Yesterday afternoon was the last day of summer, so I chose to go for a long slow run.

I’m 66yrs old in two months time, so a long slow run for me is around 8 miles at an 8 minute mile pace. Old injuries which are mainly scarred tissue on areas of both lower legs is if anything what comes to light during a run in the shape of tearing pain just like opening up a zip. If that happens, I’m out of the game for weeks into months.

Thankfully I had an awesome run, and even this morning I’m feeling great and ready for another 8 miles this afternoon as today is the first day of Autumn…and here in New York the leaves are already beginning to turn those gorgeous Fall colours.

The one thing I find refreshing from my runs, is the thinking that I do as I get into my (much slower these days) stride.

I have time (just over an hour at my pace) to reflect on my life and just how fast it’s gone by.

For those of you way younger than me, trust me it goes quickly. In only 25 years time I’ll be 90…maybe! When I think about 25 years back I was only 40 and in my prime. Yet 40 was the natural age for military retirement…or take a backroom job at a desk. Crazy given that I could still break any required timing for a military physical test back then, and accompany that stat with the benefit of skills set and experience gained from the former 23 years service. Yet if you want to remain in service, then you can do it from the side lines.

So, given that I joined my former unit to soldier, the sidelines was not for me.

That skills set and experience was then used to benefit the commercial security sector for the next 17 years, as many other lads and lasses from the military had chosen to do too.

So, an awesome active life in both the military and the security sector, around 40 years in all from my 65 in war zones around the world.

Today, people see just a little old man still drudging along at 8 minute miles for a long run. Yesterday part of my thinking went towards mates no longer with us…something that as I get older, I think about a lot. Just a few weeks ago, a mate much younger than me dropped dead while doing his gardening. I had a mate a couple of years ago died from the “big C” my age and exceptionally fit…and way too many other mates taken through various reasons last year too.

It doesn’t matter who we are, or how we conduct ourselves, whether we believe in an after life or not, at any time we can be taken away from this life.

That I’m well aware of, and so are many others at my age and older.

Old age creeps up on you…that’s for sure.

However, despite how I may look in the mirror after taking my creaking body out of bed slowly to stand in front of it…my mindset is still of the 19 year old preparing for SAS Selection…and that will never change.

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit www.bobshepherdauthor.com

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10 thoughts on “A HEALTHY REMINDER OF WHO I AM.”

  1. Thanks bob..erudite as ever. We are close in age but not in condition..bits of the machine have let me down,however there’s still a giggling lunatic inside me. All that shows on the outside is a smile.

  2. Sounds like the best mindset to have. I’ve never faced selection or the combat that you have, but was starting to creak a bit until last year a martial arts mate identified some core & mobility weaknesses. I had thought “core” and “mobility” was new speak for sit-ups and stretching. Glad I’ve made it a part of my schedule. Inevitably older I am, but now working to incorporate some of the more recent advancements in exercise science.
    Many thanks for your service… and writings, Bob
    All the best

  3. Bob
    Great article and I agree how really important It is to occasionally reset yourself and remember to appreciate what you have and just being alive.
    I have fought the big C three times and also lost friends and colleagues. At 58 you would think that would be enough life experience to make sure I appreciate every but , with modern life pressures, I still have to take a moment to remember lost friends and remind myself just how precious every moment is.
    Bye the way I am really enjoying the book.

  4. And when I look into a mirror a little old man stares back at me reminding me of what was and will never be again as little works, except the trigger finger.

  5. Hi Bob,
    Profound Comments. I am 77 years and have tried 2 years of retirement and failed! The mind never gets old but the body does! Often think of those who are passing as the years towards departure date are lived.
    Keep moving! keep active! relish and enjoy every day! Keep Safe Take Care!
    Mike Davis

  6. That was great Bob. So true. I have never been in the Forces altho my dad was. Last year my wife passed away very suddenly with short notice and out for my daily walk of an hour I reflect. More so today because I am 74 and still working (reduced weeks!!). So you posting was inspirational from the heart and had maximum effect…keep going young man. Thanks again from Aberdeenshire

  7. Many see me as an ‘OLD FART’ but that’s because they don’t know me. At the age of 76 years old, I still consider myself to being fitter than many in the 40-50-year-old category and I put that all down to my military experiences. I have written my autobiography covering my first fifty years of life “Son of a Reluctant Immigrant” which was published in May 2019. It’s doing quite well from all accounts even though many of my military friends find it a bit controversial on my military opinions. From what you have written, I can see we have a lot in common. Keep it up and remember to always ‘Stand Proud of WHO YOU ARE’

  8. You have lived a full and active life sir..just like our friend Ian Black….8min miles is good sir..stretch it to 10 and you kin reminisce more..ha ha..love reading your stuff..

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