So, 40. The big four-oh. Middle age. Is it middle aged? I don’t feel very middle aged, as you can probably surmise from the above photograph. It was taken on Saturday night at about 2am, on the evening of my 40th birthday. (I should point out that it was also my wife’s 40th birthday, since we share a birthday. She’s about half an hour older than me. No, we’re not twins. Yes, I have been making that joke for over two decades.) It was rather a good night, just a few friends, good music and industrial quantities of alcohol. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say I that eventually slunk off to bed at about 6am. Quite a heavy night. You know those emails that you get from Freeletics about eating healthily, not drinking, getting plenty of sleep? Basically the direct opposite of that.
At this point I had intended to briefly muse on being 40. Nothing too deep and meaningful, maybe a paragraph or two. But I just can’t be bothered. I couldn’t give a stuff about it. The thing about getting older is that you generally find that it affects everyone else on earth at pretty much the same rate. So what if you’re getting older? So’s your next door neighbour. So’s everyone. You can’t do anything about it, but that also doesn’t mean you get to sit on your arse doing nothing. Well, that’s not strictly true. One of the great things about being a grown up is getting to sit on your arse doing nothing and nobody can tell you off for it. You might occasionally stumble across a badly written blog that makes some kind of half arsed attempt to convince you that you should do some exercise, but that would be ridiculously easy to ignore.
I feel like I’m a better person at 40 than I was at 20 or 30. Not 10 though. I was the fucking DON when I was 10. At ten years of age, I was starring (appearing in the choir) in a major (minor) musical at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (matinees only). I was looking forward to taking my eleven plus. I had a Rambo: First Blood Part 2 poster on my wall that was fucking massive. I’d seen Ghostbusters and Back To The Future twice. That’s twice EACH. Plus I could quote every single line of The Blues Brothers at you. (I still can, actually. A rare bright spot in an otherwise dull life.) What I’m saying is that at age 10, the world was my oyster. And basically it’s been all downhill from there. I was a bit of a prick when I was 20. Slightly less of a prick when I was 30. And now I’m 40, almost all traces of prickery have faded away. (I say almost: I did tell someone to fuck off when they asked me to stop playing ‘all this gay music’ and get some ‘heavy rock on’ at a gig a few weeks back. Justified.)
I’ve had a bit of a crap week with Freeletics. I don’t get ill very often, but half way through my Coach week last week, I started feeling like absolute shit. The thing about Freeletics is that once you get into it, it really does engender this sense of not wanting to give up. But I dimly remembered receiving an email a while back about the dangers of doing Freeletics when sick. I dug it out of my inbox, and here’s what jumped out at me immediately:
If you do get ill, an absolute break in training is very necessary – even if it is only a slight cold and you still feel quite energetic!
Right then. Well to tell you the truth, I did not feel quite energetic. I felt like a two ton shit. It goes on:
For those who simply cannot wait until the end of the rest period, it is important to know that a weakened body hardly reacts to training stimuli. So take your rest with a clear conscience, increase the workload and the intensity thereafter slowly and moderately, and after a few days of acclimatization you can take off with full speed again! Use the break to prepare yourself mentally for your return to training.
It’s pretty unequivocal. So I took a break. And yes, during that break, I went on rather a massive bender. But fuck it. You’re only 40 once.
I woke up yesterday feeling quite a bit better, but still sniffing and coughing a little bit. I had a load of stuff to do, so I ditched the workout for another day. (The fact that my next workout is the bloody strength bloody version of bloody bloody bloody Kentauros is neither here nor there, naturally.) But today I felt okay. Well, sort of okay. I was still coughing and blowing my nose intermittently, but I really wanted to do something. It was a lovely cold, crisp morning with a light dusting of snow on the ground, so on impulse I decided [drum roll…] to go [increase intensity of drums] for a [drums getting really loud now] RUN.
It was bloody marvellous. Felt a little ropey and I apologise to the various people that were walking their dogs in the woods and were suddenly confronted with a mad looking man wiping snot out of his face with a woolly glove. But it was great to get out, and it really made me think that I need to find a way of running a bit more regularly. (Note to self: what you need to do is just run a bit more regularly.)
But I’m going back to my Coach week tomorrow, so I’ll post up a quick note with my numbers for Week 13 in a couple of days when I’ve finished it off.
One of the nice things about being 40 is getting loads and loads of booze bought for you. We currently have something in the region of 90 bottles of wine in the house. About 15 bottles of champagne. Three bottles of vodka. Some sort of posh tequila. Seven or eight cases of lager. Joel, if you’re reading this, feel free to swing by and help me get rid of some of it.
Anyway, here’s a nice song from my youth. See you in a couple of days or something.