I know I am getting older – and the thing with that is that you can’t press either pause or rewind, ever – but I intend to push iron for a very long time to come. I like it. It makes me feel good. I put on my superhero outfit (gloves, cap, sweater, sweat towel, water bottle) – walk down the road to the gym, listen to either music or podcasts – and I fight gravity.

The changes to my body were slower and more gradual than I expected… none of that ‘9 weeks to supermodel’ bs all the sites and mags sell you. The truth about muscle is that it can only be acquired honestly. Even if you juice – which I don’t (rather obviously) – the physique of Olympus is acquired painfully, honestly, and over time.

I’m always amused by newbies saying things like: ‘I want to be fit, you know, but I don’t want to look like Arnold.’

Don’t worry. You won’t.

Do you have any idea what that would take?

But the changes are happening. Suit jackets no longer fit, favoured shirts have to be replaced – and not because my middle is expanding but because my chest and shoulders are bigger than when I bought them. That feels good. Having arms that are visibly, publicly bigger.

I still have some shedding to do. I’m still not as strong or big or ripped as I want. Will I ever? Not sure. But I’m damn sure gonna try.

And that’s the big secret. Outcomes are great and important and all that – but it is the process itself you have to love. You have to enjoy the trip to the gym.

And I do.

Part of the reason is my trainer, who is with me, every time, ensuring that my form and intensity meet top shelf standards. And to sometimes hold me back a bit, preventing injury and burnout and demotivation.

And the walking everywhere continues to help. And the lack of stress hormones because my environment isn’t hostile.

You have to love the process.

I wish I started on this journey 20 years ago. But I can’t blame myself for doing what I had to do, how I had to do it, to make it.

Now I have.

And I get into my gear, put my earphones on, look into the mirror, lean back on the bench – and fight like hell.