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7/22/19: Act Your Age

*Coach MK Speaks*

The ocean is old as fuck and will drown your ass without hesitation. Hi, this is Coach MK and this is an extra-profane Mercury Retrograde Monday edition of the morning mantra. Discretion advised.

*cue intro music*

Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.

*music ends*

Today's Mantra is: Act Your Age

Coach Sarah and I have a longform podcast that’s a LITTLE more centered around running than this one is. Sometimes. Once per week at least we do a Q&A session from our clients in Fitness Protection, and that’s at least 50% about running.

On a recent podcast we recapped our big group adventure to Three Days at the Fair. in thepodcast Susan mentioned someone telling her to act her age, and I...basically blanked out. I didn’t hear anything she said after that, I was too angry.

Susan is 50 fucking years old. What’s she supposed to be doing at her age, exactly? What do 50 year olds do? We know her last fuckable day was the night before she turned 40, and we know she missed the memo about her body falling off a cliff never again to perform as it did in her younger years….but frankly I missed that memo too. I have NO idea what I’m supposed to stop doing before the clock strikes midnight on my 50th birthday. But I DO know how to assess, and respond to, shitty hurtful shaming comments.

“Act Your Age” is a shaming phrase, a power play.It implies that someone is being immature, that they are being a child. It probably means they don’t like your reaction to something they did. In most contexts, it’s abusive and the speaker will have a toxic relationship with the listener. If someone says it to you, I strongly recommend not talking to that person again. Especially if you are an adult. If you have to keep interacting with that person, get into therapy right now.

#Feministbuzzkill is about to strike again here. This is what we call infantilization, and we need to talk about it outside of women's studies classes. Yes, we do it to women ALL THE TIME, it’s so ingrained in our culture that we don’t even notice it, but we also do it to adults with disabilites, autism, Millennials, frankly, anyone and everyone; we don’t need a reason. It presents all kinds of ways, but in this case it boils down to this: Rather than saying, “WOW you are right I’m an asshole and you called me out on my shit which is just embarrassing,” a person will tell you to act your age. Stop crying. Stop being so angry, so hysterical. BE a grown up, like me. Be an asshole that’s mature, don’t be a baby. YOU are the problem, silly woman. You and your silly woman hormones and strong reactions.

It’s bullshit. You own your feelings. They are valid. And you don’t need to interact with ANYONE who does not own their shit. Don’t wait till your 50th birthday, facing down the end of your life, to cut off the dead weight before they actually die off. What if you die first?

Not to sound morbid- I had a serious cancer scare last month. Ovarian cancer is rare and deadly and usually not caught until it’s too late to treat it. Though it sounds cheesy to say I have a new lease on life, I do. At least, I have a REALLY AWESOME excuse to lean all into my MK-ness. If I cut someone out of my life, and I have cut PLENTY in 2019, make no mistake- that person handed me the scissors. If you have people like this in your life who speak this way to you, cut them out. You can DO that, you're an adult! Don’t wait for a cancer scare. Assert your boundaries NOW and live your best life surrounded by people like me and Coach Sarah who LOVE you. What’s more adult than that, other than having pancakes and a milkshake for dinner? Don’t wait for a cancer scare to do that either by the way YUM!!!!

SO, the mantra: the next time you find yourself at the wrong end of the Act Your Age comment, head MY VOICE in the back of your head saying Hell yeah, ACT YOUR AGE! Then pivot and walk OUT of that room without apology or explanation. You know who apologizes and explains? Kids. You are much too old for that nonsense.

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