'Over The Hill' and the Importance of Goal-Setting......

Now, I know this title might lead you to believe that this post is all about reaching a certain stage of 'mid-life'? Perhaps you may think that this will be all about  a body under duress from the ravages of time, headed straight over the hill and on to the scrap heap of life?

Well then you'd be very wrong, if that's what you're thinking.

Of course it's not about any of that - I'm far too 'young'! Now I am aware that the sages of society may deem me to be 'middle-aged' and not that there's anything wrong with that or anything you understand, it's just that I simply refuse to accept it!

You see, in my head I'm only thirty-three and three-quarters. And right there is where I'm staying!

No, this is more about resilience, not giving in and a hard-earned recovery.

If you've been following my ramblings here you'll know I spent some time in hospital last year after sustaining a persistent and very painful back injury.

I spent a lot of time being inactive, reliant on others for all sorts of reasons and being unable to transport myself anywhere. For months.

Although I was very much aware of all the things I couldn't do - and yes it was upsetting at times - I motivated myself by turning them into challenges. I mightn't have been able to do them then you see, but I preferred to see them as long-term goals for me to attain.

My walking, for example, started off with little strolls - on crutches - just outside my house, which stretched to walking to the beach, to being crutch-less and to finally - months later - walking the lower end of our local park. In order to walk  the other end of the park I needed to surmount this very daunting hill that  rises over the train-tracks. It was a hill that never bothered me before but was now completely out of the question.....

I looked longingly at that hill every day and promised myself that by March/April I would get to the top and that by April/May I would make it to the far side, stroll around the rest of the park, traipsing back over the hill on my way home.

Happy with my goal setting I carried on with my other little challenges.

Thanks to good friends I got back to my beloved theatre-going. Starting with local, easy-to-get-to but hard-seated theatres, accompanied by said good friend(s) and my trustworthy comfy cushion. Before I knew it it was January and I was making my own way by Dart into town for shows with no cushion, or crutch, necessary!

In between times I motivated myself when inactive at home by turning my knitting and crochet hobby into a little project.

All the while keeping my eye on that hill and 'practicing' by going one third of the way up, then one quarter then skipping straight to three-quarters.

Then one day in February, ahead of schedule, when following a young man with special needs to be sure he was okay I made it right to the top! See.....

I was so proud! But it was short-lived due to a set-back I suffered, most probably as a result, and had to stop walking for three weeks.

Not one to be deterred I once again concentrated not on what I couldn't do, but on what I could and I continued on with my other goals.

I finally made it back to Pilates classes for one. Yes, I know this must sound strange. That in order to aid my recovery I went back to the very thing that caused my injury in the first place - Pilates!  The difference is that these classes are properly taught by trained physiotherapists/Pilates Instructors - and it's the best thing I've ever done as my strength, mobility and flexibility gently increases. Oh, and as of today I can once more put my hands flat on the floor instead of just touching my toes!

I also continued with my swimming which I had started last November. I wasn't able to swim then but my attitude was: 'I may not be able  to walk on water, but I can certainly walk through it'! And that's exactly what I did. Since then I've gone from 'walk-swimming' ten very slow lengths to more recently swimming twenty-six 'proper' lengths in thirty minutes! And sure if I could do that surely I could make it thirty lengths in thirty minutes? And so another goal was set.

Meanwhile back in the park I was back practicing on my hill. And finally, just before 30th April to ensure I met my target, I climbed that darn hill again and walked the whole park for the first time since last July! And just to prove that it's not a fluke I've done it a few times since, and it feels wonderful.

Then yesterday I aimed for my new swimming goal - and smashed it! Thirty-four 'proper swimming' lengths in thirty minutes!! Oh, yeah baby. Go me!

So, now that I've reached all my goals what's next? Well, there's nothing to stop me expanding on these goals some more, is there? And then there's my one remaining goal that I have yet to achieve. To get back dancing. And if these Dancing Dads can do it then I cannot see why us similarly aged mums/ladies shouldn't go for it too, can you?!

But for now I'm going to celebrate, because it's official.

I am 'over the hill'.

And proud of it!

So there!


  1. Fantastic news! I'm so happy for you. Here's to a better summer than last year. xxx

    1. @Midlife Singlemum: Thanks so much! I'm so delighted and very hopeful for this summer. Small hikes with my teenager will be another goal for the summer! xx

  2. Enjoy your well deserved celebrations, that's fantastic! :) xx

    1. @BavarianSojourn: Thanks so much! I intend to! xx

  3. You're an inspiration, and so are those Dancing Dads! Loved that video. Wishing you many more goals achieved xx

    1. @Looking for Blue Sky: As are you my dear friend, as are you. Weren't they brilliant?! I REALLY want to do something similar!! xx

  4. Well done Val, over the hill is a great place to be and now for the dancing.... Mich x

    1. @Michelle Twin Mum: Thanks Mich! Absolutely 'now for the dancing'! xx

  5. What a great read. I'm glad you are so well now and I wish you continued good health. I hope you have a great summer. I just love your writing Val x

    1. @Claire Broderick: Thanks Claire! Comments like this make me want to continue blogging.... I sometimes fear people will get fed up with my little life tales! xx

  6. Thank you for the big smile. Way to go you. Love reading your stories. xx

    1. @Bright Side of Life: Ahh.... glad to hear this made you smile, and that you like my silly stories! xx


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