Thursday, December 08, 2005

Musings: aging gratefully

Well I’ve been using my body much more in the last week than I have been in the past few months. Notice I said using and not abusing, though I feel there is a fine line differentiating the two right now.

I’m over 40 years old, not by much, but by enough. And I’m starting to realize that my body of age 19 is no longer with me, thought my mind tries to convince me otherwise. You see, after a couple times skating, doing some free weights and yoga exercises (this is supposed to be good for old people, no?); I’m finding my body rebelling against such punishment.

And then I think back to when I was 19. I could have done all of this plus a hundred other activities and probably not even noticed. But as today’s post heading suggests I am aging gratefully if not gracefully (hard to walk properly when half of your body wants to lie down) since I have no life threatening problems – at least none I know of and I’ll just keep it that way for now anyhow.

Long, long ago in a cold northern town, I recall my father telling me, after his first night of curling (the game where you chuck rocks down a rink and try to score) that his muscles were sore. I mocked him for being such a wimp - like how could your muscles be sore? Ha ha ha. I can do that plus an hundred other things and not even notice I said, with typical teenage know-it-all-ness.

And looking back now, with my hips and ankles aching from the skating and muscles in my back protesting, muscles I didn’t even know were back there, I think of my dad and realize – he was the same age then as I am now. Wow . . .

. . . I guess this is wisdom, something I lacked in spades as a teenager. And in a few more years my own daughter will probably laugh and mock me for my aching body, while hers is young and flexible and nearly indestructible. I will smile, as my own father did to me, knowing her time will come and that I love her without reservation, no matter how she teases me.

For now, I will continue to put up with my bodies aches and pains to go skating with my daughter and wife. And next month I’ll be back on the ski slopes (this after twenty years – yikes!) with my daughter. Her school has a skiing program and they need volunteers. I was a ski patrol once upon a time, so I signed up. My god, what have I done?

But I think for love we are willing to endure almost anything. In the face of love such aches and pains are almost welcome – a payment for pleasure. Maybe this is where the saying “pleasure in pain” comes from. It fits anyhow.

Of course some of my aches and pains may have been caused when I was T-boned by an 18 wheeler tractor trailer running a red light two years ago. That was a fun morning let me tell you.

Actually let me tell you – Tomorrow.

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