The New 40

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...
Surprise! You’re really 40! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Female body building competitions have several subdivisions:  Fitness, Physique and Bikini are the main ones.  Fitness and Physique require some serious muscle tone, learning several poses and in some cases a fitness routine along the lines of what gymnasts do.  And then there’s Bikini.

Bikini division means looking really good in a bathing suit and having some serious swagger, because you have to walk in said bikini in 5” heels and look like you mean it.  The trainer who told me about the competition, Chris, explained the additional subdivisions of Bikini:

“ It’s separated by height and age.  Short is Class A, Medium is Class B and Tall is Class C.  For age they start at teen and go up from there.  I’m going into the Masters Division.”

“So that’s for like, what, 40-45 year olds?” I asked.


“35?  Really?”  My jaw dropped again.

That couldn’t possibly be right.  I looked online and she was indeed correct.  Age 35 = senior citizen.  This must be a body building fluke.  But then I switched over to Yahoo and there was an article about a cougar cruise and it said the women on board were between 35 and 72.

When did this happen?  I thought 30 was the new 20.  How then could 35 be the new 40?  I’m only 38; I’m not ready for my midlife crisis yet!

And while we’re at it, when did size 8 become fat?  But who am I kidding…If I were a size 8 right now I would dance around naked in my living room.

That night I discussed this very serious matter with Henri.

“When did 35 become the new 40?  And how come men don’t have their midlife crisis until 50?  Men don’t live to be 100.  Your midlife crisis should be at 40, mine should be at 43 ½.”

“Uh huh.”  He totally was not paying attention to me.

“I told a woman in the sauna that I was 38 and she said, ‘you’re going to love your 40’s.’  I know she was being nice, but I’m still loving my 30’s damn it!  Don’t get me wrong, I know that everyone gets older, I just didn’t think it would happen to me personally.”

“When you sign up for a trainer, make sure to tell the person that you don’t want to bulk up.”  Was he listening to me at all?

“I’m not going to bulk up.  I’m doing the bikini completion…for old people.  Hey.”

“Hey what?”

“Did you know I’ve been over the hill for three years and didn’t even know it?  I guess ignorance is bliss, but still…”

“You think that’s old try turning 50.”

For those of you doing the math now, he’s 11 ½ years older than me.  And for the first time today I feel young. (c) 2012 Lisa Traugott.  All rights reserved.  No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

One thought on “The New 40

  1. I am a little stunned that 35 is middle-aged, I am now grouped with cougars and seniors? Ugh help me! 35 working mother/wife 10 pounds overweight, which doesn’t sound too bad except I am totally embarrased of my body and I have my son signed up for swimming lessons starting Saturday 6/23. Diet: mac and cheese, chocolate, frozen yogart, pasta, pizza…hmmm I am only 10 pounds overweight!? I was always the fitness junky in the Lisa-Meghan relationship, what happenend? Lisa is now my hero and inspiration, now lets see how to begin? Can’t wait for a birthday epiphany thats in October. I’m ready and am going to check in, tomorrow…no TODAY I start!! I know Lisa will hold me accountable 🙂

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