Don’t Act Your Age

I’m a pretty serious person most of the time. Like many, I need to be.

I run my own business, I’m responsible for the care of six dogs on my own for most of the day, 10 acres with a house, studio and barns and I also take care of the family finances.

That’s all pretty serious stuff.

Two weeks ago, I went on a trip, not far away to Branson, Missouri, for work. The idea is to experience some of what the town has to offer so I can better write about it.

I signed up, along with two other writers on this trip, for a go-kart adventure one afternoon, something I used to love as a kid, but hadn’t done in a long time. Dale isn’t a go-kart adventure type of guy – he really isn’t into risk taking with much of anything – and even told me to be careful on “those things” before I left.

My go-kart days can be traced all the way back to when I was about 8, visiting my aunt (who now lives down the road) and cousins in the rural Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky.

My older cousin, Mark, who I adored, had a go-kart and they had enough land for a go-kart track.

One afternoon, while racing around the track with everyone watching, they all started waving at me as I would come back around the curve. I smiled and waved back, thinking they were just being friendly.

Next turn around, they all started yelling. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I continued waving enthusiastically. Another turn and they were jumping, waving and yelling. Finally, my uncle stepped out onto the track pointing me back to the starting point.

I had a flat tire and they were trying to get me to stop. I was having such a good time, I drove on, oblivious to the shredded rubber on the back of the cart.

Of course, the story became family legend, one of those stories that gets told at every gathering, and 40 years later, it still gets us all laughing (those of us who are left, anyway).

The afternoon activity in Branson was dubbed “Don’t Act Your Age” and it was in that spirit that I got into the go-kart at the Wild Woody track, a 4-story wooden go-kart track that is basically a roller coaster and go-kart in one.

The first time on the track, I heard Dale’s voice in my head telling me to be careful, and I took it pretty easy, letting all of the riders pass me by on the downhill slopes.

On the second go round, I was more confident, more daring and I became that little girl my aunt, uncle, mom and cousins couldn’t slow down in that go-kart 40 years ago.

I pushed the pedal to the metal, never once touching the brake, leaning into hairpin curves, getting into a friendly bump and drive with another writer on the trip, and even masterfully avoided a pile up on the track.

I whooped and screamed and I didn’t act my age. There wasn’t a serious moment to be found that afternoon.

I might have had a little more trouble getting out of that go-kart than I did 4 decades ago, and I was definitely more sore the next day (with ears still ringing from the motor behind the seat), but let’s face it, we only get to drive through this life once. Some moments of it should be adventurous, a little daring and without an ounce of seriousness to be found.

Note, dear Living Large community, I will be taking next week off for the Thanksgiving holiday. Please have a safe holiday, U.S. readers, full of family, friends and gratefulness for all you have.

Have you done anything recently to not act your age?

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16 Responses

  1. Judy Cone says:

    I enjoyed your blog. Next summer I will try go carts! We lived in Mountain Home for 2 years. I miss the outdoor activities offered by the area.

  2. Heather L. says:

    Your go cart adventure sounds like a lot of fun. I think we should all act like kids more often.

  3. I had a similar experience not too long ago. And my hubby had given me the exact same warning. I discovered I have a bit of an adrenaline streak–tried ziplining, indoor skydiving, jet skiing, loved it all!

  4. Love this post, Kerri. But I’d add that having fun isn’t owned by any particular age, young or old.

  5. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I haven’t done anything like this of late. I mean, something drastically different from everyday life, like go-carts. Have not had the opportunity. But, you are right, that we all need excitement and belly laughs from time to time.

  6. I reckon my age is whatever age you have fun. I had someone tell me the other day that going to the beach was what “young people” did. By someone in their mid-40s! Get out there and live.

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, my, Melanie, that is a reminder to all of us to live as if we are young! 🙂 On this same trip, there was a writer and I asked how old she was. She replied, “Why? Because I act so immature?” I said, “No, because you’re so adventurous and I would like to remind myself when I lost that!” Life cannot be serious all of the time and I don’t think there’s harm in not acting our age sometimes. 🙂

  7. I’m glad you were able to just let loose and forget everything for a while. What a great day!

  8. What a lovely post! I had a similar experience when I went to an ice park in Finland. We dressed up in snowsuits and went on a dog sled, butt sled, etc. It was great just to play!