Based in Frome, somerset, #fitMess is a blog by Joanna Beale. Her posts draw on her work as a personal trainer, as well as her own personal past experience of significant obesity.  Her general focus is overall wellness and body positivity.


Today, this arrived. It's my passport renewal, no big deal there, or so I thought. It's funny, because I've spent the last few days with something of a mental block, trying to compose a blog post and finding myself coming up with pure shit, or nothing, or worse, shit about nothing. Then, this little red blighter shows up and I can't pick up the laptop quick enough.

To me, a passport always represents possibility, potential, adventure, and the promise of airports and hotels (two of my favourite things everrrrrrr). I hold it in my hand and imagine where this one might be taking me in the time that we are together. I look at the expiry date, and, I'm going to be honest here, I'm literally fucking floored. Like, what the actual fuck. This passport expires in September 2028. That's a month after I turn 50. Now, I'm staring at this government-issued document like it's my last fucking chance at freedom.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm pretty cool with aging, on the whole, and that's mainly due to the fact that I'm acutely aware of my increasing awesomeness with each day that passes. I mean, if I can be this much greater at 39 than I was at 29, then watch out world, because 49 year old Jo is going to blow your fucking mind, I would think.

Yet, here we are. A little red booklet to document my forties, from the very beginning until its complete conclusion. When it expires, they won't even be issued this colour anymore. The cover won't even have all the same words on. My face will look so different. One of my babies will be an adult. People will have been born, will have died, will have moved, changed, fought, cried, laughed... there will have been wars, tragedies, victories and scandals. Nothing will be the same.

Part of me is afraid of the potential of this thought process, and the rest of me is in complete awe of this realisation. Here I am, at a literal and figurative crossroads in my life, standing with my face to a headwind and on the brink of so much closure, so many new beginnings, and seemingly infinite possibilities.

I cannot afford to wait until my next passport is issued to do the things I tell myself are important to me. I cannot watch this passport expire knowing that I have let another decade pass without at least trying my hardest to be the person I know I can be. I cannot allow myself to be unnecessarily unhappy. I cannot leave unsaid the things that need to be said. I cannot let precious moments pass without appreciation. I cannot keep doing things which are harmful or detrimental to my health. I cannot simply wish for things when I should be doing them.

Today, I will plan to be 40, with every shred of potential it is possible to squeeze from it.

How glad I am I applied for this little book so early.


Closing time

For Bridget