Aug 04

What’s the Deal with all the Random Numbers?

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 6.20.48 PM

Today I’m in a mood to rant.

Rant against excuses.

Rant against self-imposed limits.

Rant against society’s obligatory feelings tied to random numbers.

Rant, specifically, against using your age as an excuse, or letting others do that for you.


Here are just a couple of personal examples to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

I went to the track a few early mornings at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. One of the Chiefs had some Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 5.53.20 PMAirmen, including my daughter, out there at the same time. They were doing group physical training and I asked to join them. He let me. Once we had completed the workout and were stretching, he said to the Airmen, “You should be ashamed of yourselves. This woman is doing more pushups and running faster than you….and she’s old.”

WTH? Yup. It’s true. I have witnesses. PS, it might have had more to do with the fact that I’ve exercised throughout my life and these folks were just starting out. I don’t know.

– – – This had nothing to do with age though.


I went to the doctor’s in October, had an annual physical and a bunch of lab work. She told me, “You’re as healthy as a 36 year old woman.” I walked downstairs to get a flu shot and was told I was ineligible for the nasal spray. “Why? That’s what I got last year. I prefer it.” The girl at the desk said, “Because of your age. People over 50 have to get the shot.”   It seems there are no exceptions for people over 50 who are as healthy as 36. I was slightly annoyed! Not gonna lie.

– – – This is a random imposed limitation based on age; it has nothing to do with the person.



It’s not just 50 either. My son had a herniated disc several weeks ago and needed to go in for surgery. His doctor told him, “At your age, you’re going to need to slow down.” At your age? He’s 30…and you’re a doctor!! My son has had back surgery. My daughter is having hip surgery in a few weeks. Not me. My children.  If it was me, people would attribute it to my age, but…

– – – It seems like this is not age-based.


And it didn’t start at 50 for me either. From the time I was a teenager, through just two weeks ago, people have told me:

“You’re not old enough. Sure, you’re doing things now. You’re energetic, you’re full of dreams, you’re still able to work hard. You don’t understand. You’ll slow down when you’re 30, 35, 40, 45, 50…last week it was 90.”

No I don’t understand.


I don’t understand why I would allow ANY generic number to restrict the way I live my life. This includes the number of pounds I weigh, displayed on a scale and the number of years displayed on my birth certificate!!

– – – These are societally expected limitations; they have nothing to do with the person.


If it’s bothered me for a while, why am I just mentioning it today? Well, for a couple of reasons.


First, a friend of mine stopped me on the street the other day. “Debbie, I’m now 56. I like to run and it doesn’t cause me any pain but should I stop running? I mean, because of my age?” She feels fine yet this is what she’s been told.

– – – This is a societally expected limitation, which has the potential to turn into a self-imposed limit based on age; it has nothing to do with the person.


Then, when I was talking with someone about my challenges in trying to learn so many new technological and social media things recently (I created my own website, started a business page for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and am learning about Speakpipe and Periscope), my friend said, “It’s our age. I can’t keep up with any of it, either.”   Look, it may not be intuitive because I didn’t grow up using a computer beginning when I was two (like my grandchildren) but I am also not willing to give up learning new things because I am “a certain age”. A few years ago, I had a friend – a Bataan Death March survivor – who was showing me things on his computer. He was 87 at the time.

– – – This is a societally expected limitation, which has the potential to turn into a self-imposed limit based on age; it has nothing to do with the person.


And…then there was this Disney Princesses Age.  Which just made me laugh, and pushed me over the edge. 🙂


I’m ranting. It bothers me! Know this, though. I’m not immune.   Knowing that the only one limiting us is ourselves, and actually doing something about it are two different things! I’ve never cared how old anybody else was, how much they weighed, the size of their pants, nor about any other random number that was assigned to them. But those numbers assigned to me? Well, that was a different story altogether!!


IMG_2889In fact, until June of 2014, I never told anyone my age. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want anyone to think I couldn’t do something because of my age. I also didn’t want them to think I was “amazing” because I was doing things at “my age”. That happened in a boot camp class. I was working hard. A total stranger came up to me after class and asked how old I was. I said, “just a little older than you” and her response was, “Wow. I sure hope I’m in half the shape you’re in when I’m your age.” It was meant as a compliment. You know how you make that happen? Keep working out!!

– – – This is a societally expected limitation, which has the potential to turn into a self-imposed limit based on age; it has nothing to do with the person.


In 2014, I celebrated my 50th birthday and decided that I would face the fact, publically. It took IMG_8019me a few days after my birthday to work up the courage to actually put it out there. I had just brought home three new trophies from a figure competition. There was NO reason I should have felt less of anything, but somehow having other people know I was 50, bothered me. It bothered me a lot. After a few days of brooding, I did it anyway.  I stopped hiding.

– – – This WAS a societally expected limitation, which had the potential to turn into a self-imposed limit based on age; it had nothing to do with the person.



Now, if I want to be honest about my personal aging. Is anything different? Sure!


I now wear glasses to read. That bothered me for a long time. I was very self-conscious of putting them on my face. What to hell? I have friends (several) in their 20s and 30s who wear glasses. I know plenty of people who have worn glasses their entire life.

– – – Evidently, glasses aren’t limited to a certain age.


I no longer have aspirations of being an MMA champion, or competing on American Ninja Warrior. That’s not because I’m in my 50s. It’s because I haven’t trained in those things and, at this point, I don’t feel like putting in the time commitment, or effort, that doing those things would require.

– – – Changing goals is not always age based.


I don’t like to sit for long periods of time. Scoliosis has rendered some limitations in my back and neck. That developed when I was 13 or 14 and my niece has it too. Even with that, I can deadlift more and squat deeper than I have ever been able to in my entire life.

– – – Scoliosis is not based on age.  Weight training is not age limited.


PS, the kid sitting next to me on the plane is also having a (VERY) hard time sitting still!

– – – – Antsie-ness is not based on age.


I now don’t run as much as I used to. Not because of my age but because I never enjoyed running and now I know I don’t have to. There are plenty of other ways for me to exercise. I have a few friends who recently ran their first half and full marathons. They were, gasp, 50. I’m training for a powerlifting completion. This was their first; it will be my first.

– – – Starting new things is not based on age (and neither is stopping things).


I don’t look like I’m 20. Guess what?  When I was 20, I didn’t look like I was 6, either. My life was a mess at 20, short of making my son a baby again; there is NO reason I would want to go back to that time of my life. Here’s the thing. Every single person on the face of this earth, you, me, and everybody else is aging. We’re the lucky ones!


As we get older metabolism decreases, bone density may decrease, we may have had more injuries, which carry more scar tissue. At some point we go through menopause or see dips in testosterone.  Those hormonal changes, change things.  When I’m 90, my body may require me to slow down.


In the meantime, it’s super easy to use random numbers as an excuse.


Yes, I am older but I am not old. My age does not define me – that number, by itself, tells you nothing about me at all. Today I am smarter, more courageous, more experienced, and the strongest I have ever been. I’m also happier and have less tolerance for drama and no need to compare myself to anybody else.



This isn’t about me!!  It’s about every single one of us.  All I can offer you is my perspective for consideration.

If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it but own your decision!  Don’t use the numbers as your excuse!!


If you haven’t exercised in years, if you’ve never eaten well, if you’ve worked too many hours with far too much stress and too little rest, THOSE are the things that have caused you to get to the place you are today. It’s not “your age”. Know what?

You can change any of these things if you decide you’d like to.  You can change your life, at any age.



Mindset * Nutrition * Exercise

…are for, and in spite of, life!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>