Yesterday I had reason to go for a drive through this lovely place I call home, the Meander Valley, Tasmania, Australia. I went the old highway from Deloraine, passing through Exton, Westbury, Hagley, almost to Carrick, turning off to go to Bracknell. Tiny little towns, some with no shops, others with a smattering and some with a handful. And three pubs between all of them. Sleepy little places that even Tasmania forgets.
As I drove along the road I saw a group of cyclists. I immediately thought Here comes a group of MAMILs. Middle Aged Men in Lycra. But since I wasn’t in a hurry and I was being careful, I noticed that they weren’t middle aged. They were at least one or two decades on from there.
What comes after MAMIL? I wondered. GMIL? SMIL? OGIL? Or perhaps even EMIL?
Regardless of the label, here was a group of about a dozen riders all with serious years under their belts AND serious cyclist’s muscles. They were powering along. The thing that gave their years away was the leathery skin and white, grey or no-hair style that did (or didn’t) peak out from under their helmets.
They were fit.
They were strong.
They were smiling!
They were handling their bikes like teenagers.
They were sweating, putting in effort BUT they oozed happiness.
I can only imagine that they are retired and now able to do their thing! Time out with the (old) boys. No longer do they have to get up and get ready and go to work. They now have time for themselves.
As they became tinier dots in my rear vision mirror it occurred to me that this is exactly how I want to be. I want to be the female running version of an EMIL when I’m older, when I’m ancient, when I’m a seriously leathery looking old woman.
Dear Happy Bunch of EMILs
Thank you so much for riding up the highway yesterday. I see in you everything I want to be when I am old. You are a living example that to be fit and healthy and active into old age is entirely possible.
Ride on dear EMILs, stay safe on the roads. Thank you for the lesson you taught me in just a few short moments of sharing the road with you.
Love the Unsporty Woman
EMIL? SMIL? GMIL? OGIL? Elderly, Senior, Geriatric, Old Guy… all written with the most enormous amount of respect. To grow old is a privilege that isn’t reserved for everyone AND not everyone can get out and ride a push-bike like these fit old dudes!!!
Happy running 🙂
PS Official results for the Nile 10 Mile are out. There were 29 finishers on Sunday and only six of them were women. Pauly came 11th over all! I came 29th and 6th woman 🙂