In a few weeks I will be hitting a big age number (not 50, you cheeky fuckers), and I am feeling in the best shape ever. There is room for improvement, of course, but on the whole, if I look at women my age I could easily get away with shaving at least 5 years off them, if not a little more (depending on lighting and alcohol consumption, of course).
And I assure you, this is not just wistful thinking – studies have shown that getting into a regular sweat improves not only one’s physique (well you know, doing the best with what you’ve got) but also boosts a more healthy complexion. There are also statistics available that prove that regular exercise makes you live longer, which although might be a winner for some, is not exactly my personal goal – the idea of doing bench presses at my local gym at 90 fills me with earth-shattering horror.
Alongside looking better on the outside, keeping tabs on your fitness after a ‘certain age’ will also keep the blues at bay. When the mid-life crisis starts to kick in – panicking over whether one can get away with that short leather skirt and (even worse) thinking it’s OK to try and pick up someone 15 years your junior (it happens) – a long run and a session on the weights gives the system a boost of endorphins which might just keep you from obsessing about a frightful future forced to wear comfortable shoes and long lonely hours surfing the Saga dating website.
But, after saying all of that, you know what? At 40, yes 40 (yes I said it, loud and – cough – proud), me and many people of my age can whip those 20-somethings when it comes to fitness. On a recent run with East London’s Run Dem Crew, me and a pal smashed the younger set, which we celebrated by going straight to Shoreditch House for a shower and a bottle of Sancerre. See? Getting older does have some bonuses, after all.
One foot in the grave? Pah! As if. I’ll be pumping iron in the gym when I turn the next big number, just you wait and see…