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APRIL – MAY 2019 Opinion column, by Megan Thomas

Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most, live the longest. Just about every day in the PhyxMe clinic, I see people of all ages injure themselves as a result of the stress that the milestone birthday (usually over 40) can cause.

So many of my patients injure themselves in the struggle to achieve fitness goals prior to the big 40, 50 or 60 birthday celebrations. Luckily by the age of 70 they finally seem grateful to be there and stop trying to be younger than they are.

These people seem to be fine mentally with the age of 39, 49 or 59, however once the earth does one more trip around that sun, they seem to feel the need to change and “be a better version” of themselves. Don’t get me wrong… I am all for bettering ourselves and staying as active and youthful as we can. But I believe this should be for the long-term and not just in the few months leading up to a big birthday.

It’s not only the injuries associated with this rushed bettering behaviour, it’s the absolute misery these people put themselves and their loved ones through during this momentous year.

It’s a milestone for a reason. That’s because you made it there!

It’s not about being judged on what you are like when you reach it. But for some reason society gives us the impression that it is. I beg you to stop for your next milestone birthday and reflect on the years that got you there. The teenage tribulations, the uni years or apprenticeships, all those ‘break your heart’ relationships until you find ‘the one’, the houses, the pets, the children, the separations and divorces, the holidays, the jobs… stop to think about what you have done and why you are doing it all… and for goodness sake celebrate that you DID DO IT ALL.

Don’t spend half a year of your life killing yourself to look your best, when what you are at 40, 50 or 60 is exactly that – what you are. You are already the best version of yourself that you have ever been.

So here’s to a happy milestone and remember: take time to reflect, celebrate and be HAPPY! And if you do injure yourself in your birthday preparations, come to see me so I can at lease Phyx you before the big day.