Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The age factor

I am not old. I tell myself this all the time, along with anybody else who might ask. Sometimes, my body agrees I am not that old. Other times, my body laughs.

Yes, I am 46 and as a child, I thought that was ancient, not that I ever thought of myself at this age. But I did think of others who were in their 40s as one step away from the funeral home.

I really don’t feel much older than I did when I was 35. I don’t look much older, just missing a whole lot of hair.

The only thing that bugs me is that it takes me longer to do some things and a whole lot longer to recover from doing things. I am lucky that I am healthy for my age and can do a lot of activities that I have always done.

I enjoy physical activities but pay for them for several days so there are some things I don’t do any more. Such as playing tackle football. I did this one four years ago on Jan. 1 and did not recover until my birthday in April. I could still deliver a hit! Fortunately everybody else who was playing had never played competitive football. Yes, I think my excellence had more to do with that fact.

The last time I played basketball, I took a fall and twisted something. I was still feeling that twist for a good six months.

The other night, I encountered ice on the ground. I used to not take a second thought, just plunged ahead. But I remembered slipping on ice a few years ago and having to make a trip to the emergency room for what felt like several broken ribs.

I have never liked heights and try to avoid ladders. But when forced to climb a ladder, my climb up and down are much longer than it used to be. And no, this is not because of the ladder falling down as I attempted to climb back down several years ago, leaving me stranded for much longer than I will admit.

I still like to take pictures and sit on the floor to get the best view at basketball games. I tend to be the only one who does that. Other photographers stand in the corner and try to get a picture. I have been stepped on, hit with the ball and bounced off of by players.

But I still do it and usually get a picture I like. My back, however, does not like sitting on gym floors and tells me about it for days.

I can also tell when the weather is going to change. No, I am not a weather person, but my knees, ankles and shoulders know way before Garrett Lewis says it is going to get cold.

I also forget things. Some of it is good (like boring conversations and reality television shows), but there are other things I would like to remember and not be reminded about. And no, I don't remember when I started losing my memory.

But it could get worse, and I am afraid it will.

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