PAURIC GRIMES: Stop kicking the can down the road

I WAS at a careers fair in my old school during the week. It was a pleasure to be back roaming through the walls of a place that had such a big impact on my life. I enjoyed school. I enjoyed the craic. I enjoyed the opportunities it presented, the relationships it forged and the shared experiences that going through school life brings.

One thing that hit me when I was speaking to some of my old teachers was how young they must have been when they were teaching me.

When you’re a pupil, anyone who doesn’t have a uniform on is old. Whereas in reality some of those guys were only five or six years older than us.

It’s mad thinking back how you perceive what old is. And then it hit me. All these kids I’m speaking to about what educational paths to take if they want a career in fitness or coaching, and to them, I am old.

Quickly let me address the elephant in the room – that age is only a number. You’re only as old as you feel. I am as healthy, lean and athletic as I’ve ever been. The extra candles on the birthday cake hasn’t made a huge difference to me in that regard, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore them.

And unfortunately that’s what a lot of people do. And it’s what a lot of a the teachers and staff who I spoke to at the careers fair told me. I wish I’d have looked after myself better in my 30s so I wouldn’t have to try so hard in my 50s.

We have an incredible ability to kick the can down the road. We grossly overestimate the capabilities of our future self to save our present self the work.

“Let’s get a pizza for dinner tonight.” The short term gratification of a takeaway often wins over the delayed gratification of feeling healthier and working toward any fat loss goals.

Weight on. Health issues. Poor relationship with food. Never worry, order that pizza, all of that is a problem for your future self to fix.

“I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted.” Yep. Me too. I also used to be 20, now I’m 36.

Keep doing the things that make you feel young but respect that even though your age doesn’t define you it still has a say on what you can bring to the table.

Stop kicking the can down the road. Instead of loading up the plate for your future self why not do something that you can look back and be grateful for.

PS – Sometimes the only way you can appreciate how well you’re currently doing is to look back on where you came from.

I’m not telling you to take a trip back to your old school but do take a moment to look back on the journey that’s taken you from your school days to now. I’d bet if you’d be speaking to your younger self they wouldn’t believe half of what you’ve been able to achieve!

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