I'm going to let y'all in on a little secret.
I'm thinking about setting a new goal for myself. A way over-the-top kind of goal.
I want to earn my black belt in Tang Soo Do by the time I'm 40.
Crazy, right? I'm 34 years old. That's retirement age in the sports world these days. When Andre Agassi retired from tennis a few years ago at the age of 35, he was considered practically ancient. For whatever reason, people just don't seem to pursue physically demanding sports past their mid-30s.
But then, I read about Dara Torres, the 41-year-old, five-time Olympian (and nine-time medalist) who will be swimming at the games in Beijing.
Here's a woman who took first place in the 100-meter freestyle at this year's U.S. Olympic Trials beating Natalie Coughlin by .05 seconds. Coughlin is 16 years her junior. Then, Torres went on to break a couple world records. She's swimming faster now than she did in her 20s.
Did I mention she's 41?
And mother of a 2-year-old?
She also has asthma.
And a body that could stop traffic.
She is the oldest Olympic swimmer in history, on a team with kids literally half her age.
Naturally, there's speculation about drugs. But Torres has repeatedly and voluntarily been tested over a dozen times since March, and her results have always been clean.
I hope she's telling the truth because, for me, Dara Torres embodies what I think each one of us secretly hopes is true: being a mom and getting older is not the end of life as we know it. Just because I've given birth doesn't mean I have to give up. I can take care of my children while also taking care of myself. I can be a mom and an athlete.
Here it is in Dara's own words: "It's like I always say, 'you don't put an age limit on your dreams.' I haven't and I think I've proved that age is just a number."
Rawk on, Dara. Rawk on.