Friday, August 25, 2023


Getting older can be a bittersweet experience.

When I first met Mr. See, we used to go for walks and bike rides - and still do.  But one complaint he always had was that I walked too fast or rode my bike too fast. "I have shorter legs!" he said, "I can't keep up!"   I callously replied, "Well, just walk faster!"

Fast-forward 36 years and the shoe is on the other foot.  I can't walk as fast as I used to, nor bike-ride at crazy speeds.  After a while, it feels like my knees are on fire - and I generally get tired out a lot sooner.  It is the consequence of 63 years of living and arthritis brought on by gout.  Everything hurts.

So now it is me saying, "Slow down! I can't keep up!" and Mr. See saying, callously, "Just walk faster!"

He waited 36 years to say this.

It didn't happen overnight, but I guess I failed to notice he no longer was having trouble keeping up.  I guess I thought he learned how to "walk faster" and not that I was walking slower.  Then, one day, it's "hold up!" as I fell behind.

It is kind of bittersweet and I realize that life does not go on forever.  We try to exercise, but the clock of time cannot be turned back.  We went kayaking across the bay the other day, which was quite a workout.  We went for a walk of over 10,000 steps.  We've been riding bike everywhere.  It is good to keep moving, to be sure.  But it does get harder as you get older.

As I noted before, there is point of no return in mobility.  People sit at desks and sit in cars and sit at home watching Fox News.  Before long, they are no longer ambulatory and even getting up from a chair is a difficult and painful experience marked by a lot of groaning and wheezing.  So people sit more and become even more immobile.  Before long, they can barely walk.

We see this all the time, older people - sometimes younger than us - walking with this rocking motion from side to side, like toddlers making their first steps.  I Googled it online and apparently it is related to hip joint and muscle problems.  You feel sorry for such folks - they can barely walk anymore.

Or at a rest stop, watch a professional trucker climb down from his cab and walk to the restroom.  Sitting in a chair all day long, with the hypertension of driving - high heart rate, high blood pressure, but no real exercise.  Those dudes can barely walk, it seems, although after a few minutes, they seem to limber up.

It doesn't happen suddenly, but you notice it suddenly.  As a youth, we spring out of bed in the morning with hardly a thought as to whether it was difficult or not, because it wasn't.  Age 40 rolls around and suddenly, getting up in the morning is a process that takes time.

Not sure what the point of this is, other than to enjoy the time you have, as life is pretty short.  Get off the couch while you can!