Motivation, health and pushing 40.
Occasionally and for me personally you'll get to a point in life when you look back and review many decisions that have taken you to the present day via this intricate and web-tangled journey that we all travel, mine often focuses and concludes into the famous verse sung by Ol’ Blue Eyes himself:
“Regrets, I've had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exception. “
And yes, luckily only a few regrets so far, but the main one I have is not having looked after myself physically as well as I should have or should do (out of respect for my own/others health mainly).
To do that, and to do it well we all need some form of motivation, and not necessarily the look into the mirror early in the morning when you already know you have the appeal of a dog’s breakfast which was previously a somewhat appetising dog’s dinner the night before… But motivation from either simply getting older, a change of environment, the breakup of a relationship, the pursuit of a new one or a new career path, advice from a medical professional or heck — even some cheap snide comment on social media (though being the belligerent personality that I am, I care little about the latter, like lions and the approval of sheep etc).
Most of these should give anyone the required kick up the backside to change a gear that you might have been stuck in for a time, and life is good like that. I may moan about it for a while, even rebel against it and try to maintain the cadence, but I will eventually move on, adapt and embrace it.
So at age 39 and 11 months, it’s been a convenient and quite ironic time for another gear change, and one which I've been flirting and fighting with on and off since the beginning of the year.
Medically I’m not in ‘bad’ nick so to speak, I have a few minor ongoing ailments like asthma, hay fever and psoriasis (which luckily seems to be on the retreat now, less stress!) and even playing a lot of Rugby and Football earlier in life hasn't damaged my joints and musculature much, apart from a few years when I had a trapped nerve in my shoulder which was an utter bloody nuisance.
Mentally I'm in good shape too, apart from the healthy grief I've felt when friends and loved ones pass away which has naturally ruined me for some time afterwards. I'm lucky in the fact that I don't really feel or get ‘depressed’ in the way that I've known others to, and despite inevitable ups and downs I seem to walk along a planate road most of the time, only anger (simmering, rather than boiling these days) and love tend to deviate the journey and move me away from my natural OCD ‘esque comfort zone.
What next now for me, seems to be a desire to improve my health again and to relinquish stubborn body fat that creeps up on you while you convince yourself that your diet is fine because hey, you never eat a whole Ben & Jerry’s in one go right? So I’ve recently started working out again and more voraciously than I've done in years, both at the gym and at home, also hiking around the local and many hills, and cycling as often as possible (I do run too, but much better at pulling/pushing/spinning things).
All of which are going well so far thankfully, excess baggage is dripping off the mid-life conveyor belt as fast as I can excrete it, and I’m feeling in better shape every day, but obviously a fair way to go to attain the level of fitness I’m aiming at really. Recently joined an adventure club too and plan on keeping active and pushing my limits for a long while yet!
I’m also at the point where I’m thinking more of fatherhood or ‘settling down’ (the phrase that used to fill me with dread), as I’m probably about ready for that kind of biological challenge now and seeing as most of my friends have already one or two young clones running around to raise and attempt to impart with learned wisdom — or to avoid teaching them bad habits! Even just thinking about it now is the thing I didn't have time for before, which feels serendipitous yet completely comfortable.
Here we go again then, moving the shifter, steering another course.