I live my life in the 30/60 syndrome, coasting along with the dreams and goals of a 30-year-old-woman when I’m actually in my sixties. This I believe to be a common syndrome experienced by both men and women of a certain age. Support groups in the form of gyms and sports clubs can be found around the country.
When I was younger, I scoffed at the wrinklies who said, “I’m 75 but I only feel 25.” I can remember the forced smile on my face as under my breath I muttered, “Yeah, right Grama!” And as a thirty-year-old, I had cringed when the mothers and aunties of my friends joined us on nights out or wanted to tag along with us to the gym or join our netball team. I scoffed and rolled my eyes at the oldies mixing it up with the ’30 somethings’ but now? now I totally get it.
It’s not that I am clinging on to my past or that I’m looking for that elusive elixir of eternal youth but I am trying to reverse away from the grave and enjoy every day that I can, being as active as I can. That said, you might find me in a gym but you will never find me in a nightclub, that I will definitely be leaving to the younger generation.
The active older generation is a growing movement. If you go to your local gym you will find a great cross section of the over 50’s, bizarrely flexible and with stamina that defies their age. With steely-eyed determination, they keep lifting, stretching, running, cycling and swimming their way to that holy grail of an impressive ‘lifespan’.
My equestrian career came with its own intense workout, so I have always been relatively fit but in 2009 my life took a turn in a different direction.
Late in the day of Christmas eve 2008 I was told that I had triple negative breast cancer and that I should take it home for Christmas and go back when the festivities were over. My treatment lasted throughout 2009 and into 2010 and was pretty gruesome, taking me a while to navigate my way through it and around it.
It took a while to get back to where I felt strong enough to ‘Get back out there’ but when I came across a charity bike ride from London to Paris in aid of women’s cancers, I knew that this was for me. I’d not ridden a bike since I was about 12 but how hard can it be, right? So, September 2018, saw me setting off to Paris on two wheels with a head full of questions and a heart full of hope and the start of a life of cycling, triathlons and running, all things I had never in a million years have expected to do – and especially not at my age!
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Thank you for looking in and I hope you’ll pop by again soon. I might even bake you a cake!