The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

I know, there’s been a lot of running talk around here. But this article grabbed my eyes with the title — and the rest of it did not disappoint. Nailed it!

For decades, the midlife crisis has been expressed in tired pop-culture tropes in which (usually) white men buy sports cars and carry on affairs with younger women in a doomed and desperate bid to feel young again. But increasingly, people are responding to the anxieties of middle age not by clinging to the last vestiges of expiring youth but to taking on challenges that seem to belong to the young alone: by pushing the limits of what they’re physically capable of through endurance athletics and extreme fitness. The focus is less on what happened before the crisis and more on what happens after. Call it the midlife correction.

I don’t feel that I’m having a mid-life crisis. But I do know that running has helped me deal with anxiety (that I do have — who doesn’t?) and has given me a focus in sports beyond just the benefits of the physical exertion. I won’t call what I do “extreme fitness”, but it is pushing myself beyond what I could do before.

And the benefits are far greater than a shiny car or any of the pursuits commonly found attractive by those entering their second half of life.