I’m in the midst of a new ‘thing’ which is actually an old ‘thing’ dusted off and given a new lease of life. I have started to run again. Now I know we’ve just had a summer of Olympics with sport everywhere but it really has nothing to do with that, honest.
As you may know if you’ve been reading my posts here I have been trying to lose weight for most of this year (and have done pretty well I think) but I’ve got to a point where very easily I could slip back into bad eating and unhealthy habits (plates stacked full of plain chocolate biccies, pizza, buns, pizza and off course lots of… pizza).
In my 20’s I did lots of exercise (circuit training, weights, running…) and for a short time felt pretty good about that side of my life. But my knee decided it would complain (I had been abusing it and making it take my increasing weight after all so there are no hard feelings; we actually get on pretty well now apart from the odd twinge here or there).
I’m not sure how long this ‘thing’ will last but I am intending to try to continue past the point where I have attained and am maintaining my target weight (nothing exciting, I’m not wanting to be a stick insect after all my wide ‘child baring’ hips won’t let me). Perhaps I’m going a bit mad but I’m managing a run every other day of roughly about 2-3 miles; I’m not sure I’m a natural, I do seem to be getting overtaken quite a lot by little old ladies in their 90’s (many in very fetching bright pink outfits) and with my face a match for any Post Office mail box (bright red for those of my overseas readers) I may not look the healthiest of chaps as I huff and puff my way around but I am feeling better! I am!
There does seem to be a lot of us around along with cyclists so I don’t feel too lonely. I even saw one lady brave enough to take her dog with her; I wouldn’t get far with mine as he likes to inspect every patch of grass which means a regular walk with him takes about an hour for a few hundred feet of travel! I remember in my first fitness attempt in the 90’s I took our lovely dog for a jog and nearly ended up with two broken legs; he enjoyed playing with my feet as I (tried) to run.
Anyway must dash, I feel the urge to hit the road, to feel the joy of the road; in short I must keep on running!
I’m sat writing this as I look out across my garden (it actually looks ok, I’ve done the lawn and the weeding and it no longer looks abandoned). The sun is sending shards of warmth through the trees, light is soaking through the window and the sky is a lovely metallic blue. But I feel sad. Mainly that’s because I’m a grumpy old man but it’s also because time is ticking away fast and it won’t be very long now, soon we can look forward to the wonders of winter: long dark cold nights, the threat of snow and ice and of course the ‘C’ word!
Yes I do love some aspects of winter. I like the snow on a sunny day and building snowmen, I love the power of nature but wouldn’t it be good if we could just plan it a little better? Perhaps book it for a few days at a time or over the holidays? Then make it go when we needed to travel or get somewhere?
But doesn’t it seem such a short time since last winter? I remember as though it was only yesterday wondering when it could ever get warm, when I could stop scraping ice of my car window, when I could put my winter undies away? I’m sure it lasted all the way into May! And now we are on the cusp again!
When I was a child (a state of affairs that seems to be receding fast) I am sure a year stretched out so far in my life? The gap between one Christmas (drat I said the word) and the next was so long a boy could grow several inches, loose his girly voice and start to shave! Summer holidays were extremely long periods, part boredom, part adventure (wonderful mornings of Champion the Wonder Horse, The Flashing Blade and being able to sleep in a little). Now those six weeks go in a flash!
Of course there is scientific reason for all this and you can read lots on the perceptions of time and space which is all well and good but as I sit here (the sun is still bathing me in heat and my family are now stirring, which means a shattering of peace very soon) after a weekend that has once more flown by like a plummeting stone I wish they’d use that scientific knowledge to help us older people (basically anyone over 20) stretch time when we needed it (without causing any health problems of course). I’m sure there’s a Sci Fi story in there (and perhaps dear readers you could point me towards them so I can at least fantasize).
Anyway I have to get my de-icer ready and find my long johns. Enjoy the Autumn.
With a voice like ice on fire, melted to the virtual skin of a blood soaked threat
With a wit to sear the tone of deliverance and chill the bones of men
With a pain that breaks the heart and fills my eyes with tears
With a love that never wants what you just can’t have
What do you think of yourself? Are you comfortable in your own skin? When you look at yourself in the mirror (presuming you can and many people can’t) who do you see? I can look, in fact in order to shave without creating a scene from a Stephen King book in the bathroom it’s essential, but I always see something or somebody different. It’s not a psychic thing, I’m not seeing faces of ghosts and I’m not getting confused with the window (which can be embarrassing especially if naked and is likely to either get me arrested or remind my neighbours that we haven’t had a huge amount of quality summer around these parts).
But each time I do look I can either wonder if shaving is possible eventually in total darkness or that yes perhaps I do have some semblance of normality and perhaps the ladies may get a treat when I’m out and about (if it’s dark and they have their glasses safely hidden in a pocket or bag). The other day I looked in the mirror and saw my father, which is fine he’s not a monster and has in fairness given me a large number of genes so I will have some resemblance but my dad is now in his ’70’s. So I saw my face really as I imagine it will look at around about the same age! It was a slight shock but it was very early in the morning.
I tend to think I look younger than I am, I certainly feel a whole lot younger than I am and the grey has only just started to push through with fine silver hairs visible close up (though my eyebrows have been silver since several years back for some strange reason though if you glance they do look blond(ish)). I still have a full head of hair though it is getting thinner especially at the front! There is some history of being follicularly challenged on my father’s side but I’m holding out that my mother’s genes will be the stronger (my grandfather still had a fullish head of hair and my uncle still has his mostly in place).
Anyway back to that mirror. I do not spend hours admiring myself in it. I look when I need to and when I want to pull a few faces to see how many wrinkles appear and then stay in place! I’d say that I look as though I was pushing towards my 40’s, especially now I’ve lost a few pounds (and am desperately trying to keep it off – it is soooo darned hard, the call of the chocolate is sooo loud and persistent!). But maybe I’m kidding myself, I’ve never seen myself as a ‘catch’, more a middling kinda guy, not the ugliest man around but not a ‘hunk’; I’d not get picked to model jumpers for catalogues anyway! If I was an actor I’d get the quirky interesting friend roles, I’d be a less manic (and slightly slimmer) Jack Black, or a more nerdy Kevin Bacon.
I’m an avid people watcher and sometimes I catch myself wondering what others see or do they even notice me? I even catch myself wondering ‘do any of these ladies see a fanciable chap or are they close to reaching for a sick bag?’ Of course sheer statists mean that everybody will be ‘fanciable’ to somebody but it alway makes me feel slight uncomfortable if I notice somebody looking; I wonder if I’ve not dressed properly or perhaps I remind them of an old teacher or pet. I even wonder if they have seen something resembling an attractive human being and their poor little tickers have missed a beat (I know I must have had this effect a couple of times, I have had a couple of girlfriends in my past life (before I had my wife and three children, a mortgage, a dog, a cat and fulltime job) but then I was a lot younger of course. It also makes me feel a little guilty, I don’t know why.
So what do you see?