Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill, start a new career, or take up a new hobby but felt that you were too old? I know I certainly have and on more than one occasion. I remember when I was about 20 years old I considered becoming a Chiropractor. I likened the holistic philosophy of Chiropractic. The idea of treating the problem rather than the symptom made sense to me.
Then I was stricken with fear, yes the dreaded "f" word. I thought that I would be too old by the time I graduated at 26! If I decided to get married someday and have kids, then the schooling might just be a waste of time. Also, it seemed like a long time to wait before beginning a career.
Several years later, after I got married, I toyed with the idea of becoming an Architect. I was probably about 32 at the time and I was working for a builder selling new homes. I enjoyed studying the blueprints and changing things around to make the homes more aesthetically pleasing with improved functionality. Even though I believed I would make an excellent architect, I figured I would be too old by the time I got the degree. Therefore, I did not pursue this course of action either.
In retrospect, the whole notion of being too old just looks completely ridiculous: too old for what? If you decide to pursue a goal that takes ten years to accomplish, then so what? What's the worst thing that could happen? You could die between now and then and not achieve the goal. What's the best that could happen? You could still be alive in ten years and now possess a valuable skill that might allow you to earn a very good living. You could master a skill that brings you great joy. Suppose you did not pursue this goal. You could look back in ten years regretting that you did not follow your dream. You would be asking yourself, "I wonder what would have happened if …?"
I got an e-mail the other day from my good friend, Lisa. She told me about a woman named Sister Madonna Buder and went on to say that this lady was her new hero. Of course, being a nun itself is quite remarkable given the level of sacrifice and dedication that's required of the position. The thing that really impressed my friend was that this lady participates in triathlons and has even competed in 13 Iron Man triathlons.
An Iron Man consists of a 26.2 mile marathon run, a 2.4 mile swim, and a 112 mile bicycle ride. This would be an incredible accomplishment for the most elite athlete. What makes this feat even more inspiring is that Sister Madonna is 78 years old or in her case, years young. She did not take up running until she was 49. She has broken her hip twice, broken her arm, and broken her scapula but she just keeps on going. In fact, she has participated in over 300 triathlons!
Remember, it's not the amount of years in your life that count but the amount of life in your years! If I ever start to feel too old to do something, I'm just going to think of Sister Madonna. Beside, it's all in how you look at it. Instead of thinking you're too old just think of how young you'll stay by pursuing your passions.