Friday, March 31, 2006

I am Not Getting Old !

While speaking to my father this past week, the topic of my recent hamstring injury came up. I described to him, somewhat sheepishly, the rather entertaining circumstances of my misfortune. He, being the protective type, was understandably concerned for my health and safety. After all, he has had to endure 32 years of me running, jumping, climbing, playing sports, and the various injuries that naturally follow my almost-fearless nature and unbridled energy. It is conceivable, given this, that he would be distressed when I told him of my latest voyage to the physical therapy clinic.

"Be careful," he said, "You're not as young or flexible as you used to be."

Me ? Old and inflexible ? Absolutely not !!!

Truth be told, I am in better shape now than I was in my 20s. A 50-pound weight loss, coupled with a dramatic increase in physical activities, has rendered me stronger and more flexible than I ever have been. When I started karate two years ago, I could barely come within 2 feet of the ground while attempting to do the splits. Now, I am merely an inch and a half above complete floor contact. Flexibility is not an issue, thank you very much.

Although, I do have to admit that age, or perhaps just increased responsibility, has taken its toll. No longer can I spend an entire day awake, then go out dancing for 6 hours without missing a beat. No longer can I simply rely on Diet Coke and Jolly Ranchers to keep me going. These days, I actually need sleep. And coffee.

Nonetheless, I will not resign myself to being washed up, like most hockey players are when they reach their 30s. I will fight ! I will resist ! I will prevail over the natural aging mechanism that predisposes us to crippling injuries from mundane activities such as getting out of the car. That will never happen to me. Not if I have anything to say about it.

"So Dad," I said, "if you're saying I'm old, what does that make you ?"

"Hmm. Good point."


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