Paul Sweeney - 214: Keep On Running

Published: 19 July, 2012 - Featured in Skin Deep 214, July, 2012

I’m not entirely sure whether it’s possible to have a midlife crisis at 30? And if I am what effect it could potentially have on my longevity? Much to my disbelief, after a lengthily conversation with a close friend I haven’t been acquainted with for some time, according to her, it would appear that is precisely what I am going through.

I was under the impression that giving up smoking to take up running and getting fit was a positive life choice, but apparently when associated with the rest of my ‘things to do in the next ten years’ list it makes me a total crisis case.

“RED ALERT! RED ALERT! Attention! All personnel report to the sanity deck, we’re under attack from the concept of an irrational desperation to maintain a naive perspective on the aging process. They’re throwing Cuban heeled shoes, unbuttoned shirts, leather trousers and Just for Men.”

“We can’t take much more of this Captain!”

“Activate the nose, ear and knuckle hair. It’s our only chance!”

I don’t see it myself, after all, I am only 30. Wanting to own a hot rod, do a skydive, pass my motorbike test, ride Route 66 on a Harley, swim with sharks, run a marathon (preferably in the dessert), hold a baby panda dressed as a panda, hold an orang-utan dressed as Clint Eastwood and play at Wembley Stadium (music not football) are all perfectly reasonable aspirations for a young man of my age…

Am I still a young man? Does the fact that I referred to myself as a ‘young man’ negate any residual youth I may have had left? Hey, I’m still young; I’m not married, I don’t have any kids, I live in a loft… I’m the Fonz, with a moustache. Is that weird? When I watched Happy Days (the repeats, I’m not that old!) he was always the coolest one, right? Do People still say coolest? Does the fact that I’m questioning what people say put me out of the loop? What is the loop anyway? And why should I give a flying goose waffle whether I’m ‘in it’ or not? I don’t think I’ve ever been in a loop and I don’t intend to add ‘being in a loop’ to my ‘things to do in the next ten years’ list, even after this decade is done with.

My newest motto is; ‘Do what you love… and fuck everything else’. Obviously not a very successful motto if applied to relationships. I don’t have a relationship motto… maybe I need one? All suggestions welcome at #skindeepmottos, and who knows, if I like your motto that much I might even get it tattooed!


Text: Paul Sweeney