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Greene County Fusion, the 1986 USPA National 4-Way Silver Medal team. Me, John Woody, Marilyn Kempson and Jim Fangmeyer. Marilyn was the first woman to ever win a medal in 4-way.
I don’t know how it happened but not too long ago I could’ve sworn I was 26. I was the youngest in my family and the youngest on my team. Nearly everyone I knew was older than I was. I must have slipped into some kind of a portal or time warp because suddenly I’m in my 50s.
I went to the doctor the other day for my 50 year old physical exam. He could’ve been my kid. I guess I was pleased to find out that despite all the new pains scattered throughout my body, there was nothing wrong with me. The punk doctor respectfully said, “Really sir, you’re doing pretty well for someone who has put as many miles on his body as you have.” (That was a compliment, right?)
To be completely honest I am loving my 50s. I have developed somewhat of a new perspective on life, a perspective where I appreciate the good things more and worry about the negative things less, or not at all. It takes a lot to get me angry and I don’t stay angry for long. Though in the course of life there have been people who did something that really pissed me off, at this point there is no one I hold any kind of grudge against. Where in the past there were times I carried with me the heavy burdens of anger, resentment and envy, now at 51 I seem to have let all that go and have a high degree of “not give a s…t”. I remember the finer times with more appreciation than ever and see the best in people where the same qualities were sometimes hidden from me before.
I had a great experience last year which made me truly appreciate being in my 50s. After 25 years of never all being in the same place at the same time my 4-way team “Greene County Fusion” got together for a reunion. The last time we were all together I was 25 years old. I had lived another entire lifetime since then.
This reunion was more special than I ever anticipated. Had we gotten together after 5 or 10 years it wouldn’t have been the same. Something about the passing of this much time which made me appreciate the years we spent together even more. What a gift those years were, and even more so the chance to reunite after a quarter of a century.
It is too bad that so much time had to pass before I appreciated and valued friends, relationships and experiences to the level they deserved. I wish I had realized in the moment the incredible times and life lessons that were taking place. I may not have recognized the life lessons then, but I definitely knew we had some serious fun and that I loved them.
Just the same, I do try to pay more attention now.