Although I'm only thirty-four years old, some days I feel as old as the hills. I went for a run during my lunchbreak yesterday, and it was fantastic. I was feeling a little bit tired from a game of football the night before and from my mandatory 3 times a week anti-WT upper body strengthening exercises, but within minutes of getting out of the door, it was obvious that this was going to be one of those rare occasions where a run feels great. Usually they just feel like a bit of a slog, a means to an end, but yesterday was great. It was a beautiful day, not too hot and not too cold, with just enough sun and barely a breath of wind. It felt as though spring was really just around the corner, and I found an unexpected bounce creep into my stride as I ran down by the river. It was great.
This morning though, I felt sore. The still-damaged ligaments in my ankle were stiff, my knees were a bit sore and my legs appeared to have seized up. I used to embrace a bit of after-exercise muscle pain as a welcome sign that I must have been working hard enough. Now though, it just feels like a window into my old age. Not that it's enough to stop me exercising so obsessively, mind you, and I played 90 minutes of football this evening. I feel worse doing nothing at all than I do flogging myself into the ground, I know that much. The physical discomfort is a whole lot easier to deal with than the psychological discomfort I inflict upon myself when I don't exercise. Ask me again when I'm a bit older though, eh?
I've been getting used to what cosmetics companies call "the visible signs of ageing" for some time now. I first noticed that I was losing my hair when I was in my middle-twenties, and I've been going grey since not very long after that. I imagine that the wrinkles around my eyes are coming along nicely too, although I've never really studied them with any great interest.... besides, what exactly am I going to do about it? I'm not bothered by wrinkles, so I'm not about to start using Protect & Perfect, nor am I likely to start having hair replacement therapy or get a weave done any time soon. I don't think I'm vain enough. It's not that I'm claiming I have no vanity, because I do, it's just that I'm not vain enough about my appearance to be interested in doing anything much about it. Grey hair simply doesn't bother me.
Well, I say that..... but in the last couple of years I have started to notice the odd grey hair appearing in locations. You know....other than on my head. On the whole, I can ignore them. For starters, I'm not an especially hairy man, and they're still pretty isolated, in the main, and clearly nothing very much to worry about. Yes, even down there. For some reason though, I seem utterly unable to tolerate grey hairs appearing on my chest. I simply can't stand the sight of them. No matter how much I try to leave them be, once I have spotted one of these interlopers, I have to pull the little bastard out. I'm aware that this is neither rational nor sustainable in the long run. As time goes on, there are only going to be more greys appearing, and before long I know that they will have a clear numerical superiority. Am I going to persist with my zero tolerance policy to its logical conclusion, or am I just going to get over it and learn to live and let live?
Who knows? For now I think I'll take it one day - and one hair - at a time.
It's just not logical. Why just the chest? Why care here but nowhere else? Call yourself clever do you brain? Well where's the consistency? Tell me that.
So yeah. I'm maybe a bit vain. Just in a slightly offbeat way. I may be ageing, but boy, do I take pride in the consistent colour of my chest hair.
Come to think of it, I'm not overfond of stray, Denis Healey-like eyebrow hairs either.
Especially not the ginger ones.
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