My friend Laura, certainly the most fit person I know, made a seemingly innocuous admission recently that has stuck with me.
While on vacation in Maine with her husband, they were out enjoying some cross country skiing. Out for a couple of hours, he turned to her and asked if she wanted to continue on the set of trails they’d yet to explore.
“I said no, I’m good.”
It doesn’t sound like much, calling it a day, but Laura is an animal. I mean, this woman went running through thigh-high snow some years back right after minor leg surgery!
Now, maybe she was just bored by the steady swoosh of the dogged ski trail, or maybe she is at an age and stage where having to push through the limits is no longer such an attractive option.
I find myself using that phrase “age and stage” a lot lately, now that I am closer to the north side of 60.
A recent two-week bout with the flu not only left me weak, but weirdly took away my senses of taste and smell. What fresh hell is this? I thought to myself. Then, due to my illness-induced inactivity, I messed up my shoulder in Ashtanga yoga class.
Ok, enough is enough. I get that millions are impacted by the flu. But am I at that crossroads where all signs say, “Proceed with caution – you’re past the double nickel and all minor ailments will last longer, carrying forward a piquant aftertaste that lasts well beyond the last bitter sip.” (Yeah – too long for a sign, I know!)
The saying “time heals all wounds” is not true when it comes to grief, and certainly not applicable to aging. I’m certainly not on my last legs, and Laura can still rock a bikini like nobody’s business. But it gives you pause, the domino effect of minor aches and pains, and how they awaken thoughts of the decrepitude to come.
Aren’t you just dying to invite me to your next baby shower?