Aging Ungracefully: Appreciating Health

I see myself in the mirror. I look my age. Or maybe more.

The little hair I do have is more grey than black. My jeans are snug at the thighs. My blue and white button down shirt is tucked in beyond my belt.

I’m stretching my left arm away from my body. I’m in the middle of my second set of 10. My shoulder – the reason I came in the first place – is lightly throbbing.  It’s not pleasant but certainly bearable.

I try to relax. Make sure my shoulders are down. Back is straight. Chin is up.

It’s not fun. Boring, I’d say.

After furtively looking around at other people stretching and grimacing, the traffic whooshing by on the highway draws my attention. Wondering where are they going. There’s always traffic.

The therapist, R, speaks and my reverie is disrupted. “How you doing?”

I try to focus again and remember what number I’m up to.

With a half grin, I respond, “Doing fine, thanks.” I make sure to be polite.  Even exceedingly so.

And why not? I prefer when people are that way.

Plus, every one of the therapists is nice, pleasant to deal with, and professional (no, I’m not going to launch into an infomercial. However, I did respond to the email prompt for a review when it was sent.)

The place is very clean. It’s comfortable temperature wise. The music selection is generally up my alley (though I still haven’t heard any Springsteen). It’s pleasant there.

It would be easy to continue to schedule appointments for the foreseeable future.  Make sure I’m 110%.

But I don’t want to be there.

I can’t wait till I’m done with therapy.

It’s not about the time. It’s not about the money. Though both matter and are on my mind.

It’s not even about having a full range of motion.  Or about zero pain during all activities.

My reasons for wanting to be done with therapy are more complicated than that.

I don’t feel like I belong there. I’m middle aged. Other than throwing the baseball around with BR and exercise, I’m not excessively active.

Why should I have an injury?

Besides, what the hell is frozen shoulder anyway? Hint: it has nothing to do with getting the cold shoulder. That I know all about.

I hate complainers and complaining. And yes I get the irony in the last sentence.

I know darn well how fortunate I am when it comes to my health. I don’t want to give myself and ayen hara (Yiddish for evil eye), but I rarely get sick. I haven’t had the flu since childhood. I never broke a bone (even when I was hit by a car). My colds disappear in a couple of days.

Yes, I have my stuff. Feeling the wear and tear of age like everybody else as the years creep up.

A few years ago I was playing basketball with guys half my age. It was the first time that season. The previous year I could hold my own with them and even have moments of glory. But during that game something was different.  Whatever jump I had was gone. My body didn’t respond in the same way.

I’ve hardly played since. Not so much fun.

This is no big deal – I know. Such is life. Clock is ticking.

But…

My shoulder is responding. The therapists have noted the progress and are happy with it. So am I. Soon, therapy will be in the past and all that will remain are a few exercises to maintain the regained mobility. And hopefully the pain will fade away.

It will be easy to take my health and well-being for granted. Assume the problems that come with age are still in the distant future.

Yet, the years are adding up. And my health should not be taken for granted.

I need to remember the blessing that is good health and be thankful for it each and every day.

3 thoughts on “Aging Ungracefully: Appreciating Health

  1. Oy, that basketball comment hits home. I remember playing with guys I could handle and how one day I couldn’t manage it so well.

    It wasn’t because they had improved as much as my body wouldn’t respond as well as it once had.

    It’s a rough lesson to learn.

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