As yet another birthday approaches (the years are clearly getting shorter) two questions persist in engaging my ailing brain: why am I slowing down … and how much longer have I got?
They are not issues that those of lesser years will understand; that only comes with age, and therein lies the rub.
Here I am in good health, carrying no excess weight, sleeping well, drinking less, exercising regularly and generally doing all the “right” things … and yet I am slowing down. In everything, not just out there on the roads where to sustain an 8:30 min/mile pace (considered a snail’s progress a year ago) has become a glorious achievement.
I know the answer I’ll get. It’s an age thing, I’ll be told. We all slow down as we grow older. But why? My car is ageing along with me but it has no trouble in going whatever distance I require of it, and at the speed I ask. Our bodies are merely engines and therefore, if properly maintained, should perform in similar fashion to our cars.
One slight consolation is that the UK rankings for my age group for 2014 have me in 7th place for the 10 miles and the 10km (both down on last year’s positions) and I remain at No.1 for the marathon. And I can still out-run many who are half or even a third of my age – but the writing remains on the wall: I am slowing down and it don’t feel good.
All of which leads on to the second question about how much longer I’ve got, not merely of life but of active life. The idea of immobility and inactivity appals and frightens me. Especially as there is so much I have yet to do and achieve. Yet somehow I am stagnating because (back to question 1 above) I am slowing down. My home is now in Limbo Land
Carpe diem, is the cry – but if you are too weary and slow to raise an arm to seize the bloody day ….
Maudlin times. Think I’ll go for a run.