It's just another year, just another birthday and yet there is something kind of special about changing decades, maybe more so than when you enter your 20s from your teens. There is a series of questions that go along with turning 30, the question "do you feel different?" is one that really made me laugh last week as I turned the big 30.
Now I don't know if it's just me, but after a trip down memory lane through some old photographs my great pal Emer Nike Glynn resurrected, I was actually delighted to be getting a little older, some of those pictures should actually be burnt, the haircuts and the rounded swollen faces that had not a scrap of make up on and I don't think we managed to brush our hair at times. However I will probably look back at myself in 10 years time and say that very same thing, but I suppose time will have to tell on this one.
Time and getting older for me is a very positive thing, I have never been as sure of what I want from life, living life on my own terms and really going for every goal and dream that I want for myself. The anxiety ridden 20s especially the early 20s when you can't spend any time on your own, must travel in a pack of 20 plus and an original thought or idea is terrifying! Being the master of your own craft and finding out who you are is one of the most powerful things that I allowed happen to me in my 20s but I think it will be throughout the next decade that I will continue to learn and grow on a higher platform.
I was training as always on Wednesday morning, the day of my birthday and my trainer said to me in passing (hopefully he wasn't joking?!) and "How does it feel to be in the best shape of your life?" It was a question or a statement I wasn't expecting and one I certainly wasn't thinking about. I never view my body like that, as I am always working towards my next goal. This in itself made me think two things, I need to take stock more of where I am at and I need to really appreciate the body I am in. I made some passing joke about when I was 16 I was in better shape but in truth I was just starving. For 11 months of my life, I after losing all my puppy fat that summer from cycling to and from my first paid job was slim for the first time since I was 12.
What began as a lifestyle change in terms of so much functional exercise became my obsession. For 11 months, all I ate was an apple and half a cup of low fat tomato soup- to this day when I see it I feel sick. It was a time when all I also did was sleep. This was in essence the slimmest time of my life, not surprisingly. There was nothing deep rooted here, it was a control thing and a longing to always be thin. Then one day my brother called me an eejit and told me he was going to bring me to our Doctor, and that was that. This was a time I would always change though as honestly I absolutely ruined my metabolism during this time and to this day think it will never be 100% right.
So maybe 13 years on- I have finally gotten my body to a place where it is healthy, strong and lean. From my early camogie career, to playing and taking part in every sport under the sun, to my love of roller blading and cycling to then finding my niche in running and weight training, it has been some journey for my body.
So like with everything you need to take stock, you need to appreciate yourself, your time and your mind. You need to learn to love your body, you need to treat it with respect in terms of what you do with it and what you use to fuel it. I am happy to be healthy and I am happy to respect my body in terms of nutrition and physical exercise, I will continue to challenge it and myself for as long as I can. I will adapt to change and will use the knowledge of the people around me to ensure that I can be in the best shape of my life for all the decades ahead.
Maybe this is the 30 year old me talking or maybe it's simply just me.