I apologise sincerely for neglecting you this past week, although I did warn you that I was about the enter a period of life-sucking demands from the day job, and it’s only today that I’ve managed to raise my head above water again.
So I’m finally squeezing out a post so you don’t forget about me, because aside from prioritising my daily walks and wine consumption, I’ve achieved very little this week apart from working like a bitch and becoming an expert at moaning about it.
I’ve noticed that the old man has escaped to the driving range more than usual.
‘Walking’ has maintained my sanity this week. In fact ‘walking’ has become a game-changer in my life recently, and without wanting to sound like a complete twat, I’ve been thinking for a while now about my appreciation for this simple pleasure which has personally become one of the major benefits of getting older for me.
Because about half-way through my daily walk, when my dwindling muscles have finally reached acceptance that they have to work and warm up, my legs begin to coordinate (vaguely) with each other and my digestive system has given up on all thoughts of food, my feet do eventually begin to glide majestically along the boardwalk at Lavender Bay and I can then chew over the fat of my life.
I’m still an amateur walker, not one of those seriously healthy women that pound past me on the pavement, head-to-foot in the latest baby-blue Lorna Jane attire, yet I’m still amazed by how much good energy it generates within me. Had I possessed the maturity and wisdom to appreciate the benefits of this exercise in my youth, rather than scorn it,(when I still had some vitality), I might be in a different place mentally and physically today.
But unfortunately, the only sport I took any serious interest in during my twenties was drinking. It would be futile to knock that choice now, when I’m aware that we all need to travel a different journey to adulthood and its wisdom, and it is often our mistakes that shape us the most, nevertheless, my mind certainly might be in a healthier state now if I’d allowed myself to be more at one with nature back then; and fed my soul rather than pickling it.
The climate in the UK had a lot to answer for, too, being more conducive to the pub lifestyle than a healthy one, and despite the knowledge that regrets are pointless, I admit to being envious of the millennials that leave me in their wake as they stride ahead of me on my walks; women who have so much more information at their fingertips than we did, about health and exercise and diet.
I sometimes wonder that if I’d had that knowledge back then, if it would have changed my path.
But probably not.
Yet there’s no denying that even a low-impact exercise such as walking is more challenging now, what with an irritating lower back issue that has hounded me since I carried Kurt, and the twinges in one knee whenever I walk uphill. I know I’m not the only one to suffer from these common ailments of ageing – they tend to be the topic of choice at most of the social events we attend these days – where once we bragged about our children, we now bemoan our premature health issues.
It seems that while there is a mutual, innate fear of not doing enough to help prolong our lives, it’s balanced by the fear of overdoing it, and doing more harm than good.
Skiing and running are seen as risky, and the status of knees can dominate conversation; only to be rivalled by the interest generated by which private health company you’re with.
But as NC so often reminds me, fear is a prison so I’ll take the risks to my knees and continue to walk, because giving up is almost as terrifying as getting old.