I guess some people see the blog name Formerly Hot and hear a desperate cry for help. I recently received an email from a 39-year-old woman who wanted to support me in my quest to restore some of my erstwhile hotness. First she introduced herself, and then she described her determination to “fight back” against middle age through fitness.

“I will NOT get old gracefully,” she wrote. “My body is still slamming, and I’m going to keep it that way.” To that end, she kickboxes, strength trains, does “power” yoga, something involving kettlebells (those round things at the gym with handles that look like lead handbags) and runs 25 miles a week minimum. Oh, and she does “at least 300 crunches.” “I am going to KICK MIDDLE AGE’S ASS!” she wrote.  She then offered to train me in a similar fashion if I would write about it.

I know she meant well, but frankly she freaked me out. I look younger than my 41 years and I am still relatively funkified fashionwise. But statistically speaking, I am middle-aged, or close to it. It’s my ass that is in the direct trajectory of her athletic footwear.

But more to the point, there was a violence in her word choice–“fight,” “slamming,” “kick,” “crunch”–that reminded me of the adversarial relationship I had with my own body when I was younger. In my teens and early 20s, I saw my body as merely a too-pudgy, too furry, cellulite-riddled obstacle to what would otherwise be an anxiety-free music video of a life.

Now, however, I live in my body. It’s my home. Getting in “slamming” shape by the way she suggests (or in any way, really) would be like detonating a bomb in the living room while I’m sitting at the kitchen table having a coffee and thinking deep thoughts.

I’m not saying my gym routine couldn’t use a goose-up, or that I’m beside myself with glee whenever I catch a glimpse of my less-than-lofty booty in the mirror. If my body is my home, I have a punch list to get to.

So sure, come in and paint my house. You can even re-tile the bathroom and put in new track lighting. But I’m not interested in a floor-to-ceiling renovation. It’s holding up pretty well for a middle-aged house, and I can say that I own it outright.

Photo by: Allan Ferguson,  CC Licensed