When I was younger, I thought I was invincible. Most of us do, don't we? I used to run 50 or 60 miles a week, went mountain biking, did a bit of kickboxing...and I never got injured. My body did whatever the hell I wanted it to, and it always recovered quickly.
This year - specifically the last three or four months - have been injury hell for me. I developed plantar fasciitis in my foot, damaged the tendons in my ankle, tore the tendons in my shoulder, and popped a finger out of its joint, damaging the soft tissue. I need physio, and a good podiatrist.
It takes longer to heal when we're older. Of course it does. Simple fact of life. Our bodies age but our minds still think we're in our twenties. But lately I'm starting to feel my age. I've never done that before. I always looked younger, felt younger than I was.
I'm only 44, but lately I feel it. I didn't until this past year. And that's frightening. I'm not invincible. I'm going to die, just like everyone else. The pathetic Peter Pan fantasy is well and truly dead in the water.
This week I found out that I need reading glasses. A small thing; nothing to get worked up about. But it's another sign, another nail in the coffin of delusion. And that, I think, is what this blog post is all about: the death of a delusion, the end of pretending that these things were never going to happen to me. We all age, each of us heads down that same path, moving slower and slower towards whatever waits for us at the end. I still have a long way to go - I'm lucky, I still get to amble along at my own pace, shiny new reading glasses perched on the end of my nose. Some of those up near the front have started to run. I can see them, and I want to call out to them, to drag them back to where I am now, but they can't hear me. All I can do is stand and wave.