The realities of getting older

A look in the mirror stirs resolve to work out as youthful vigour fades

In Summary

• Rather than fuss over New Year's resolutions, I'm going to be intentional about it

Women work out in tandem
Women work out in tandem

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a photo of my former classmate on social media. At first I wondered if it was, in fact, him as he was practically bald and receiving hair implants. “It can’t be him, it must be his older brother,” I tried to convince myself. I mean, I know the family well, and all the brothers do, indeed, look alike. As I scrolled the comment section, I saw a comment from another classmate and good friend, and he mentioned our colleague by name!

I was so shocked that I had to privately message my friend for confirmation. Is it really him? Our classmate? He replied in the affirmative. I realise it has been a long time since we had been in school together, and I had seen photos of other men I went to school with bearing receding hairlines, but this particular case shocked me for two simple reasons. One, my former classmate had the longest luscious thick hair of probably all the boys in my class. In fact, he was hairy everywhere! To see him as a middle-aged man, balding long before his time, was simply horrific to me.

The second reason why the image hit me hard is that the guy is practically my twin. We were born on the same day, of the same month of the very same year! Seeing him was being hit in the face hard by the reality of growing old. If looking at him was seeing a balding, stout middle-aged man, does that mean people see something similar when looking at me?

I feel like the same person I was during my first graduation, but that was 14 years ago! I finished high school 18 years ago! The women from my cohort who got married and had children immediately after school have children who are old enough to be adults now! I look in the mirror and wonder, where has the time gone?

I was young up until five years ago! As soon as I hit my thirties, it felt like I boarded the fastest time escalator. Life is wheezing past us, as we watch our youth crumble into joint pain, stiffness, small bladders and receding hairlines. It's so easy to look at our peers' photos on social media and wonder, “Ugh, what happened to him?” Yet we walk by the mirror every day and consciously choose to not see our greying reflection.

I must admit, there is nothing more humbling in the world than ageing. All the most beautiful women in the world also bent to the will of age, and the most powerful emperors lost the war when it came to mortality. On the other side of 35, we realise just how fickle humans are. We realise how we take time and youth for granted.

For the past five years or so, I have been writing articles on New Year's resolutions every first week of the year. However, this year, I am not in the least bit concerned about resolutions and short-term goals. Before the turn of the year, as I watched the numbers on the digital scale shoot higher than ever before, as I caught a glimpse of the extra baggage my body lugs around, I vowed to put an end to it.

I am not young anymore, and while I am lucky to have my parents and family around, I realise that no one will help me on this individual journey. I want to live a better life for my kid. I want to play and run around after him without panting and wincing at the joint pain. I want to have a clean bill of health every time I have a routine check-up. I want to be the best caretaker of my body that I can be. I must take better care of myself!

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star