June 28, 2009

Age Is Just A Number....Right...

Age is just a number, right. That is what they say. It is all about your state of mind and right now my mind is covering more than a few states. Maybe I should blame it on The London Symphony and their version of The Final Countdown.

Yeah, that is the ticket. Think that I'll switch to The Moody Blues Nights in White Satin or Tuesday Afternoon and follow it up with Layla. Not that any of it matters, it is just a way of avoiding the topic of age. Or rather my way of saying that I am still adjusting to turning 40.

Yep, it bothers me a bit, not so much the number itself but the guy I see in the mirror. I close my eyes and I picture myself and I see the body that I used to have. It is hard, stomach is cut and the muscles ripple as I move. Bruises, aches and pains are things that happen periodically, but they don't last long enough to be noticeable.

Sleep is something that I stumble upon every once in a while, but I don't seem to notice a lack of it. And let's not forget a very forgiving metabolism.

But that was then and this is now. Now the face that looks back at me is clearly older, no one ever mistakes me for being twenty something. And that is perfectly fine with me. I don't care about that. A few lines in my face and a little less hair aren't issues.

What I am fighting are the other things that have come along with the age. It is so much harder to stay in shape. I am certainly thicker in places than I used to be and the bruises, aches and pains visit me frequently and stay longer than they used to. I suppose that some of the elasticity of tendons, ligaments and joints has disappeared.

If the body is a classic car than it is a daily battle to maintain a clean interior and exterior. The fight to polish it is just never ending and I can understand how some people just let it all slip away.

Inertia.

Battling inertia is tough. It takes a lot of hard work and enormous discipline to do what needs to be done so that the motor runs the way that you want it to. And it is a battle that can be incredibly frustrating.

I have changed my exercise regimen and begun incorporating new elements that seem be yielding big dividends, but still one challenge remains.

Diet.

I hate that damn word. Diet- there is a reason why "die" is part of diet and it is not positive. Ok, I shouldn't be negative, you're right. But damn, I like to eat. Why must the foods I like the most be so problematic.

But I look in the mirror and I am not satisfied. I don't have to be the 20 year old I used to be. I earned these wrinkles and scars and I am ok with that.

I suppose that what I am really saying is that I am not willing to accept a body that doesn't respond better than this one does. I am not that old, not yet. There is no reason for some of this.

Confession time. One of the things that scares me is that at some point in time my body just won't work anymore. I can accept many things, but I can't accept that. So here I am with my basketball games, my weights and my kettlebells trying to do something to prevent that.

I can't guarantee that I won't ever have to deal with that, but with a little preventative maintenance maybe I can stave it off for about 68 years. And now if you'll excuse me I have to go stretch. Sitting in front of this has given rise to a kink in my back that is killing me.

But what do I care, because age is just a number...right.

3 comments:

ClooJew said...

I turned 41 recently, so I got over it (mostly, lulei demistafina) awhile ago.

I realized that at 30 I wanted to be 20, and even turning 20 was difficult.

I'm sure at 50 I'll be wishing for 40 again and at 60, 50 will seem young.

So the whole thing is just a mental exercise in disappointment, if you let it. I find that if you feel accomplished, you don't care. And if you don't feel accomplished, go out and accomplish something (semichah, daf yomi, writing a book).

Also: Best t-shirt I ever saw: "I'm not forty; I'm 18 with 22 years practice!"

Ayrdale said...

I know what you mean...but take it from me, and this is how I've earned my living all my life, it's not appearance or strength that counts, it's flexibility.

When you consider the old adage "if you don't move it you lose it" and the fact that the thoracic spine (below your neck and above your waist)is rarely rotated through its full range...then it's little wonder that dysfunction of our necks and lower backs plague us.

The answer ? Sit WITH HEAD STILL and turn the shoulders fully and slowly in each direction every day.

That, or play golf. It's only natural...

Jack said...

CJ,

I can agree with what you have said, a feeling of accomplishment does a lot.

Ayrdale,

Golf? Nope, not getting into that. Got too many friends who spend hours on the links, too addicting.

I make a point of exercising frequently so that it all doesn't collapse, but there are moments.