My birthday approaches, and I find myself getting reflective, thinking of what I intended to do this year and whether I accomplished it six months in. Looking back at my post on December 31, 2012, it appears I resolved to do a GORUCK Challenge and to learn some Vietnamese. I have succeeded better on the first of those than on the second. I did successfully finish a GORUCK Challenge in May and today finished my second GORUCK Light. I felt more successful at today's Light than at either of the other two events because I managed this one without having to pass my rucksack off to anyone else so that I could keep up the pace or complete the task. While I wasn't up to helping someone else by taking their pack, I did all I could to encourage them and help them hang in there. While I have yet to register for another GORUCK Challenge, I am doing another Light in a week and one more in November. I'm skipping the July 12 Challenge here but will shadow and shoot photos as older and younger sons do one on their own, without worrying about helping me. There's another Challenge here on September 7, and I'll see how I feel about that as the date nears. I will say that I feel much more comfortable carrying two bricks than four. I was able to get my ruck over my head every time I had to today, a major improvement over the May Challenge.
As for the resolution to learn some Vietnamese, life intervened in March, and Rosetta Stone went untouched from then until about a week ago. I'm working on redoing all the lessons to get to the point at which my progress stopped. I'm not convinced that Rosetta Stone alone will do it, though. I think I might need to augment it with some straight memorization with flash cards and a bit of grammar out of a book. One hard thing is that nouns have different articles attached to them, and it's not as simple as "el" for masculine nouns and "la" for feminine nouns in Spanish. Different types of nouns have different articles. There's one for animals, another for foods, another for articles of clothing, and so on. You may not need to change the verb form to indicate tense or the noun form to indicate a plural, but they make up for it in other ways.
As I ponder passing from my 57th year into my 58th, I am thinking more about what age means any longer. If I am not in the best physical shape I have ever been in, I am certainly approaching it. At the same time, though, I take longer to recover when I do even a bit too much. (That does not explain why, at the current moment, both sons are sound asleep "recovering" from our morning Light, while I've been doing several other things around writing this.) I should be ready to go by the Light next weekend, though I may be taking it easy at SEAL Team workouts for the next several days. I do not know what my impending age of 57 means or even my current on of 56 means. I know there are people who look askance at things I do, like the GORUCK things or the martial arts, thinking I'm too old. I'd prefer to think that while one might be too young for physical things, one is only too old if they think they are. I may not move as fast as the younger people doing something, but I generally figure that as long as I don't quit, it's okay.
Those are muddled thoughts which may or may not clarify themselves in the coming eight days leading up to my birthday. I do like birthdays because they start a new year of your life, of you. Some people like to stress that each day is a new day and while those people are correct, there's something about a new year that grabs me. I expect I shall reflect more on all this, especially on the relevant day. We shall see if I make the time to release such reflection from my mind out into the world.