None of us are getting any younger, and for me the first signs of middle-aged spread have started to make their appearance.
I’m not the sort to have a full-blown midlife crisis, but I’m also not moving into maturity without a fight – and that’s why I decided to sell my old Xbox and get fit instead.
The results have been pretty satisfying; I feel much healthier, I’m spending more time outdoors, and by focusing on the free ways of getting fit, I’ve saved substantial amounts of money compared with buying new games every month.
Plus, of course, I got some money for selling my Xbox, which was more than welcome.
One of the things I’ve discovered, which should have been obvious already, is that doing things for real is more exciting than doing them in a video game.
Since quitting my life as a gamer, I’ve been rallying, go-karting and paintballing, and I can honestly say they were all much more fun than playing a racing or FPS game on the Xbox.
OK, I might not be able to do those things quite as often as I could when they were within arm’s reach, but that has left me with much more time for other interests.
Another hobby I’ve picked up since quitting gaming is cookery – which, due to the hours I’d spend playing networked games online, I never felt like I had time for before.
Now I can happily spend the best part of an afternoon creating something that is both delicious and healthy, and the physical exertion of dashing back and forth around my kitchen for ingredients is having as much of an effect on my ever-decreasing waistline as the calorie count of my dishes.
I’ve also rediscovered home-made desserts, rather than shop-bought snacks, and while some days it’s just fruit for dessert to keep the calories under control, the days when I’ve got a home-made sticky toffee pudding with custard to dig into are well worth the sacrifice.
Finally, whereas there used to be months when my budget wouldn’t stretch to a new game, leaving me with nothing to do for a bit of variety, I’ve found that physical fitness is an interest that can be enjoyed for free, without getting stale.
Sometimes I go cycling, sometimes running, and sometimes I even drive to the coast and run through the shallows of the sea for added resistance.
I’ve seen blood-red sunsets and the first golden rays of the sun as it peeks over the ocean the following morning, I’ve run for shelter from storms, and basked beneath clear blue skies even in the midst of winter.
Again, I’m sure the average gamer would say that our little planet has less to offer than the alien worlds you can visit in vast space adventures like Mass Effect.
But if you’ve spent the past few years effectively tethered to your TV by a controller cable (or a wireless link), take a look outside – you could be missing what’s on your own doorstep.