the long road

“Mid-life Crisis?” Nah…It’s Just the Starting Point for Your Longest Run.

This article was originally published at OlderBeast, whose mission is to help 40+ guys “double down” on body-and-soul health for the 2nd half of their life.

My aspiration is to clearly see and courageously confront concerns appearing for me (and other 40+ guys, too) at the mid-life point and beyond. Concerns about staying physically vital. About not looking “old.” About warding off maladies that lurk in the shadows.

Among all concerns, perhaps the biggest is the most subconscious and hardest to recognize:

At or beyond life’s halfway marker, we’re uncertain what our life ultimately will have meant.

I know this “Meaning of Life” concern is caricatured as the midlife crisis and the sports car in response. But in reality, it can be more of an awakening, a broadening of vision and spirit, a healthy challenge, and an opportunity.

Intensifying your focus on fitness, nutrition and overall wellness — doubling down on overall body-and-soul health  —  helps maximize this opportunity. We’ll come back to that.

First let’s take a deeper look at this “Meaning” concern.


It’s logical to step back and assess something at its halfway point. But beyond that, for a lot of guys the real trigger is evolution of family circumstances (which happens to occur in the 40–60 age range). Your parents reach true senior status, or have passed away. Kids are increasingly-independent teenagers, or out of the house and launched on their own.

My wife and I are about to be empty-nesters, and I’ve noticed this feeling: for the first time, I can visualize and want to plan a chunk of time called “the rest of my life.”

Age zero to 18 or so living with your parents, young adulthood and pre-kids marriage, your own parenting-of-children phase — wow, there was so much in each one of those life parts. But the phase we’re reaching now could be much longer than these prior ones (even twice as long).

Framed positively — and that’s how to frame it, man– “welcome to your life’s longest chapter.”

Looking ahead at this, and of course realizing this longest chapter is also the concluding one, brings up powerful questions.

your next chapter


As we start living this longest chapter, big questions develop and gain urgency.

Such as:

1. What do I really Want? “W” for “want” in the biggest sense: what short list of fundamental goals do I have for my rest-of-life?

2. What values drive these goals? Are they the same ones I’ve lived by so far, or have they changed?

3. How can I become more?

4. If I take “inventory” of life so far, what’s missing? What do I need now?


Each man’s life questions and conclusions are of course unique, and intensely personal. But I sense certain themes resonate among us. They drive a shift in priorities, and evolution of attitudes, many of us hold in common.


Desire to be our best possible self. While not new, it’s clearer and stronger than ever before.

At the same time, self-forgiveness for what we’re not, or things that didn’t happen. This includes “letting go” of outdated values, goals and priorities which don’t serve us well anymore.

Recognition that dedicating time to care for our own bodies and souls isn’t abdication of “provide and protect” responsibilities to our family…it’s actually part of those responsibilities

Engagement of our minds— our creativity, resilience, will power — to overcome the increased challenges of physical fitness (compared to when we were 20- or 30-something).

Gratitude for good things in life, and fewer complaints.

Appreciation of beauty and timeless things, and motivation to experience them more often.


Often, fitness and nutrition thinking focuses at the “tactical” level — like how to swim more efficiently, or how to make killer oatmeal. It should sometimes be at the “strategic” level, too — like how to “architect” your own sustainable fitness and wellness approach, and how to get and stay motivated to pursue it.

But at its highest level — the vision of a healthy life and a game plan to achieve it — an intensified focus on fitness, nutrition and wellness serves (and encourages) the Meaning-related changing priorities and life attitudes you likely feel.

Your body, and your sharpness of mind and freedom of spirit that depend on it, are literally your “platform” for the rest of life. The “vehicle” for your quest to achieve life goals and realize Meaning in your long, concluding chapter.

Thinking this way, are you prioritizing fitness, nutrition and wellness enough? If so, are you pursuing them in the smartest way possible?

Now’s a good time to ask yourself these things, brother.

“Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run…there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” (Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven — click to listen).


Take Care of Yourself, with More Perspectives Like This

If this article felt important, helpful or amusing to you, I’d be honored if you subscribe to my personal blog. You’ll get a free copy of my eBook The OlderBeast Way, which will super-charge your quest to feel great, look your best, keep getting happier, and live long.

Mark Teitell

View posts by Mark Teitell
Mark Teitell is a 50-ish guy on a mission to keep getting fitter, healthier, happier. He’s the Founder & Host of OlderBeast, a site with practical and inspirational content, tools & services, and community to help 40+ men “double down” on body-and-soul health for the 2nd half of life.

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