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There Is No Hill
Photo: Studiomill
I’ve been hearing it ever since my 30th birthday: “Wow, now you’re really over the hill!” For some odd reason, we have this strange fascination with telling other people they’re over the hill on their birthdays. And although some ignore it and continue to live healthy, young and active lives, others tend to believe they really are over hill and decide it’s time to bring it down a couple of notches.

Somehow, at one time or another, I think I became one of those people. At around 34 years of age, I listened to the “over the hill” critics and foolishly convinced myself I really was getting old, a natural phenomenon which I thought I had to respond to by doing less physical activity and more “grown-up” stuff.

Up to that point, I had been an avid soccer player and my knees had been suffering for it, so I decided to “settle down” by quitting soccer and picking up some light bike riding. I would roll out at snail-pace in my little 50’s style beach cruiser, wire basket and all, ride out to the local supermarket, buy some groceries and roll back home.

Knees Weren't Hurting Anymore

Interestingly enough, after a few weeks of spinning my little beach cruiser around town, I started to notice that my knees weren’t hurting anymore and I was starting to feel more energized than ever. I was getting a better night’s rest, experiencing less muscle tension, concentrating better on my work and feeling like I had gone back in time to my good old high school days!

It wasn’t long before I fully immersed myself in the world of road cycling. I started to ride with local cycling clubs and before long, I was riding 50, 60 and 100-mile charity rides to raise money and awareness for all kinds of causes, from breast cancer and wounded warriors to cystic fibrosis and diabetes.

So now, almost two years and 9,000 miles later, I ride every weekend with a group of friends from all ages, shapes and sizes. The oldest guy in our group? That would be Les, at a healthy 78 years old. The youngest? Me, clocking in at 36.

As it turns out, in this ride we call life, there is no “hill” we go over. Don’t ever let anyone tell you “it’s too late”, or “you’re too old”. Life is meant to be lived and in the end, age truly is a mere number.

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By Sebastian Zaldibar. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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