So after a palpable absence of almost a year, I’m back and I’m 50, how did that happen? It was never my intention to leave you but my charmed life that got me happily through to 49 all went ‘tits up’ in 2017 despite starting off well with a new job in January that somehow I’ve managed to hold down quite successfully despite the world imploding around me. I’ve just about managed to do enough to keep my place on my running club committee and the running itself has taken a definite back seat allowing a spot of middle aged spread to creep in and my times to plummet. I’ve been mentally pushed to my limits and I’m still sane, I’m still married and my children still love me so I know I might actually be mentally more tough than I am physically, who’d have thought it? It’s been a roller coaster but it’s on the up again and I’m ready for some ‘me time’.
This new chapter of my blog is going to take you through the challenge of being a woman in her 50’s and I can’t take that lying down or just accept it easily, so I’ve set myself a 50 in 50 challenge …… do 50 things I’ve never done before by my 51st birthday ! I thought it was a brilliant idea so was gutted when a pal sent me a newspaper article about 50 being the new 30 and talking about a 50 in 50 challenge, apparently its a ‘thing’ !! Whatever, I’m still doing it and blogging about it and I don’t personally know anyone else who’s done it.
Now if only time and money weren’t an object it might be easy, but with limited budget and 25 days holiday, it’s more tricky. It also works out to around one per week so I may need to think of multi tasking new experiences. Of course on the positive side, they don’t all have to be either running related or major feats of daring do (I’ve never had a jager bomb !!), but as I’ve always been rather adventurous, ‘I’ve done a lot already’ way more in fact than most of my friends (wing walking, scuba diving, tank driving, race car driving…to name but a few)
If I listen to the media, we women become invisible over 50, we are no longer glam, no longer on prime time TV, no longer desirable, no longer have a voice……maybe I should just buy massive beige knickers, take up knitting and retire then? I’m not buying that though, Teresa May and Angela Merkel remain political heavyweights that battle it out over Europe and Debbie McGee and Brigitte Macron are certainly considered hot stuff well past 50.
I may need your help coming up with 50 things though, I’m currently at 28 things on the list and I’ve done 6 which I’ll share as the blog unfolds ! I have sought the counsel of my wise friends and colleagues and most alarming is that the list of things that are definitely not going on the list is growing equally well despite the fact I did stipulate the 50 in 50 has to be legal. So spending a night in a police cell, streaking, committing armed robbery and doing a runner from a restaurant as well as the other highly inappropriate and unmentionable activities are NOT going on my list!
Am I up to the challenge? Well my recent ‘health check’ might cast doubt on that. Reassured that the NHS hasn’t forsaken us all yet and with the offer of the chance to ‘ace’ a 50+ health check I went along to show other 50 year old’s how it’s done. My running has taken a back seat all year and I have put a bit on, but I know I’m fitter than most and looked forward to the recognition………….WRONG……….curse tables, statistics and averages. The practice nurse, also of a certain age, asked me the endless questions that determined my fate. Smoking…never, well a cheeky one in a nightclub as a teenager just to see what all the fuss was about, but after that, never. Score = excellent. Activity…well I had run 5 miles that very morning. Score = excellent. Diet…not a fan of fast food and ready meals really. Score = excellent. Alcohol…OK, tricky one, I opted for a normal week of two nights at the weekend sharing a bottle of red with my beloved, so 4 large glasses a week. Score = too high, must try harder (dear god we never talked about the weeks where anyone came over for dinner or we went somewhere for dinner, or the ladies were up for early doors 2 for 1 cocktails….the woman would have sent me to rehab). On reflection, there was a definite theme in this year’s Christmas presents, particularly this personalised gem of a gift for my lady cave from the hubster.
Blood pressure…fabulous, Heart Rate… so low that if I wasn’t a runner, they’d do further checks to ensure I wasn’t in a coma! Finally weight…sadly its all on BMI, not just looking with your eyes. I’d skipped into the surgery with a pair of size 8 New Look jeans that I’d retrieved from my teenage daughters ‘chucking out’ pile and a size 10 top ( which would have been an 8, had I not ….. gone up a bit over the course of my aforementioned ‘annus horribilis’ ) BMI 26 = overweight!! The killer question from the practice nurse who might as well have been a robot with a ‘computer says no’ approach was ‘Could I think of anything I could do to lose weight?’ obviously with excellent activity levels and a 5 mile run on the day…..er ‘no’ I can’t think of a thing ???
So I start both the year and my 50 in 50 challenge as a middle aged, overweight alcoholic, stay with me for the journey, but I’m not sure I’ll make my 51st birthday!