A new set of challenges
Feb. 23, 2018
by Ivan Raconteur

At my time of life there are probably things I used to do that I can’t do anymore.

I use the word “probably” deliberately. I may or may not be able to do them, but I’m not fool enough to try.

When I was young, I worked hard and played hard. There wasn’t much that slowed me down.

When the going got tough, I just powered through, and most of the time I emerged from the battle unscathed.

Recently however, I’ve noticed that the challenges are different on the dark side of 50.

Things that I wouldn’t have even thought about in the past can suddenly become obstacles.

For example, the other day I fell asleep while sitting on the love seat at the bachelor estate.

This was one of those unscheduled naps that seem to overtake me more frequently as time goes by.

I woke up with such a stiff neck I could hardly stand up straight.

When I was young, I could spend the day splitting and stacking wood by hand with no ill effects, and now, a short nap is practically enough to put me out of action.

It’s pitiful.

Other simple tasks take on a new level of danger, too.

On one recent morning, I was pulling on my britches, and I managed to get a cramp in my right foot.

There I was, hopping around on one leg in severe discomfort with my britches half on and half off, and I hadn’t done anything more strenuous than get out of bed.

Another time, I was reaching for something on a top shelf. I must have been twisting while I was doing it, because it felt like I pulled a muscle in my back.

I wasn’t lifting anything heavy. It was just in an inconvenient place.

I’m a mess.

There’s no doubt that sitting behind a desk or in meetings all day is part of the problem.

Our bodies simply weren’t meant to work that way.

The answer, of course, is that I need to move a lot more often than I do.

It’s embarrassing, though, to have to appear in public in the condition I’m in. It’s bad enough embarrassing myself in front of the cats.

Recently I was carrying a basket of laundry down to the cellar. Braylie was coiling around my ankles as I went, the way cats do.

I aimed a kick at her backside in an attempt to re-route her, but she dodged, causing me to whiff and nearly put my back out again as I spun around.

The odds are good that someday, they will find me deceased in a pile at the bottom of the basement stairs.

The cats will be responsible, of course, but no one will ever be able to prove it because the cats will be the only witnesses and they won’t fess up.

My goal for this year is to improve my conditioning so I can get through my weekly chores without doing myself a mischief.

I’d hate to end up requiring medical care and having to explain to the doc that I hurt myself while dusting too vigorously or as the result of a laundry-folding mishap.

Some things are too pathetic to live down.

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