Wednesday, January 19, 2011

older hotties rule!

 A few years back, I sat in the Big House, one of the bunkhouses where the trail crew, wilderness rangers, and other flotsam lived during the short, beautiful summer seasons in Sawtooth Valley. Back from their hitches, the trail crew guys were going down their rating list of the women on the crew.

"She's a hottie," one remarked.

"She's a hottie too."

They came to the name of a woman who could outclimb and outhike them. She was thirty-nine, about twenty years older than they were. They paused.

"She's a hottie," was the final verdict. "An older hottie."

I laughed, overhearing. I was younger than the woman they were discussing. I wasn't that much younger, though, and had noticed that on every fire crew, every trail crew, people were getting younger and younger. It wasn't so much the getting older I feared, it was the slow slide toward the inability to do the things I wanted to do. Could I still do epic hikes? Trail runs? Worse, what if I decided I didn't want  to do those things? I couldn't imagine a life without running, hiking, skiing.

The older hottie thing, though, gave me hope. I started looking around. There were women older than me who were still out there. I ran next to an eighty year old at the Napa Marathon. She finished only a half hour after I did, and I wasn't moving that slowly. I kayaked on the outer coast with these women. I climbed to the alpine tundra and back with them and had to hustle to keep up. I met a woman who hiked fifteen mile days for 280 miles on the John Muir Trail and beyond. She's 60. They were beautiful, not in a fresh-faced, unformed way, but beautiful from all the years of figuring out the fall line of a mountain, the sweet spot of a river. I wanted to know what they knew.

In the spirit of the older hottie, I went for a run on my birthday today. It was just a jaunt around the monuments. Nothing epic. But I saw a woman in her twenties ahead and gunned it to pass her. Not in a mean spirit. But to show her: you can be older and still be out there.

I'm squinting into the sun. Those aren't all wrinkles.


  1. Happy Birthday Mary! May you be outrunning younger hotties for years to come!

  2. I hope to be a hottie one of these days. I am already older. :)

    Happy Birthday.

  3. Happy birthday! I like "older hottie" much better than "cougar." LOL.

  4. Love it! You go, girl, hottie, older or whatever you feel! You're just getting better.

  5. Mare You are awesome! Just remember each one of our wrinkles or squint marks are earned. I can just picture you speeding up and zooming past the younger lady with a lil snicker too. LOL Glad the weather cooperated and you were able to go for a lil run on your birthday. :) Keep up the good work.

  6. Happy belated birthday!
    You aren't getting older, you're getting hotter!

  7. Older hotties unite!!!!! Yeah! Good for those guys, although hopefully they will realize that the word "older" isn't even needed at all. A hottie is a hottie. And unlike Danni, I have embraced "cougar." Cougars are powerful, graceful animals not to be messed with! You go girl!


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