Staying Young

July 31, 2011
Floating on Lake Allatoona

As the years pass by, birthdays are not celebrated as they were in my earlier years. See, I don’t really make a big fuss about aging. It is just not an issue for me.

Throughout my 20s, I worked my butt off and barely took any vacation time.  I didn’t do much traveling and although I was enjoying what I was doing, there were definitely a lot of constraints that I tolerated.  It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I felt like I was truly living. The years since that milestone have been some of the best I can remember. By the way, if you missed my birthday wish last week, I did a fun little post about it here.

Floating on Lake AllatoonaThis past Thursday I went out to the lake to spend some time with my friend Jack on his boat. The family next to him on the dock was out on the lake as well, so we all made an evening if it. Several teenage kids were out tubing behind a jet ski, so I decided to get out there with them. Seemed like a good idea to me.

Side note, my one and only tubing experience was in Orlando back in 2005, which still stands out as one of the most fun experiences of my life. There is something about being dragged behind a fast moving watercraft while you hang on with everything you’ve got that really puts things into perspective quickly.

I like to push it to the edge from time to time just to remind myself how amazing life can be when I let go and just go with what’s happening in the moment.

It would be easy to make up excuses about why it’s not a good idea to get out on the lake and be tossed around like a rag doll, but truth be told, all of that is really just fear talking.  Just like it would be easy to come up with reasons while backpacking alone in the wilderness, or jumping out of an airplane is dangerous.

Thankfully, these things just don’t bother me.  In fact, I get energized by them. When I look back at my life, the moments that stick out to me the most are the ones that people said were dangerous or crazy at the time.

I can’t imagine living life any other way.  The ‘safe’ route just doesn’t appeal to me, and never has. 

Life, for me, happens when I let go of what society tells me is ‘normal’ or ‘age-appropriate’ and do what I feel like doing in the moment. The idea that as we get older, we should slow down and stop doing certain physical activities doesn’t make any sense to me. If I wanted to slowly decay, I’d stop doing the things that I did when I was young.

Instead, I choose to stay young by doing things that younger people do.  Sounds logical to me.

Today, I’m grateful for not only the opportunity to push myself to the limit on occasion, but for the willingness within myself to go for it.

What about you? What do you do to stay young? 


Photo: Lake Allatoona – Acworth, Ga.



  • Reply Matt Langdon August 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Mine can be summarized by appending your quote: “I choose to stay young by doing things that younger people do.” – with young people.Surrounding yourself with younger people is a really good way to not feel old and to resist the pressure of people your own age expecting you not to do certain things.

  • Reply Anonymous August 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    hehe, I can totally related to the tubing incident… last summer we went to the lake with my dad & sister’s family and my nephews were all about the tubing & skiing. I was never a fan of watersports growing up & have only water skied like one other time. Not to be outdone by nephew 25 years younger than me, I had to give it a go. The lake beat the holy hell out of me that day, and probably got the last laugh, but it was definitely fun & a way to reconnect with my own youth, as well as my younger nephews.

    Staying young is in part a state of mind; however, physically… I felt much older the next day.   🙂

    • Reply Brandon Sutton August 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Haha – this had me seriously cracking up.  The lake beating the holy hell out of you was particularly funny.  Sometime on Friday, I started really feeling it myself.  It’s worth it though. 🙂

      But yeah, there’s definitely that element of ‘if he can do it, so can I’ going on.  And you know what – we can.  Thanks for the story, Ryan!

  • Reply Sandra August 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Being that I am turning the dreaded 40 this year…this topic is very significant to me.  I don’t feel 40, don’t look 40 (at least I don’t think so!), and don’t act 40.  I’ve done my fair share of partying in my younger years and I’ve slowed down in that respect. 

    Without trying to sound like a silly fangirl……my 40th birthday gift to myself is my VIP ticket to the Empoweresque event because even though I respect the hell out of Ian and what he stands for (he inspires me on a daily basis)…….he makes me feel like a silly little 16yr old fangirl. I am honored to be able to contribute to such an amazing foundation and to be in the presence of a man that I admire and respect…says the 40yr old.  But I’ll be partyin’ like a rockstar on Oct 29th…says the 16yr old in me!  Hope to see you there Brandon! 😉

    “Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth
    To be young at heart
    For as rich as you are it’s much better by far
    To be young at heart”

    • Reply Brandon Sutton August 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      For what it’s worth, Sandra, I don’t look at 40 as something to dread.  I think it really matters how we frame these things in our own minds.  Instead of 40 being something to dread, maybe it can be an exciting new chapter to look forward to.  What do you think?

      I’ll be partyin’ like a rockstar right there with you on the 29th!  Interestingly, the venue that the event is being held in is a place that I used to DJ.  🙂

      See you soon…

      • Reply Sandra August 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm

        A new chapter….I think the way you think Brandon.

        See you soon.

  • Reply Michelle August 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I have to admit that in January I was feeling a little old.  And dreading my birthday that was coming, the 4-0!  But through some gentle prodding and rearranging of my life, I hit 40 feeling like I was 25 again.  A wise 25, but really feeling good.  All I did was look at what was making me feel bad.  The drag of negativity.  The idea that things weren’t going well.  People who wanted to tell me all the things I was doing wrong.

    None of those things are bad when they are in concert with a balancing force:  the bouancy of positivity, The idea that things are really ok or even good.  And people who can tell you that you did something right – including yourself!

    So, the other day I was out for a run and was thinking about the difference between January and July of this year.  A lot of the difference was changing my mind about some things and I realized there is always enough to celebrate. ..  and then use that good feeling to tackle the rest.

    Thanks Brandon!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton August 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks, Michelle.  It’s amazing how much we can come alive after we get a few years behind us.  Learning what life is all about and what makes us feel good (and bad) helps us frame our experiences moving forward. 

      It’s great to hear how you’ve shifted your perspective to bring about positive changes in your life.  Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Anonymous August 1, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    I’m turning 50 next year and still feel half my age. Part of it is healthy habits but ATTITUDE (ok, good genes, too) and a zest for life is likely why people think I’m 15 years younger. Having kids later in life keeps me young. Taking up the drums and hanging around the amazing women of Girls Rock NC keeps me young. Playing on a daily basis keeps me young. Living and loving with an open heart keeps me young. I believe this is part of my life’s purpose. 🙂


    • Reply Brandon Sutton August 2, 2011 at 12:24 am

      Love it, Lori – thanks for sharing!  The thing about age – there is always someone older that is totally rocking life in ways we could barely imagine. Keep it up! 🙂

      • Reply Anonymous August 2, 2011 at 12:30 am

        thank you, Brandon. I will. It’s my life’s purpose to rock life and “Play it Loud”! Took me awhile to figure that out.

  • Reply blue August 3, 2011 at 4:47 am

    so you might be inclined to jump off a bridge into a lovely lake one day?
    : )

    • Reply Brandon Sutton August 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      Haha, I love that you just called me out on that.  It’s funny – I have no problem jumping out of an airplane, but the idea of jumping from a 40 foot tall bridge into the lake below scares the holy hell out of me!

      I guess we’ll see.  🙂

  • Reply Shelly August 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Great post Brandon!

    Reminds me of a line from this show I’m watching “suits” where last week the head lawyer said ” life is like this (even, strumming along in the middle) and I live my life lime this (put his before mentioned even hand over his head)…

    Gives me hope :). I also feel like I’m still in my twenties and I would definitely be out there tubing 🙂

    • Reply Brandon Sutton August 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks, Shelly. I think we’re all in our twenties, right? 😉

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