Muscle Memory

One of the hardest parts of growing older

is a body no longer primed to perform at  

optimal levels.

A gradual adjustment of expectations

is a prerequisite for aging gracefully:

add a +1 minute per mile

sprinting becomes striding

three miles are the new six


What I wouldn’t give

to blast out of the starting blocks

one more time,

arms pumping, cleats digging 

rubber spraying;

to embody that





from my youth.

5 thoughts on “Muscle Memory

  1. This is beautiful. It really speaks to me, as I struggle with figuring out what are realistic expectations for my body as I get older. I struggle so much with this line you’ve written: “A gradual adjustment of expectations/is a prerequisite for aging gracefully”…..and I feel that second stanza so strongly as well. Those images in the second stanza are so vivid (as are my memories of what my body should be able to do and what it should feel like).


  2. Ah, you hit on something we don’t say aloud very often! I like the title, muscle memory. Your description lets your body tell us what it used to do. The indenting two sections really works.


  3. Oh, how relatable this is! I don’t even know who that girl was who ran a marathon anymore! I LOVE “three miles are the new six”! I joke about this all the time. Sigh. And this, the hardest part:
    “A gradual adjustment of expectations
    is a prerequisite for aging gracefully…”


  4. Write it, and the reality is yours. I share your wish to make the fist-pumping, endorphin-high a longtime proposition.


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