Bring on the 50s!

by Juli Bliss Kinrich '76

I’m 50 years old. My jawline is beginning to soften, my hair is half silver, and sometimes my joints creak. I get annoying little whiskers here and there on my chin. I’ve shrunk three-quarters of an inch from my college-age height. I’ll never be mistaken for the 20-year-old I used to be.

And yet, I am thrilled with my body and all it has done and can do.

In my 30s, I birthed, nursed, and ran around after three wonderful children. After the last one was born, I started weight training, aerobics, and power walking. I am significantly stronger than when I studied dance at Scripps.

In my 40s, I hiked the Canadian Rockies and the Swiss Alps. I slithered on my stomach through tiny underground passages in an ancient Israeli dig and walked, backward and hunched over, down a long, hot passage to one of the tombs beneath the three Great Pyramids in Giza. I also began taking ballet classes again, with girls who are one-third my age.

To celebrate turning 50, this past year I danced in a private class at New York City’s Alvin Ailey School of Dance, kayaked Class 4 rapids on an Idaho river, and hiked to the top of Mt.Whitney (elev. 14,496 feet), the highest mountain in the lower 48 states.

For me, mid-life beauty is less about what you were born with and more about what you do with what you have. I exercise three to five days a week, eat right, drink lots of water and (most days) have a positive, confident attitude toward life. As a result, my blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body-mass index are enviably low. I stand up tall, have a lean, toned body, glowing skin, and lots of energy.

Facing the 50s? I say, bring ’em on!