Friday, June 17, 2016

When I am old and losing my hair



Well, it’s finally happened and to me of all people.  I’ve hit 64 years of age. It happened yesterday and felt like any other day except my knee was throbbing. The Beatles gave me my first warning way back in 1967 about this time of life warning about losing my hair and being old. Being old. Wow. I guess 64 is old. Younger people think so.

What exactly is old anyway? My good friend Charles Kelm drives a 1997 Chevy pick-up I told him was an old truck. I worked on a Windows XP machine that is old because of the new operating systems and it’s only about 6 years from purchase date. Both the truck and computer still work, but they are slower than current models.

Yea, that describes me… but the older I get, the better I used to be. That’s what I tell people. When Chuck Norris was about 70, he was asked if he can still run 5 miles and his answer was right on the money. “Yea. It just takes me longer.”

“I stepped outta the shower and I got a good look at myself
Pot-bellied, bald-headed, well I thought I was somebody else 
I caught my reflection in the mirror on the back of the bathroom door
I just don't look good naked anymore”

I was at Clyde Casey’s house working on his computer when he told me he is 91.  My youngish 64 looked pretty weak in comparison. Clyde tells me until a few years ago, he could fix his own computer, but these days…

It seems like every day, something else is breaking on my body, so he really impresses me. Granted most of my injuries are self-inflicted including my current knee problem.

I have arrived at the painful conclusion that I can no longer do plyometric exercises. “Plyos” are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power. The only thing that is increasing on me is the regular exploding of my joints. This time it resulted in a trip to the VA for an x-ray and a future MRI. The doc says I am structurally sound, but I may have torn a ligament or tendon. Great.

"I went down to a nude beach for some seaside fun
Stretched out in my birthday suit soakin' up the sun
Then somebody yelled, "There's an old white whale, washed up on the shore.
Sure, I just don't look good naked anymore"

I pride myself on being a fast learner, but in some areas I am a sucker for punishment and evidently slightly retarded in my ability to learn from mistakes. I hurt myself on Monday, but kept going 90 to nothing until 3 days later I couldn’t get out of bed. I thought I could work it out. Don’t laugh, because all of us break the rules when it comes to common sense concerning ourselves.

I simply compounded the problem with repeated classes until I couldn’t bend my leg and by Friday afternoon I was tapping out and crying “uncle”.  I’m almost 64 for crying out loud - and it took this latest act of blind self-abuse to wake me up to that fact.

Speaking of the older I get, the better I used to be, I’ve taken to explaining to my 3 year old grandson, “When I was your age, I already had chores,” or “When I was your age, I was already running a trap line.” It has no obvious effect on him and isn’t actually the truth, but I enjoy reinforcing my false sense of indestructibility and endurance.

I’m waiting on the day when due to my advanced age I am not accountable for what comes out of my mouth and can get away with slightly ribald and delusional comments. Of course, my bride will not be present, or she will see straight through it. “Oh don’t listen to that old curmudgeon; he’s so old he fell off his dinosaur.” Or maybe I’ll write a lot of letters to the Baytown Sun supporting Hillary Clinton and people will know I’ve lost all sense of reasoning and stop reading my fantasies.

The real answer is to modify my physical activities to a more moderate approach. You would think that as many times as I’ve fallen out of a tree would make me more cautious about climbing them in the first place. The real chore is to recognize the trees for what they are – something for a younger person.

My competitive nature makes this difficult, so I simply must cut out the boot camp I attend and stick with weight lifting. It will be difficult at first, but its time has come.

* Ben Colder - I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore

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6 comments:

Patricia Lankford said...

The sad part about getting old ... you stay young on the inside but no one can tell anymore. I've still got whatever it takes... it just takes a little longer!! Ha! Ha!! Love your write up cause I can so relate. But as I see it no one works harder at the gym to stay healthy and in shape!

Melody Marshall-Sievers said...

No matter how old you are, you will always be the best dad in the whole wide world.

Anonymous said...

That was a hoot to read Bert, and so very true....Debi

Gordon Little said...

Gosh Bert, I know exactly what you mean. My mind tells me i'm a superman, I can do anything I feel up to doing. I scrutinize a situation, my mind analyzes the methods of approach and comes up with a course of action... I move in for the pounce, and my body says "Are you friggin' crazy? You're gonna break your fool neck! Stop that!", and usually reinforces that by some sharp pain in a part of my body that I never even knew existed until that moment.

Then the AARP sends me the card in the mail as a reminder.... *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Mark Lamiell: When I get older losing my hair many years from now... will you still be sending me..

Anonymous said...

MM: Loved it
LOL

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