I had a relaxing weekend this past weekend and watched all of the sports. I watched Manchester City come from behind to win the Premier League title, I watched the Boston Red Sox win on a walk-off grand slam, and I watched the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat do their best impression of tackle football on the hardwood. Despite these different types of sports, one thing kept coming back to mind: everyone participating is either older than me or younger than me.

There was a time in my life when I thought that a human being became ancient and decrepit once they hit their 30’s. That’s why I thought there was such an emphasis in the sports world on finding the best talent at the youngest age, almost to the point of perversion. They needed to maximize someone’s performances before they hit that dreaded 3 at the front of their age when all of a sudden their otherworldly abilities come crashing to a halt. But now that I’m older than pretty much every professional athlete it’s really put into perspective how accomplished these young men and women are. Remembering what I was doing at their ages makes me appreciate the younger players that much more, and it also makes me respect the longevity of the older players that are still able to perform.

As someone who will be turning 35 in September, it amazes me that LeBron James was able to finish second in the NBA in scoring at the age of 37. It makes me respect how James has been so great for so long and how he’s been able to avoid any serious injuries despite us being roughly the same age. If I sleep on a pillow wrong my day is ruined. Also as someone who will be turning 35 in September, it amazes me that I have a jump shot and 25-year-old Ben Simmons does not. I can even make a free throw!

But most importantly, turning 35 in September makes me realize that there is not one set timeline for when things should be happening in life. Everyone’s journey is different to get to where they belong. I’ve never believed any of those arbitrary timeframes for getting married, having children, owning a home, or retiring from the NFL, and it makes me happy that people are starting to realize all of the options that life has to offer. Regardless of when you get to these major life milestones, it was the right time for you and your journey to your destination should make you appreciate it once you get there. Don’t be in such a rush that you miss the sights along the way, and don’t put too much pressure on what’s happening for those that are older than you or younger than you.

And remember, you only live once.

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