Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Getting Old

... I don't recommend it!

Okay, I know the alternative is not necessarily one that most of us want to contemplate for any length of time. But the snow storm we had a few days ago really highlighted the problem of getting old. The thing is, as the old saying goes, "I ain't no spring chicken anymore". I'm a bit over the half-century mark now and I am definitely starting to feel it.

Last Saturday, the 19th of February, it started snowing a bit, then turned to rain. The rain decided to turn back to snow in the evening. By about 8:00 that night I had 6 to 8 inches of snow in the driveway and decided to get ride of the wet, heavy snow before it built up even more and pulled out the snow-blower. No big deal ... it was the following day that killed me.

Sunday it was snowing so hard at times you couldn't see across the street! Fortunately, it started letting up in the afternoon - AND the snow plow had already cleared the street, so they wouldn't come by and cover my driveway again. So, out with the snow-blower again, clear the driveway, the front walk and one of my neighbor's driveway. Then I cleared the snow off the roof. I was completely done in at that point. Next morning I went out and helped another neighbor's with his driveway, then cleared off my wood pellets (for a pellet stove) ... and I was done in again! I was bathed in sweat and went in to collapse with a big glass of water. (Shocking - not beer or whiskey, eh?)

What has all of this got to do with "getting old"? The thing is, when I was in high school, I was in fairly good shape - a bit overweight, but strong and actually had a lot of stamina. After that I joined the Navy - at the end of boot camp I had lost the extra pounds and could complete the obstacle course (no time records here, but I could get all the way through it), I could run a mile without keeling over, and walk (march) a couple of miles with ease and I could bench-press 100 lbs or more. Now for most of the time I was in the Navy, and for quite a few years afterward, I stayed in pretty good shape. But then I hit that dreaded half-century mark! Pfui!

Okay, yeah, I've let myself go a little bit. Packed on some extra pounds and haven't kept up with exercising. But dang it, I used to be able to just take off and walk for a couple of hours. Now my knee starts to hurt after about 15 to 20 minutes. And oi! My aching back! So, now I've decided that I have got to lose the extra weight ... well, I know how to do that. But I also have to start getting back into better shape. That means I've got to be able to walk more than 20 yards without running out of breath. That means I've got to be able to lift and carry more than 40 lbs (the weight of the bags of wood pellets).

The hard part of this is that my body doesn't build new tissues quite as quickly as it used to. When a person starts trying to "get in shape" the way I need to do, part of the process is breaking down old, flabby, weak muscle tissue - then building newer, stronger muscles. That is the part that has me worried - building the new muscles. Well, that and it just seems to be ever so much easier to hurt myself these days.

Well, once I start, I have to keep at it - that's for sure. There is one thing that will be driving me. I have to get strong enough to once again kick Kennie's butt. Most of you know him, he's a cop ... and he's been working out. Oh, I can still fight dirty, but I don't want to really hurt him ... much. So, yeah, I'm actually starting this - no more cookies, cake, candy, ice cream, etc ... I'm starting fresh! Go me!

We'll see how it goes ...

Newly discovered on-line comic:
A spoof, of sorts, on many superhero comics - mainly one web-slinger in particular. The art is excellent and the writing and story telling will definitely hold you. A great blend of humor and action.

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