Imagine you are a map of Great Britain. (If you don’t know what that looks like, go here: https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-3.9977368,6z It’s that big bit right in the middle with “United kingdom” slapped all over it). When I was young, everything was in the north. But over the years, it’s all begun to slip a bit. What was up North, later moved down to the Midlands and as each year goes by, so it all heads further South, until it’s ‘on the coast’ with no more South left!
You hear people say that someone old is ‘over the hill’, I always found that a bit cheeky. But I think I understand it now. You’re on the ‘good’ side of the hill when you’re young, everything’s firm though soft to the touch, (well, most bits), a bit like a good old orthopaedic mattress. Then as you ‘start the climb’ you may get a little pain, like growing pains. Or you may notice the occasional grey hair (like I can remember that far back)! Your hair may recede just a little as well. Joints crack, bones click and what was the young you, that used to bounce out of bed, can’t even remember when you lost the ‘bounce’ and gravity seems to be holding you down. The ‘mattress’ becomes soft and saggy and loses a lot of it’s support.
I believe that you are over the metaphorical ‘hill’, when you get to that point. Where the grey has begun to spread, like some foreign invader taking over your head, one hair at a time. I find that life is a lot like a top Hollywood movie. There always seems to be a bit, somewhere in the middle of the film, where they show the passing of time in a few moments, where different scenes speed by and it is always accompanied by music. Well, I have definitely gone through that bit, there wasn’t any music and I don’t remember that bit happening, but I woke up one morning and suddenly years seem to have passed me by. I saw a TV programme about a man who had been in a coma for 18 years and woke, still believing that he was the younger version of himself and not this older one. I feel a bit like that.
As far as gravity is concerned, maybe it’s that, that helps pull you down the far side of the hill, once you have reached and passed the summit. It certainly doesn’t stop you reaching the top though! Life is full of milestones, like your first birthday. 10th and 13th birthdays are important too. 16, 18 and 21 all follow quickly. Then things slow down a bit, as middle age comes and goes without you really noticing. I never noticed life beginning at 40, in fact, I’m still waiting for that bit to happen! Once you head on down the hill, those milestones become millstones, weighing you and all your bodily bits down, as your face sags a bit, followed by your shoulders, stomach and well, I think I’ll stop there, but you get the point.
I am attending a gym, where I regularly try to reverse up the hill a bit. I try to re-firm everything up, by running on a treadmill and getting nowhere fast. Then it’s the rowing machine, where I still get nowhere fast, only backwards. Then once again, I fight gravity as I push weights heavenwards, while gravity fights against me and succeeds in pushing them back down again. I lean this way, I bend that, I stretch and squat and end up sweating and gasping and feeling like the money I pay to be a member there, might actually be worth it. I know of course, that I am simply fighting a losing battle, but I daren’t give up the fight. I will not be invaded by fat, I will ‘tone up’! It makes me tired just thinking about it. Sometimes I think the only weight I lose, is the weight that leaves my pocket in order to pay for all this. Some days, I don’t go, other things need my attention and I don’t fight them. My ‘get up and go’ left quite some time ago, like a long-lost-lover, running away and having an affair with my inspiration. The only thing that keeps me going is hope. I see lots of young people there, with perfect figures. Young women bouncing up and down on the treadmill, as they run, their ponytails bounce along with them, going this way and that. Young men with bulging muscles, but trying to make them bulge a little more. I have bits that bulge too, like the fat that hides my six-pack, which I am sure is under there somewhere! The hope I speak of, is what I think when I see the few people there who are larger than me. Some of them are considerably larger than me and my ‘hope‘ is that I never get quite that big! But they are there and that is all that matters. They have a longer journey than me to become fit, a harder struggle, but their attendance proves that they, like me, want to change themselves for the better and I salute them.
So, I say, sounding all ‘inspirational’, that I will not let gravity win just yet. I may be well over the hill, past it, old, well old-ish anyway. But I’m taking up a new hobby and that is hill-climbing! (Maybe even mountain climbing), but I have a way to go yet, I may be getting on a bit, but I still can’t see the bottom, (of the hill that is)! This will not be my last blog-post. I hope. I shall see you all again, on here anyway. All I will say is, if you are still on the climb and can’t yet see the top, please make sure that you enjoy it. Do everything you can, while you can and if the opportunity to do something comes up, grab it with both hands and throw yourself into it wholeheartedly, just like I didn’t. I used to say, “I’m young, I can do it later”, to whatever it was. But I soon found out that ‘later‘ doesn’t come, you rarely get a second chance at anything. So if opportunity knocks at your door, then open that door quickly, before it goes next door! People used to say, “Don’t worry Gilbo, one day your ship will come in”. They were right, it did, but that day, I was at the airport!
I say, don’t let gravity win. Fight it, until the bitter end. See you all next week.