First off, I can already hear my friends screaming you’re nearly 31 Paul who you kidding!?!?! But I felt the need to write a little something given how I felt about turning 30 and the contrast of how I actually feel being 30. Any of the unfortunate souls closest to me will tell you of how I spent my entire 29th year complaining and dreading the mere thought of turning 30. At 29 I’d never felt older (although I do realise that I never had been older) but at 30, I feel quite the opposite.
Turning 30 was a great time to reflect on my entire twenties. It really was every bit the roller-coaster ride I’d imagined it would be. I did great things, I loved, I lost, I made too many mistakes, I became an Uncle, saw incredible places and I hit rock bottom only to go higher than I’d ever been before. So after the months of dread at turning 30, how come I feel calmer and more content than ever before?
One thing that really suffered in my 20’s was my health and fitness. Not that I had any drastic problems thankfully, but for someone who was a cross-country runner in his teens I fairly let myself go a bit. Last year was one of my worst years health-wise and all self inflicted, my diet was outrageously bad and the cause of 99% of my problems. I’ve always had a bit of a sweet tooth, more specifically a slight coke addiction (cola that is) but it wasn’t until earlier this year when I gave up cola completely that I realised just how much of a negative impact it was having on me. At my worst I was drinking 4-5 cans a day, I was permanently sluggish, chubby in all the wrong places, couldn’t sleep at night for either heartburn or stomach acid and generally just didn’t feel good on a pretty much daily basis. I know there are worse problems you can suffer with but fizzy drinks were my own personal downfall
So what’s changed? Well the coke has gone completely to be replaced by sparkling water which has been something of a saving grace for me, my diet isn’t quite perfect, but it’s significantly better than before and my body fat as disclosed by a fancy machine at the gym is down to 18% (which I’m told is not bad going). So the combination of gym work, improved diet and a weekly game of squash with my big pal Graham from grahamwilsonundrunk.com has left me feeling fitter and healthier at 30 than ever before. I know 30 isn’t exactly old but I’m doing everything now that I wish I’d done five maybe even ten years ago. So if you’re reading this and your’e 25 and you feel exactly the way I did then don’t be scared to make a change and don’t be lazy like I was, the intention was always there for me but the will-power was always missing.
Mentally I feel good as well. 30 is a great time to re-evaluate things, it makes you realise who and what is important to you and has also helped me re-affirm my future ambitions. I read a great quote this very day ‘trust the timing of your life’ and for me personally there’s never been a truer word spoken. There were a lot of things I wanted in life from around 18-21 onwards but they didn’t happen until I was around 28 or 29. Looking back, however, I know that I was anything but ready for those things. I’m more ambitious now than ever before and I’m hellbent on being the very best that I can be (not to go all military on you) and that’s why I work the crazy hours that I do. One thing that I’m learning to do amongst all the madness however, is finally make a little time for myself. I’ve revisited old passions like WWE wrestling, I know it’s silly but for one hour every week I get to step off the roller coaster of the business and media worlds and just get lost in the fictional world of sports entertainment and it’s bliss. I’m also remembering to travel, travel is my great love in life and one of the few times you’ll see me permanently giddy with excitement and happiness. My travels are usually big adventures which cost a lot of money and more annoyingly a lot of time off work which is usually the big stumbling block. A friend of mine was quick to point out however, that I won’t always be able to make every trip the big adventure that I crave but that I should still go on small trips to at least satisfy that need to travel and so that’s what I’ve done. In recent times I’ve been to Copenhagen, Berlin, Milan and even my old childhood haunt Torquay in the South of England which was every bit as fun as the rest. My point is, making that time for yourself whether it’s an hour in front of the TV or a fancy trip abroad it just makes you feel that little bit more steady and saner and in the past I haven’t always had the maturity to look out for myself in that way.
As much as I’d dreaded leaving my twenties behind I know now that it’s exactly what I needed, it’s been a new lease of life for me in a way and I can only hope that I’m lucky enough for it to continue.