However, I find myself constantly on the look out for signs that I may be ageing, Aches and pains have certainly become more prevalent but I convince myself that's down to my increased levels of exercise. I've definitely become grumpier but I've always been this way and in any case there is so much to be grumpy about so I'm not sure that's really age related, I just enjoy the whole process of getting annoyed. I've also failed to develop any of the tell-tale signs of ageing. I don't like Werthers originals, I don't have a box of tissues on the back shelf of my car and unless I am working I always wear jeans so I've not even developed the urge to wear comfy trousers yet.
I also strive for ways to stay young. I exercise more frequently now than I ever did in my twenties and thirties. I started playing tennis recently and I've discovered I'm much better and more spritely than I ever remember being when I played at school. I still try and attend gigs and listen to new bands whenever possible though I confess the style of music I enjoy hasn't really changed much. I went to two different gigs last week on consecutive school nights and whilst I subsequently needed to lie down on several occasions due to temporary tinnitus I still think that's pretty good for a forty two year old. (I also left early on both occasions to 'beat the traffic' but we'll not go into that here)
So I've been feeling of late that I am winning my battle against age or certainly holding back the tide. I'm two stone lighter than I was two years ago and If I stand in the right kind of light with the wrong kind of mirror I could swear blind that my hair is going browner and that my grey hair is giving up it's relentless march towards follicle dominance even without the aid of any Grecian 2000 type product. There's no doubt about it, for the time being I am keeping the inevitable waiting.
However, my fight against middle age has been dealt a cruel blow. It started a couple of weeks ago when I was carrying some laundry back towards the bedroom. As is often the case, I dropped a sock. No big deal, it happens ninety nine percent of the time that I carry anything numbering more than one. I bent down to pick it up and heard a strange groaning noise like the sort of sound that a Russian weightlifter makes in an Olympic finals. I looked around but could not see the originator. I shrugged my shoulders and did a little Scooby-Doo impression (even though there was only me there) and carried on about my business.
Last week, I was bending down whilst putting on my shoes when I heard it again only this time louder and if anything more guttural. Again I searched for the source of this sound but could find no clue. I was suspecting horseplay at this point and I asked my wife if she'd heard it.
Last night, I was playing tennis when I heard it again whilst bending down to pick up a stray tennis ball, this time it sounded like the person making it might be in real trouble. Of course, this time I realised that the sound was in fact coming from me. I wasn't in trouble, I was merely performing the perfunctory task of bending down.
It is with great regret and more than a little sorrow that I must announce I've developed the middle aged trait of making an involuntary groany noise every time I exert any real effort. I have noticed it in others before and I must confess I've always found it quite annoying. I remember my Grandad doing this but he was much older than me at the time. I've seen other members of my family do it but again, all of these people were older than I am now (about 5-10 years if I remember rightly).
I'm not sure what do about it. Perhaps I can see the doctor. Maybe he can prescribe me something that will stop it or refer me to a Groanologist who can devise a programme of therapy. After all, this could be the thin end of the wedge. Before I know it I'll end up being one of those people that let out a little accidental fart every time they bend down. I'm not having that..... I'm not getting old..... not yet.