The other day, my golf threesome was joined by a nice gentleman named Zoltan, who originally haled from Transylvania. Really, that’s what he told me when I asked him where he was originally from. A quick geography lesson – Transylvania is currently part of Romania but has a long history of being dominated by other cultures. I’m pretty sure Zoltan uses that line just to see what people’s reactions are. Sort of like saying “good evening” (think Lon Chaney accent). Saying your from Romania is just not quite as interesting….is it?
The tee to the 16th hole is a long walk up a good sized hill. When our group got to the tee at the top of hill, we were all huffing and puffing pretty good. Zoltan looks at my friends and me and says “My father always told me that he hoped I didn’t die young so I could understand what he’s talking about.” In other words, as you get older your laundry list of complaints gets longer and louder.
I’m fond of saying “they have found ways of adding years to our lives but they haven’t done as good of job of adding life to our years.” At 51 (oh my god!) I’m in pretty good shape. Most weekends when I play golf, I walk and push my bag on a cart. I regularly take long walks with my trusty companion Cosmo and I get to the gym regularly (though not as often as I should). To paraphrase Jack LaLanne, “a body in motion is a body that stays in motion,” so I stay in motion. My waist is size 34 which it’s been for as long as I can remember and I actually was down a pound at my last annual physical. That’s the good news.
On the other hand, my daily dose of pills now includes something to deal with my slightly elevated blood pressure (bad genes), which joins my cholesterol meds (a problem I have had for many years – again those damn genes). My surgically repaired right shoulder likes to remind me that it’s been surgically repaired. My right knee, the one which had the surgically repaired torn meniscus all those years ago, likes to creak a bit too often, and the left knee seems to be clamoring for equal attention. In the words of the great Indiana Jones, “Honey it ain’t the age, it’s the mileage” (and I’m pretty sure I have used that line once or two before in some other post).
What does it all mean? It means I have to work harder just to keep my body the way it is now. It means my wife and kids get to hear me kvetch about my aches and pains. It means it’s going to be up to me to keep the life in my years, no matter how many pills get added to my daily intake. I don’t think there’s any miracle cure, treatment or pill to getting older (although single malt scotch does help). Of course, there’s always prayer and mine goes like this: “Lord, if you even exist, whoever and wherever you are, please let me grow old with grace and dignity, and please don’t let me get fat and bald because everyone who I make fun of for being fat and/or bald will make me old and miserable. Amen.”