Age is Catching Up with Me
Today was another watermark in my life. There are a number of moments that caught my eye, but I’ll cover just a few and leave it at that.
As is my wont I’ll just jump into it and you can comment or refrain as the mood strikes you. Today we went to Disney’s California Adventure. About a month ago we took the children to Disneyland wher they were offering a special twofer which allowed us entrance into both parks for the price of one.
In my head I the image I see is the way that I looked when I was about 20 or so. I was a workout fanatic and had my bodyfat down to somewhere around nine or ten percent. The abs were ripped and if I walked around without a shirt I didn’t have to flex to show off the six-pack, it stood out on its own.
I won a benchpress contest with a group of friends. We all put up 225 as many times as we could. I ran it up and down 17 times and then was still able to do a couple more sets. My arms and back were ripped. In short I was in amazing shape, but university life made it easy for me to accomodate an aggressive schedule at the gym, something that I miss dearly now.
I don’t think about it too often because it just aggravates me, but I am happy to be able to get some time in the gym so that I maintain some semblance of who I was and more importantly avoid completely going to hell.
The day we went to Disneyland my son spent a large part of the day begging to ride the train. We pushed that off for hours because it is one of the easiest rides to get on, the wait for it is relatively short.
While we were standing in line my son mentioned that he needed to respond to nature’s call. The big challenge with this is that like many small children he considers the bathroom an inconvenience and will do what he can to avoid going, including lying about whether he actually has to go when we ask him. So often when he says that he has to go the moment is imminent and we move quickly so that we can avoid accidents.
Sure enough he says that he has to go right when we are almost ready to board the train. Unfortunately there was no easy way to leave the line so I had to lift him over a fence so that we could go.
I jumped up and tried to vault over the fence. I must have done that particular move a thousand times and never had any trouble. This time my legs didn’t cooperate and the spring that I expected didn’t come so as I jumped my right foot caught on the top of the fence and for just a moment I teetered back and forth.
Thankfully my fragile male ego was saved by the 6 foot blonde woman who happened to be standing behind us in line. I noticed her and her boyfriend very early on, well before we had to make the bathroom run. To be honest, I noticed her legs, they really got my attention and for a brief moment I wondered if a 6 foot blonde woman who was clearly in her early 20s would be interested in a man like me.
And then I had to laugh because I looked around me and I saw a guy holding a backpack, stroller, wife and children. I would imagine that to her I looked like an older guy, not old enought to fill the role of daddy, but still not a peer.
The reason that she saved me from falling was that I was determined not to fall on my face in front of her. A person has to have a few fantasies in life and there is no reason for me to let that one go. So somehow, some way when my foot hit the fence I managed to drag it up and over and landed on my feet.
More important to this story was the surprise I felt that my legs didn’t move as I expected. It was like being let down by an old friend.
Fast forward to today and my son and I are standing in line waiting to go on a ferris wheel. While we are waiting I hear the guy in the college sweartshirt make some sort of comment that was along the lines of at least I am not pushing 40.
Well, I have a couple of years before that happens, but it struck me that most people probably no longer look at me as being a 20 something. Not that it matters all that much, but it was strange to think that I am approaching what many people would consider middle age. Since I expect to live to be at least 130 it is clear that I am still a lad and far away from that particular mark, but not as far as I once was.
While riding the ferris wheel I got nervous. It was really tall, could be a 100 feet or so. All I know is that if I fell out I would have little time to develop wings and learn how to fly. But it is not the first time that a ride has made me nervous. It has happened a number of times recently and I cannot understand it because I used to love this kind of stuff.
I was the guy who would ride anything without fear and now I find I am forcing myself to get onto these rides. I grit my teeth and get on determined to enjoy it, and I usually do. Nonetheless this is just odd.
One of the other things that has made me more aware of my age are a growing number of age related kinks, bruises and muscle issues that do not heal over night the way that they used to. I try to run my body as I always have and what do I find but rebellion. The whole ssystem refuses to operate under the past agreement and conventions.
I feel like pieces of me are being taken away and no matter how hard I try I cannot prevent this, I can only slow the process.
Third thing that happened today is that while standing in line I had a guy talking about being 38 and what that meant to him. I smiled because I thought that he was really old and then it dawned upon me, he is only two years older than I am. It was a surreal moment.
None of this really matters much, but since it has crossed my mind I thought that there was no harm in speaking of it, about it, around it etc.