This week we take a look at getting older. How do we deal with age? It’s the noises we make when we bend down to pick up something we dropped. When we get into a car. When we get out. Just going through the motions requires a little more of us than it used to. I can see it in John’s balky knee. Or my neck.
About that neck. I was 24 years old, just starting my first job in advertising at NW Ayer Chicago. I started on 7/7/77 (got married on 7/7/84, so 7/7 is a big day for yours truly) and they promptly told me they had a slo-pitch softball team. Well, I’m not the world’s most naturally gifted athlete, but I love playing softball. I rode a bike to the office and after work, hurriedly pedaled to the park where we were playing. No time to warm up, but what the hell, I was 24. I put on my glove and was told they don’t play with mitts in Chicago. The ball its a little bigger in circumference and after it gets smashed around for a few innings, it becomes slightly mushy. They put me at third base. Wouldn’t you know it, but the first pitch got smashed on the ground to third. I fielded it cleanly, and it hurt like a mother, but I wasn’t gonna let anyone know that. I was going to show off my “rocket” arm. So I reared back and threw was hard as I could to impress my new co-workers. I felt something tear between my neck and shoulder on the right side as the ball went on a straight line…5 feet over the first baseman’s head. Today, I still wake up and feel shoulder/neck stiffness in the exact same place.
So we took Sam to an undefined gym class and watched him compensate. This was an amalgamation of John’s knee, which made him switch from singles to doubles. And my shoulder and recently my foot. Oh yeah, and tennis elbow too. There’s always golf, but the tennis elbow put a damper on that. There’s hiking in the woods, which my wife loves as well. Well plantar fasciitis starts rearing up but only after 4 miles. Every time. So I could stand that and kept the walks to that length or less. But when you compensate (top of the toes) and then it hurts to walk, period. But there’s always the elliptical. And if that hurts the exercise bike.
We had fun with Sam dealing with the very same shortcomings. Read it and see what he ends up doing.
We’ll talk to you next week, our last comic of the year before taking a couple weeks off. But I gotta run. I’m late for Pilates.
The New 60