Here’s the deal. There are books full of “You Know You’re Getting Older When…” jokes and observations. I’m not here to do that. In fact, allow me to simplify the whole matter. You know you’re getting older when…you continue to be alive. That’s it. We’re all getting older every day. And I’m pretty sure it’s beats the alternative (being Benjamin Button).
That being said, there are a few troubling elements to the aging process. In my twenties, I could eat anything without gaining weight, I could stay up all night without getting tired, and I could say things like, “Hey, everybody, look at me, I’m in my twenties!” And the best part – my body still worked.
It all started last year when I hurt my knee…shooting free throws. How this is possible, I’ll never know. I wasn’t jumping. I wasn’t running. I was barely using my knee at all. Did this matter to my knee? Not a bit. My knee just sat down there saying, “Check this out, calf, I’m gonna hurt myself good even though I’m not under any duress.” (And it’s not like it was my first time shooting free throws. I’ve shot a lot of free throws in my life. The summer following my parent’s divorce, I would console myself/avoid all human contact by heading out back and shooting hundreds of free throws a day. And, even though no one believes me when I tell them this – at one point I made 97 out of 100. True story. So, you know, divorce isn’t all bad…maybe if Shaq’s parents had separated he could have avoided the clang of the rim from time to time).
Anyway, my knee hurt for like nine months…because I made the mistake of using it for standing. Come on, body parts are meant to be used. That’s what they’re there for. To work. My knee is specifically designed to bend in a pain-free fashion. That’s why I hired it. I thought it was the best body part for the job.
And this week is even worse. I woke up Sunday afternoon (don’t judge me, I have a mornings phobia) and my back was hurting. That’s right, now I’m injuring myself while sleeping. If I can’t figure out how to sleep without doing bodily harm, I’m in for a long rest of my life. Seriously, I’ve been sleeping for decades now incident free. I’m actually pretty good at it. I list napping on the Special Skills section of my resume. My Mom tells me I was even a good sleeper as a baby. It’s the one thing I’ve always excelled at. Until now.
Apparently I pulled every muscle in my back…it’s my own fault, my doctor did warn me about the dangers of lying completely still on a soft surface. And, guess what, it turns out you use the muscles in your back when you’re doing…everything. Walking. Sitting. Movement of any type. Even thinking to myself, “How is it that every single thing I do hurts my back?” somehow hurts my back.
Fortunately, my complete lack of work or a social life rarely calls for heavy lifting. And that gives me plenty of time to heal myself by keeping perfectly still…then again, that’s what got me into this situation in the first place…