Thursday, April 02, 2009

This image was passed around the WEB sometime in the past, and I don't know whom to credit. In any event, most folks look at it and see two old faces looking at one another. Some see a yellow chalice in the middle. Then one recognizes that the faces are made of people, one playing a guitar. Keep looking and you will find more. Your perspective will change with time. So it goes with paddling.

The goals and joys of the twenty year old are often different than those past 50. This difference is even more pronounced as we pass 60. Strength wanes and healing slows. More over, the older paddler has seen more of life and is often satisfied with what, to others, seems less.

This winter (around here) has been hard on folks. Long, cold and dark days have taken their toll on fitness and mental outlook. Some studies have documented Vitamin D levels of nearly zero in many. Lack of sunshine and, when it is there, the presence of 10 layers of clothes and sun screen over what does show has been named the cause.

For many years I have had my patients take huge doses of D, up to 2000 units a day. The vitamin is involved in serotonin synthesis, and many patients have experienced a lift in their SADS (seasonal affective disorder) and plain old depression...but, I digress.

All of the above, piled onto my accumulated years, have made me feel like less than. In spite of frequent visits to the gym, I don't have some of the muscle power or endurance I did just one year ago. Yesterday my deltoid, or rotator cuff, started hurting on the left...and, I hadn't done anything (at least, anything of which I was aware). So it goes. The years have been incredibly good to me, and I hope for many more. I presume I will be able to do less and less as time goes on, but right now I just want to get on the water (perhaps alone) and begin a series of slow-paced paddles, gradually extending their lengths.

My perspective on old age is a lot different than that of a lot of friends my age. The thing is that they never did do much with their bodies but found contentment in other interests. Nothing wrong with that, their choice. Mine is to push on, stay in the game, show up and do as much safely as I can for as long as I can. I will see you out there.

Paddle safe...


JohnB said...

As the saying goes, "I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I was." It is amazing that the little aches and pains seem to linger -- I've had one in my left hip area for well over a month now--know matter what I do, or don't do, and I have no idea what I did, but it's there. I've got a bunch of theories, but that's all -- and so it goes.

I take, and you should too, pride in being able to do what I do do, especially the teaching of others about what we have a passion for. In the mean time we keep pushing ourselves, and taking the appropriate doses of ibuprofen (aka vitamin I). You are a long way from sitting in rocking chair, with a seat belt on, and wearing depends! Things could be a whole lot worse. In 65 days I'll be 60--just a couple years younger than my parents' age when they died. And, I see people everyday who are younger than me who are in a state that I hope to never experience--but by the grace of God, there go I/us!

As another saying goes, "cheer up things could be worse! . . . (the rest of it I'll leave out as it doesn't apply!).

Silbs said...

I agree. Just need to stay on the right side of the grass as long as possible and, while doing so, stay in the game.

JohnB said...

You got game!