Gabby Logan, she admits, is one of those souls who make lists, set goals, perform high, and is motivated.
Before she was a sports TV host, she was also a competitive gymnast, so the combination is pretty deadly.
She says she already planned what to do on her 60th birthday, even though it's still 13 years. The divisions.
The Gabby Logan pictured has shown that she wants to do the balancing act at the age of 60
"It's a goal. I can still do it now, but I want to be able to do it on my 60th birthday. When I was around 13 I remember a coach who came to my team. She wasn't a thin Minnie and she was 60, but she could still do the balancing act. I never forgot her. So that's the goal. "
Bless her flexibility, but Gabby believes anyone could do the same with a little planning and dedication.
“You absolutely could,” she tells me in a (hilarious and pathetically misplaced) vote of confidence in my own flexibility. Some of us couldn't even handle the divisions when we were 13, Gabby, and aren't our A&E departments busy enough?
Even so, it's very Gabby Logan that she plans ahead. She is the whiteboard and family journal lover, but it is very touching that she wishes she were less interested in reckless organization.
“I recently had Claudia Winkleman on my podcast show and she is exactly the opposite. She just trusts things will happen. I rather admire that. "
In fact, she's been collecting tips on life from all sorts of showbiz buddies lately.
Gabby posted this photo of her doing the splits while balancing on her head
With much of the sports world on hiatus, she hosts a podcast called The Mid-Point, which is aimed at middle-aged and proud people.
She did well as such – which is actually quite a lot when you consider that it's almost a tradition for women on television to hope that no one will notice their age. In the past, some have lied openly about it, understandably, if they date from a time when women disappeared into the shadows when the first wrinkles began to show. Like Gabby.
"I was told by a producer that I would be crazy to pursue a career in sports presentation because he wouldn't show me after I was 28," she says. "It was like this.
“I recently went out for dinner with a group of friends. We're all 48, 49, around that age. One of them – an actress – said that her entry on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) still showed her as a few years younger. Her agent had put it on. She couldn't help it. "
Please wait. Was she told she wouldn't be on TV after 28? Then you are still a baby. & # 39; Yes. I remember my agent saying to me early on, “Why are you in such a hurry? Drive slowly, "but the reality was I was told so," she says. “Of course I was in a hurry. We all were. We thought our careers would be over when we were 30 years old.
“Women just disappeared when they reached a certain age. I used to think, “Where did you put it? Is there a closet somewhere? "
Gabby was in her mid 30s when she teamed up with her great hero Des Lynam. “He was in his 60s at the time. Could I imagine still at work in my 60s? No. & # 39;
Obviously things have changed in the last decade – and the fact that women like Gabby, whose 50th birthday is around the corner, are still working and want to work for decades is proof of the fundamental change. "What happened is there are just more women down the line and you see the directors and producers move up."
Gabby pictured with her husband, former Scottish rugby international Kenny Logan, and their twins Lois and Reuben
She says she hit the air when Fiona Bruce got the plum job for presenting Question Time.
“She was in her mid-50s, so that meant she still did this job through her mid-60s and beyond. That’s positive. "
What is interesting is that there has been almost an onslaught of media people posing as "of a certain age".
Gabby admits it's a topic that fascinates her – hence the podcast idea of only inviting people in their forties and early fifties.
"I'm the kind of person who reads endlessly about the stage of life you are in. When my kids were younger, I read about child development." But now there is this thing that wants to know how others feel when they reach that intermediate point. What does it mean to be in the middle of your life? "
Some of it is about the physical. Yes, there is talk of wrinkles and "those areas of the skin that no longer behave as they used to". She wonders why, as a young woman, she was able to sleep until noon, but now wakes up at 6 a.m. (answer: hormones).
It also brought the experts together. Sleep gurus, nutritionists, and doctors who specialize in hormone treatment all help. Perhaps more fascinating are the celebrities, who are fairly open about their own problems and life experiences.
Her guests included women (especially Denise Lewis, Caitlin Moran, and Mariella Frostrup), but she also chatted to men who also have interesting things to say about their various midlife crises.
Pointless host Richard Osman talks about being single while the big 5-0 beckons and a career shift in midlife that made him a novelist.
The podcast format also suits Gabby, though, and she admits it's nice to escape the sports presenter's pigeon hole. "I wanted to be Michael Parkinson," she admits.
Would Parky have been so open to his own life? One of the strengths of the format is that the “relaxed chat among friends” format also makes them open up.
Gabby makes several surprising recordings during the podcasts, including one where she says approaching your 50s is a "Is that that?" – The mentality where you question all of your career choices.
There are other podcast gems too. In a conversation with Richard Osman, she tells of one of the most terrible experiences of her life. No, it wasn't presented live from the Olympics or white water rafting, it was dinner cooked for Mary Berry.
She explains when she and her husband, former Scottish rugby international Kenny Logan, moved from London to Buckinghamshire and found one of their neighbors. . . Yes, Mary Berry, whom she immediately invited to dinner. This meant returning the favor. The horror!
"I had to take the day off to prepare," admits Gabby. Well you would. She chose to serve lamb with mint sauce because Mary's husband Paul is traditional in his taste. She later went on a fail-safe cheesecake – which received a compliment from Mary, which means Gabby can die happily.
“She told my kids my cheesecake had a crispy bottom,” she says.
Even before they were neighbors, she considered Mary – the patroness of the grafters – her heroine. “She works so much harder than me,” she says.
When her friend Claudia Winkleman comes over to chat, they casually talk about how they recently shared a bed. Did we miss something? It turns out it's not that hot. more the Morecambe and Wise form of bed division.
They were traveling with mutual friends and shared a hotel room. Gabby was quite horrified when Claudia jumped into her pajamas and into bed without removing her copious eye make-up. While Claudia was equally enthusiastic when Gabby – who affirmed her status as a reasonable person at every congregation – started dabbling in headbands, detergents, toner, and cotton wool.
“Claudia and I have completely different approaches to all of this stuff. Exercise too. I love it. I've always trained hard and, if anything, I've improved my game lately.
"We had an expert who said that if you want to be strong and flexible later in life, you have to train harder than ever before." However, I couldn't convince Claudia of this. She won't have it. "
To be fair, Claudia is the guest who seems to have embraced midlife the most. Your tips? Afternoon nap, forget all the "perfect mom" stuff and use Chrissie Hynde, the eternal rock chick, as your role model.
"What's great about Claudia is that she thinks she was always middle-aged. Even when she was 20, she was like that, so she's pretty much prepared for this stage."
In our chat, Gabby is similarly open. Yes, she is assuming that she is likely to be perimenopausal, not yet having hot flashes, but definitely feeling the inexplicable "anger" that may be subsiding at this point in life. "Which is completely natural," she emphasizes.
Caitlin Moran explained it very well. She said the anger we feel was always there but masked with all the lovely caring female hormones. As soon as they refuse, there is no more mask. "
Does she get more screaming in middle age? & # 39; Yes. I know I keep going to Kenny to yell at the kids and then there are towels on the floor and I'm the one who flies off the handle. I hate it when I start nagging. I hate being a nag, but at the same time it's all pretty fascinating. "
It's probably pretty important that this be the first opportunity she had to create something like this podcast. Planning began long before the lockdown, but obviously the Covid crisis meant diaries were emptier – for both them and their guests. It was a natural time to take stock of your life, she says.
In addition, a feeling of time rushes by. “Personally, my 30s seemed to last forever, probably because they were so attached to young children. Much of this decade felt like walking through treacle, but my 40s have flown by. Age suddenly creeps in. "
Gabby and Kenny have two children. The twins Lois and Reuben are now 15. The road to parenthood was difficult. The couple had IVF and Gabby almost died during a difficult delivery.
I interviewed them when their twins were tiny, and the couple had not yet decided what to do with the extra embryos they had "on hold" – a common dilemma for those undergoing fertility treatment. After ten years, these embryos will either have to be used or destroyed, which can be a difficult decision.
“I remember going out with Kenny for lunch and talking on the phone together. It's difficult, but we decided to donate it to fertility research. "
She's still brooding. Speaking recently about meeting a coworker's baby, she said, "I cuddled him and didn't want to let him go."
She is clearly a practical mother and goes to a show jumping event that her daughter is attending after our interview.
She's also honest about the challenges teenagers face. “I think I was lucky with Lockdown because they were old enough to keep doing it themselves. If it had happened a few years ago and I would have had to do homeschooling, I would have broken down. "
Obviously, the idea that they were leaving the house, or at least not so dependent on their parents, kept the mind focused.
She talks about the midlife dilemma (which women have in common in the television world, but possibly even less men) of having spent their entire career leading the family.
“I know that I definitely refused the job because I would have to stay away from the children for too long.
“I have to be away for the big things like the Olympics anyway, but there are other jobs that I said no to. But now I'm looking to a phase in my life where I can say yes to more things and that's exciting. "
She cites a conversation with a childless colleague, Clare Balding. “Clare did the math and told me that she had about 64 hours more a week than me because I had to take all the kid stuff into account. That got me thinking. What do I do with these extra hours? "
Then there's Kenny. “So many people make the mistake of not planning for the empty nest what life will be like. It hits you between the eyes – and then people have divorces and breakups. I want to be more pragmatic. "
She's pretty excited to hear that women – and men – are changing their careers in their forties.
“We once rented a house from a banker and gave it up to train as a doctor. I thought that was amazing.
My mother changed directions later in life. She was a beauty therapist but became a real estate developer in her late 30s. It was great to see that she has a real passion for something. It is possible.
"When we all have 20 or 30 years left, so much is possible."
Then on to 50. And to the divisions at 60.
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