Friday, March 4, 2016

Sixty Is the New Thirty!

Is it just vanity or is there something else at play here? I’ve almost clocked-up sixty years on
the age-odometer. However, I feel as healthy as I did in my thirties! I do at times see some old guy looking back at me from the mirror, but like that verse in James’ Epistle, I immediately forget what kind of man I just saw. In other words, unless I have reminders (mirrors, doctors, workmates, friends etc.) I behave physically as I did when I was in my early thirties, nay, I’m stuck at around the age of twenty-five! And there’s the rub! What is it with mirrors and people that they feel the need to let me know that I’m no spring-chicken anymore?

Is age really only a number? Are we really as young as we feel or is there more to it? Look, Moses was eighty when the LORD had him walk up and down a mountain – a few times! Of course Moses lasted extremely well. He died at age one hundred and twenty! Most of us only get three score and ten years, i.e., “The days of our lives are seventy; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years…” (Psalm 90:10a). There you go. Nowadays you’re doing well if you last eighty years on this earth!

So, back to my original question: Is it just pure vanity on my part to be viewing myself and treating myself as if I’m still a thirty year old? I do a pile of sit-ups and push-ups and run a few kilometres most mornings. It all goes downhill from there because people keep on asking me that great philosophical question: “Why?” How would a thirty year old answer this? Would he/she even be asked such a silly question? Would he/she not just reply the obvious, “Oh, I exercise just to keep fit”? Then why do I have to answer that question any differently? “Well, you see, it’s because you’re sixty! And most sixty year olds don’t do what you do.” Then what on earth is wrong with them?

Do sixty year olds ordinarily need hip-replacements by that age? New nee-joints perhaps? I’m sure some of us do, but what about the rest of us? And here’s the rub: It’s all to do with mind-games. When I’m running I play these mind-games big time. “Why are you doing this? Why don’t you slow down? You’ll do-in your knees running on concrete. Take it easy. Just walk the rest of the distance…” And on it goes.

Are sixty year olds more prone to injury? Recently I was running behind a nineteen year old who was a few metres from the finish line on a smooth running-track when, for no apparent reason, he snapped both his fibula and tibia (fib & tib)! I saw the x-rays. Ouch! Clean breaks! If running is bad for sixty year olds then it’s just as bad for healthy nineteen year olds!

Okay, things wear out. The Second Law of Thermodynamics attests to that. The blades on the lawnmower get blunt with use, the tyres on your car lose their tread (where the rubber meets the road!) with use, the toaster, the blender, the dishwasher, the washing machine and your running shoes all wear out with use. However, however much the human body may be likened to a machine, it is not a machine! In fact using your body, rather than wearing it out, instead makes it more able to be used. It’s disease and injuries that wear the body out, not use!

During the winter months when I lived in Canada I used to have a rest from playing soccer. Come spring I was back out there with the rest of them, kicking and getting kicked! As the season progressed I would grow fitter. The fitter I got the less I felt the kicks to my body. Again, the more one uses one’s body the less prone one becomes to injury and maybe even disease!

And now I come to the moral of the tale: Healthy body, healthy mind! Age really is just a trick of the mind. There are twenty year olds who behave like some eighty year olds. “Couch potatoes” is how some people refer to some people who don’t exercise their bodies. How old is a “couch potato”? Well, they’re only as old as they feel. Well, so am I. Sixty IS the new thirty!

No comments:

Post a Comment