another year older

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And another year wiser. Probably.

For me, new years are like birthdays in that they present an opportunity to feel one year closer to the impending hip-replacement, one year closer to enjoying elastic-waisted trousers and one year closer to eventually making the first-hand acquaintance of our maker. However, without getting too maudlin, whilst I do concede my marathon times are not going to be improved upon and I don’t feel like undertaking a second Ironman anytime soon, I do sincerely believe my best squash remains ahead of me, my swimming can only be improved upon and I do consider I’ll be a dab hand at the ol’ crown green bowls when the time comes.

Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, studies have continually highlighted that in terms of world-recognised successes neither age, nor experience actually wins out. Both appear to play their part and both contribute in equal measure for success. Age, on its own, is just not necessarily that important. Similarly, experience, on its own ain’t that important either. Great novelists can be any age. Top athletes are invariably going to be young. World-leading scientists can be any age but are more likely to have a few grey hears. Go figure and don’t overly on the apparently irrelevant variables of age, experience, size, colour & sex. Personality and mental fortitude, together with an unhealthy dose of self-belief and competitive zeal, go a long way towards success.

So, far from being over-the-hill, I still feel I’m moving up the slope as opposed to careering down the other side and there are considerable successes to plan for, to work towards and to enjoy. I fully appreciate many of these may be relative as opposed to absolute but I’m not intending, for one second, to let age play too great a part in this process. Yes, the older I get the more I appreciate the fact that extreme physical activity doesn’t particularly welcome the bad-of-back & creaky of bone but I can make-up the quantity deficit with quality and I can be far more canny in my approach to the competitive aspects of my escapades. At the risk of blowing my own trumpet (parp, par-par-par-parp!), earlier this week I nicked it 9-7 in the fifth, against a twenty-year old ex-county junior, just by getting inside his head a little. I don’t think I need to tell you how much I enjoyed this tussle and there’s life in this old dog yet. HNY.