take care of himself physically, but he lived the life he chose to live. I pass no judgements. He’s still one of the greatest guys and a huge inspiration in my life.

  7. Chris April 2, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    I was 13 playing some baseball w/ friends and there was a ball that was fouled up in the top of the backstop. We all tried throwing other balls to try and knock it down. After about 3 minutes of trying no one got the ball down. We all gave up. My dad who at the time was 52 years old, took off his coat and scaled the shit out of the backstop. I couldn’t believe my eyes. All the kids were in shock. My dad just sprang into action and climbed the backstop like a chimpanzee. It was only a matter of seconds before he got up and back down w/ ball in hand. From that day on – my dad was the talk of all the kids at school. I’m 33 now and I keep that memory close. I hope I can do that 20 years from now!

    • Mustacheman April 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      HA! Oh man Chris, that’s a beautiful story! Hats off to your dad!

  8. Nathan April 12, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    In the last year me and a few mates have gotten into rock climbing in quite a big way, only indoor stuff at the mo, but a brilliant experience none the less. He’d never climbed properly before however he told me of this one experience he climbed this rock face with a overhang, without any ropes any ropes and i was simply blown away especially since ive been and taken a look. Trust me i have not done the same thing!!

    Im 22 and my dads 50 but at the time 49 (big difference i know). I took him climbing one day, just to introduce him and expected him to be OK. However i tied him in ready to belay and like a shot he scaled up the wall, which is pretty technical and i had trouble to keep up with the belaying, i was astounded!! i’ve always looked up to my dad, but i was just in awe!!
    just thought id share 🙂 as all your experiences you’ve said about are inspiring 😀

    • Mustacheman April 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Great story Nathan! Keep this in the back of your mind for when you hit 49. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Bob July 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    I am 59 and a half right now (60 in December).thus far I have completed 3 tough mudders with my step-son.He has reinspired me to stay fit.(I was a real fitness buff in my youth, but it kinda faded over the years. Thanks to him ,I am back in the game .AND LOVIN IT.

  10. Jenna September 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm #


    I come from totally inactive, train-wreck parents and it is heartbreaking to watch them age poorly. I’m on a quest to stay limber, strong and childishly reckless well into the age where I am able to terrorize my future fellow nursing home residents. When I first saw your training video, filmed on your birthday I believe, it lit a fire under me. You inspired me to do a Tough Mudder on my 45th birthday this October (TriState!!).

    It is seriously important that I finish this this Mudder, as right after I signed up I got slammed with breast cancer. I am probably the only chick to ever run one of these events with tissue expanders in her chest… my surgeon just rolled her eyes and tisk-tisked, but she cleared me. Much to the horror of my parents and in-laws who believe I should be doing some sort of lie-in with a lady-in-waiting nearby, I am gradually coming into the best shape of my life and I am raring to go.

    Thanks for the kick to the ass, Mustacheman!

    • Mustacheman September 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      Wow! Way to take charge of your life, Jenna! I love hearing from people that refuse to lay down and play the victim. You are a true inspiration! Thanks for reaching out and I wish you all the best.

      • Jenna September 12, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

        Annnnd, Jenna stress fractures her foot landing a burpee.

        I’m out.

        (I wish I was kidding.)

        Better, stronger, faster once I am cleared. Totally not giving up.

  11. Sid October 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Great stuff Mustacheman. I came across your Tough Mudder training video on YouTube, and I’m doing my first one this Sunday. Your stuff is both funny and inspirational, so keep up the good work.

    I turn 47 next year, and feel in great shape. I’ve done two triathalons this year, and a lot of prep for the Mudder. One thing I wanted to ask you is now that we are more advanced in years, what adjustments have you made to your training, if any? I’m particularly interested in how you build in recovery to your training, (I think I am feeling a bit overtrained after a hard summer).

    Thanks in advance.

    • moustacheman October 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      Hey Sid, I think it’s safe to say that my training hasn’t changed much over the years. What HAS changed is my recovery time. I have noticed when I get injured it takes me longer to heal as opposed to when I was a young buck and bounced back the next day after being hurt. Remember, rest is when you actually BUILD muscle. When you are exercising you are tearing muscle down. I try to make sure I eat right the days following a hard workout and I only go back at it when I feel I’ve recovered. That may be the following day or several days later. It all depends…

      Hope that helps!

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