So Long, 35

A selfie on my final 35 year old morning

As I sit here on the last night that I’m 35, I thought it would be appropriate and a bit nice to reflect on the past year of my life.  It was a year filled with lots of trials (mentally and physically), tremendous growth, and was overall a great year.  Some people look back on a year of their life and are thankful it’s over.  Some wish it wouldn’t end and are sad to see it go.  I can’t feel either way about 35, not because it didn’t have reasons to make me feel either way, but because feelings like that don’t set me up for positivity and success.  No, I’m leaving 35 feeling invigorated, glad to have lived this particular year, and excited for how it’s prepared me for the years still to come.

This year saw the toughest year of my professional career, with politics at work getting the best of me, and my having to make a tough call to leave a job I truly loved and saw myself in for the long haul.  As they say, the toughest decisions are often the best.  Sure enough, I am in a new role with a new company that I’m extremely excited about, with lots of opportunity in front of me, and the power to make things happen.  I miss my old job and colleagues, but also know what I missed wasn’t what it was anymore, and am feeling blessed to be where I am now.

My first (but not last) half marathon

I took on a physical challenge I never expected to do with a half marathon the week after my 35th birthday.  I never used to run, and even when I picked it up, I didn’t expect to do more than 5K or 10K races.  In fact, the 10K I did a few months before turning 35 was so tough and unenjoyable, I figured I wouldn’t do anything but 5Ks again if I even raced at all.  Not only did a I do a half, but I beat the goal time I had set for myself, and would have definitely beat my dream time if I didn’t have a damaged tendon and broken bone in my left foot.  I have another one two weeks from my 36th birthday, and am feeling much better about my preparedness and injury status.

Speaking of injuries, while I did spend many months dealing with the injuries I mentioned above (I didn’t really run consistently after the half for eight months, and was in an air cast for a while), this year marked the first in a while where I didn’t have or wasn’t recovering from surgery.  I’ve had some operation or recovered from one basically without interruption since 2008.  Two knee surgeries, back surgery and double hernia surgery over four and a half years, with a bout of swine flu thrown in the mix for good measure.  While I certainly had some injuries to recover from, my body did what it was made to do and healed and grew stronger.  My mind did, as well, as I learned a lot about smart training, evening out inequities in the body, and taking time when you need it.  I also learned about how much capacity I have to do things and do more of them – even when my mind tells me otherwise (the half had a lot to do with that learning).

My second, toughest century ride

I took on another century ride, and it was intense and challenging.  But I did it.  I don’t get to train with real climbs, and this ride had a few very real, very long, very steep ones, but I powered through and passed those ahead of me.  My left knee was a bit of a victim, but I know what to do to get it back on track, and it’s progressing nicely (and oddly isn’t a problem when I run at all, so my next half is still safe).

With, I had a great year.  I got to do some really valuable continuing education. I coached an awesome young lady to a fantastic weight loss, but more importantly a new ‘whole health’ life that will absolutely endure.  I got to meet Dean Karnazes.  I became a FitFluential ambassador.  I also launched my video podcast and YouTube channel, and recorded 31 episodes, including doing a couple of great interviews of people I respect a ton (thanks again to Dai Manuel and Alex Hutchison for joining me).

On the home front, my family continued to deal with my wife’s illness, yet also benefit from the learnings and health consciousness we’ve gained as a result.  Despite the hardships of it, we’re also better off in terms of the food and healthcare choices we make.  I know I would be hard pressed to be as fit as I am if the woman across the table from me was eating junk, so my health is clearly benefitting from what my wife is doing to manage hers.

We also saw our son start elementary school, which was exciting and sad at the same time.  He’s amazing, and loves school so much.  As a parent, it’s hard not to be filled with joy and pride to see him so happy and thriving.
So, I’m not writing off 35.  I’m not lamenting or mourning its passing.  I’m thankful for the year I’ve had.  I’m excited for the years I will have.  I owe both of those feelings to what I lived while being 35 and how I grew while being 35.  My wife said it brilliantly when I told her about this post.  She said, “I see any year as a gift, and they all taught me things.”  So true.  Be whatever age you are, be grateful for how you lived it and for what will come after it, and enlighten.your.body.

About bryan falchuk

bryan falchuk is the founder of, a certified personal trainer, behavior change specialist and the best-selling author of "Do a Day". bryan coaches people on their whole health - the physical, mental and emotional combination of wellness that we need to thrive and change our lives.

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