God, I love a cocktail.
Occasionally a beer.
I was recently engaged on a Facebook post where someone jokingly said I should skip a workout and buy a round of drinks, whereby my coach chimed in and said, "My athletes don't drink."
Ton of bricks. Whack.
I'm not a good person to preach about abstinence (oh trust me), but it has recently become crystal clear how much of my life was spent sitting on a barstool. The reason this comment hit me so hard is because I used to be that person who would skip that workout for a drink, or two, or three. Or would put a few back the night before, and suffer through the next day. It's extremely difficult to get out of bed early in the morning after punishing your internal organs with cocktails the night before. Although, (sorry coach) I DO still enjoy a couple of beverages during the weekend, my life no longer revolves around the time of the next happy hour. It revolves around the time of my next long run.
The other reason I don't drink as much as I used to is completely vain. I want to look good. Think about it . . . 20-year-olds who hang out at bars can manage to stay pretty attractive. But, 40 year olds at the bar every weekend? Not so hot. 50 year olds? Yikes.
It used to be fun to get caught up in drama, but my tolerance for it is very low now. The drama I used to encounter stemmed from my social activities, which were mostly drinking-related. So many ailments (sadness, weight gain, bad relationships) are formed at the pub. It's still a complete mystery to some people that when you spend so much time using drinking as a way to socialize, your entire life suffers. Weight, for example. How many times have you seen someone complain about their weight, but have a million pictures with a drink in hand? It's science folks, not too difficult. Pretty basic actually. There is NO health benefit to drinking that can't be obtained in another way. Drinking makes you fat, and lazy. Have a nice day.
There becomes a certain point in the life of an aging body where you can't handle putting crap into it anymore. Unfortunately this rule also applies to other delicious things, like pizza.
People who used to know me as a "fun" person are always confused to why I don't have time or make a lot of time to meet for drinks. They make me feel like I'm really missing out. Most of the time, I'm not missing out at all. By EOD Saturday I've seen a few friends, had a good conversation or two, laughed, got my sweat on, seen a pretty landscape, and eaten 2,000 calories. I've likely already had plenty of "fun" that day, and now I'm ready to sit around the house in my soft pants and watch House of Cards. (Soft pants is the indicator that I am no longer leaving the house.)
I am still so ridiculously fun. Just in a different way.
As many contemplate their next trip to the bar, I think about the next time I chase people up Old La Honda Road. While many are looking at sad people - I am with happy people. And the view from behind isn't bad either, if you like spandex and nice calves.
Instead of having friends in "low places" I now I have friends at fast paces.