Forever Young

Eddie, my slightly delinquent dog joined me for my Saturday morning Zoom yoga session this morning, staring at me lovingly from beneath his eyebrows as I gingerly manoeuvred my limbs into various unlikely poses. Halfway through the class he got bored and wandered off to find the final piece of his cow hoof bone which he’s been savouring for the past two week’s now. At least it doesn’t stink like an abattoir anymore. No amount of smelly twigs (my nickname for diffusers) could blank out that particular foul stench.

As I attempted to clear my mind and focus my gaze upon my naval, having first remembered where my naval was these days, my mind inevitably wandered off. I know it’s not supposed to wander off when you’re doing downward dog, but I’m no Dali Lama and quite frankly being inverted on your bedroom floor leads me to think about bits of fluff under the bed and what we’re having for dinner.

Mid-inversion, I remembered the rather splendid news I’d received yesterday. Amidst the disappointment of me failing to reach the finals of a business competition which would have resulted in a large chunk of cash being deposited into my business bank account I learned some rather encouraging news, which quite frankly superseded the disappointment of a load of judgy judges who deemed my start up business to be a bit shite compared the other twenty that are going through to the finals.

Undeterred by this, I jumped on Svetlana, my perfectly formed electric bike and sped off to Body Street. Once a week I subject my forty nine year old, peri menopausal body to eleventy billion vaults of electricity for twenty minutes. Yes, it is really as horrific as it sounds. It’s a German invention and is therefore extremely efficient.

The process goes something like this: strip totally naked, put some black pyjama type things on and emerge from the changing room looking like a sad, black sack of potatoes with black socks on. The Body Street trainer then douses a series of straps and a jacket type thing in water and these days copious amounts of germ blitzing disinfectant and then attaches these to your upper arms, thighs and arse and I slip the jacket thing on and zip it up carefully over my boobs so as not to trap my nipples.

The hilarity doesn’t stop there though. Confined like a black sausage, I am them attached by wires via the straps and body suit thing to a machine. Apparently Lynsey Lohan subjects herself to this, or so the marketing materials would have you believe. Anyway, the trainer then switches the machine on, turns the dial up and seventy billion vaults course through my body whilst I attempt to lunge, squat and bicep curl my way through a torture session, sorry I mean workout.

The joy of Body Street is that it only last twenty minutes, after which I am free to get on with my life, secure in the knowledge that I’ve just done a workout which is seemingly equivalent to an hour of weight lifting in a sweaty, testosterone infused gym.

Every five weeks they have the temerity to body scan me. They stick me on a magic machine and somehow find out how much fat I have in my body compared to muscle. Information that I really don’t give a toss about, but my trainer seems overly interested in. The piece of information I’m most interested in, is what my metabolic age is and how much I weigh.

This is a momentous day indeed. It is a month away from my fiftieth birthday and the keen-eyed amongst you will remember that the whole reason this blog was started was because I’d decided to drag Pip up the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal, visiting remote monasteries, villages and dodgy wooden bridges across giant ravines in order to celebrate my half century on this planet.

Neither of us have fessed up to the fact that this trip has been cancelled due to something called Covid (never heard of it personally) because we like writing our blog and Nepal isn’t going anywhere so we’ll go next year. I must therefore take solace in the two week’s worth of top secret birthday celebrations that are currently being planned by Ever Patient Husband and Eldest Daughter.

I jumped off the body measuring machine and trotted obediently over to the computer screen where my trainer showed me how much fat and muscle I had in my body,

”Whatever” I thought to myself.

”You could probably do with drinking more water.” She said cheerfully.

”Christ! If I drink anymore bloody water, I’m going to turn into a natural spring.” Came my reply.

”Have you changed your diet recently?” She asked.

I thought about this for a nano second.

“Nope. Exactly the same amounts of fruit, veg, meat, fish, negronis and wine have passed my lips in the past five weeks.” I replied, omitting the negroni and wine bit.

”It’s just you’ve lost some muscle and gained some fat.”

”Oh well.“ not caring very much at all. “How much do I weigh?” As ladies of a certain age know, this figure is quite important. It shouldn’t be. It absolutely shouldn’t be in any way shape or form, but it is. We’ve been conditioned throughout our lady lives to take notice of this bastard figure and it’s irritating beyond belief that as you enter your peri menopausal years this number rises. You can literally sit in a sauna for twenty four hours, eat grass for every meal and then run a marathon a day and still put on twatting weight over the age of forty five. Then some smart arse tells you that your body needs the fat to protect your bones as you get old. “Fuck off!“ I say to that. “I need to get into my jeans.” I think most ladies of a certain age will agree that getting into your jeans is much more important that the whole bone health thing.

”You’ve lost 1.5kg”. My trainer said in a very matter of fact way. (This is 3.3 pounds for those of us who still work in old money).

”Oh yes! There is a god.” I thought. Who needs to win business competitions and boat loads of cash when you’ve lost 3.3 pounds in weight without even thinking about it?

”Plus.” She said nonchalantly, “your metabolic age is 34.”

”What the fuck?” I screamed in my head. “34?” I enquired out loud, just to check she hadn’t meant 43 or 64.

”Yes, look” she pointed at the computer screen as I peered sufficiently socially distanced at it.

“Bloody hell. That’s brilliant.”

That beats everything. When you’re forty nine and a month away from being fifty, having a metabolic age of a 34 year old is like winning an Olympic Gold medal.

Later that evening....

Ever Patient Husband was lying on the bed after a hard week making manly things out of wood. His fevered brow was being soothed by Eddie the delinquent dog and I wandered in as casually as I could.

”Guess what?” I said, desperately trying to keep the excitement out of my voice. I’ve never been very good at being cool and aloof.

“What?” He said, in his best “I’m really bored and this better not be some girly talk shite stuff” voice.

”You’re married to a woman with a metabolic age of 34, it’s literally like you’re shagging a 34 year old darling.” The triumph in my voice was unmistakable.

”Are you sure they didn’t say 64?” He responded rather rudely.

”No, definitely 34.” I was undeterred and will cling to this fact for the rest of my life, a bit like the brief liaison I had with an Italian water polo player during the slut years, but that’s a whole other story.

”So, I have a 34 year old wife who proudly wears stickers on her shirt?” He replied, singularly unimpressed with my revelation.

I had indeed been sporting a sticker on my shirt during the week, it reads “Finalist, Great British Entrepreneur Awards”. At the turn of the year, before all the stuff that happened happened, I had entered several business awards and one of the organisation’s for which I am indeed a finalist in the category of start up businesses beginning with “T“ living in the East Coast of Scotland and speaking with a Mancunian accent award, had sent me a box of goodies which included stickers.

I love a sticker. I also love house points, gold stars, badges and anything else remotely shiny, special or points related. I was head girl of my sixth form college and won the house point competition nearly every year at primary school. Yes, I was that annoying twat who could do most things, except sport. If someone says there’s a gold star to be had, I’m on it.

It turns out I was supposed to save the sticker for the awards ceremony being conducted over Zoom sometime later this month so that the other zoom victims, otherwise known as the audience, could spot the finalists easily. There was no way I could wait three weeks with that sticker looking at me from my desk and not put it on. There’s no cash prize in this awards, just the kudos of gaining access to the next level of stickers.

I feel the zenith of my forties has been reached and I can happily glide into my fifties secure in the knowledge that so long as I continue to long for and indeed, win stickers and subject myself to twenty minutes of electronic fitness wizardry each week, all will be well.......

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