“There should be a rule that you’re not al­lowed to use the phrase ‘these days’ un­til you’re at least 35 years old”

Cycling Weekly - - News - Weekly col­umn Katie Archibald Olympic and world champion, Katie Archibald got into cy­cling af­ter win­ning hand­i­cap races on a High­land Games grass track

You see a lot of graphic stuff on TV these days. What I mean is: I’m 23 years old and as far as I’m aware TV has al­ways il­lus­trated the world’s grue­some hap­pen­ings but peo­ple who wear their glasses at the end of their noses or tuck their shirts into their un­der­wear tell me it wasn’t al­ways this way.

In fact, be­fore we get go­ing, I have this to say: there should be a rule that you’re not al­lowed to use the phrase “these days” un­til you’re at least 35 years old. Upon turn­ing 35 you can cel­e­brate ex­it­ing the “18-34 year olds” bracket that Yougov seems de­ter­mined to treat as one data group and only then are you old enough to pre­tend you’ve known a world be­fore this one. And no one should be al­lowed to say “kids these days are [char­ac­ter de­scrip­tor]” ever. You’re either cur­rently a kid your­self and thus have no al­ter­na­tive ref­er­ence point to “these days” or you’re not a kid so how do you know what kids are like, eh? Eh?! Vote Katie Archibald for Queen of Ev­ery­thing 2018.

Sorry, where were we? Yes, graphic TV. TV, films, vis­ual me­dia in gen­eral; they all so of­ten have graphic con­tent that I’ve learnt to tune it out on de­mand. Or at least learnt to feel com­fort­ably sep­a­rate from what­ever hor­rors I watch to avoid too much painful em­pa­thy. The writ­ten word, on the other hand, I al­ways feel bur­rows un­avoid­ably into my imag­i­na­tion. When forced to cre­ate im­agery with the build­ing blocks of my own mind and mem­ory it’s in­evitable that what­ever dis­gusts, de­lights or ter­rors are de­scribed, re­ally crawl un­der my skin.

With this in mind, I’m not go­ing to write about how sick I was last week. Sick enough that I missed my last road race of the sea­son in Madrid. I think I ate some funny meat and thus my road sea­son ended with my head in the toi­let. But much like a heavy night out, that doesn’t mean all the fun I’ve had un­til this point didn’t hap­pen. Still, bring on the track sea­son!

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