Head, shoulders, knees and woes

Two wooden artist manikins; one running and one walking as if feeling pain in the back and knees.

My 40th birthday is now just six months away and, although I know it’s not really a big deal, it’s a constant in my mind. And my knees too, for that matter.

That is to say that, while I’m still as fit and active as I was ten years ago, I’m really feeling it these days.

My knees, ankles, hips and back all ache for a couple of days after my weekly game of five-a-side. That’s to be expected, of course; 25 years of sprinting around a confined space and kicking a ball for an hour each week will do that.

Similarly, almost nine years of picking up my children have taken their toll.

The thing that has surprised me lately, though, is how easy it has become to hurt myself – or at least exacerbate existing aches and pains – doing altogether slower-paced things. Kneesy does it, eh?

Sitting on the floor

Seriously. How do other adults manage to do this without experiencing pain in their knees? I spent a couple of hours playing LEGO with the kids recently and my knees didn’t work for a further hour afterwards.

Similarly, sitting on the floor with youngest at Rhymetime is agony. But at least I can pretend that my inability to hit the high notes is down to constant joint pain rather than my stupid Mr Bean voice.

Unpacking the shopping

I love getting our groceries delivered. If online ordering didn’t exist, I would almost certainly have had to learn to drive by now! It also eliminates the dangers posed by shopping while hungry.

The flipside, of course, is unpacking it at your doorstep. All that stooping, twisting and lifting is reminiscent of my attempts at doing the floss. Awkward, badly choreographed and with twinges in the back an inevitability.

Walking slowly

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I’m still pretty fit. I’ve always been quick on my feet too. So getting stuck behind slow-moving people on narrow pavements is a pet hate of mine.

Not only is it infuriating, but walking slowly actually causes my knees and ankles to stiffen up. Let’s introduce a fast lane on pavements – think of the knee replacements it could save the NHS!

Playing video games

It’s synonymous with slobbery so how can playing video games result in physical pain? I’ll tell you! First of all, I have a tendency to lose track of time when I fire up the Xbox. Red Dead Redemption 2 still has much to answer for.

So, while I’m putting Arthur Morgan through the mill in the old west, my legs seem to fall asleep. And I get a bad case of gamer’s thumb on both hands too. Ouch.


The act of sleeping is supposed to be relaxing and remedial. We have a really comfortable memory foam mattress too. But I often wake up with aches or a crick in the neck. Why? Youngest. Every night without fail, she creeps into our bed before putting her arms under our pillows.

I think she does this on purpose to tip us out of bed and make more room for herself. She makes sure with plenty of surprisingly powerful kicks while asleep afterwards too.

Sigh. If this is the beginning of middle age, I’m dreading getting actually old!

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