I'm no spring chicken.
There, I've admitted it. For those who know me, this isn't news. For those who don't know me, I am not deluding myself into believing that they care about this. But admitting that we are changing as we age is part of the optional wisdom available from aging.
Like lots of men my age I have a bunch of aches and injuries. Sometimes -- only sometimes mind you -- when I get together with my friends, we spend a few moments enumerating those aches and pains. Fortunately, we quickly realize that we're sounding like stereotypical old men and laugh it off.
For me, I have a repaired knee, a broken back and pain in my shoulder. And I still get out to swim, ride and run nearly every day. Because if I don't...
Because if I don't then I will really be an old man before my time.
All things physical wear out. My printer wears out. I get more comments on my printer repair posting than anything else. Gosh, but I wish I could write about taking a few screws out, pulling out the bad vertebra and epoxy the broken protuberance back into place. The printer I can repair. My back I have to manage.
Another part of that wisdom thing is knowing when you need to push against the ache and pains and when you need to respect them. And it isn't always obvious. Recognizing the difference takes experience. The danger, I think, is erring on the side of not doing enough.
So, when the shoulder aches, I can choose to not go swimming. But that lets the shoulder get weaker, which makes it ache more, so I postpone swimming even more. Et cetera until I can't go swimming because I've let my body weaken to the point of unusability.
At some point, my printer will wear out to the point of being too expensive to repair. We don't really have that luxury with our bodies. All the wonderful things that we can do in hospitals are still a shadow of the miracle of our own bodies.
Use it or loose it. Even if it takes more time to warm up and more time to stretch out. No one is a spring chicken for ever. It's what you do after you've stopped being young that makes the difference.