As I got out of bed today, sore all over from yesterdays basketball game, it got me thinking about all these things that are in my future , physically.
I know I’ve harped on this “I’m getting old” shit many times before but this is slightly different. This isn’t about the 21-year-old girls or drugs I can no longer do or regrets of situations long passed over. This is about the realization that as we all age, we just gotta start dealing with the gradual decline of our bodies. I remember when I was in my early 20’s , I would wonder when I’d eventually just hit a wall and no longer be able to run as fast or jump as high. Unfortunately, due to some extreme ankle injuries, I never found out for sure. But one thing is clear, as I approach turning 34 (which, by the way, seemed like half way to death when I was in my early 20’s), things don’t just stop working. You don’t just wake up one day with a gut and a bum shoulder. Aging creeps up on you. Just when I’m thinking “Man, I feel run down. I’m getting old…” and whole new batch of aging shit jumps out of nowhere. I’m talking things like hemorrhoids, hair loss on the head and hair gain where you don’t want it, weird skin issues, throwing your back out because of a sneeze and a host of other things that you don’t even consider when you’re younger. Granted , all these things can really start at a young age but , more often than not, they get you later down the line, when your defenses are down. Like, at what point does my breath take that turn from what it is now, into old man breath? Every 40 plus dude I know has a certain kinda breath that just smells like his innards have given up on trying and opted to secrete musk.
I find that a persons physical decline is marked by tiny events. Things that happen to most people but certainly stand out when they happen to you.
For me, this list consists of:
The day I could no longer hang on a basketball rim
When I was 22 , I tore three ligaments in my left ankle and lost about 10 inches in my vertical leap. Like an idiot, I didn’t rehab it. I didn’t do shit. But it did eventually heal (kinda). I was never the same after it but I eventually worked my back to being able to get above the rim with little trouble. About two years ago, I dunked (on a rim about 3 inches lower than 10 feet) and that was that. Never again. I had hit the wall and nowadays I can barely touch a regulation rim. Nothing happened. No injury lowered my leap this time around. I simply can no longer jump that high.
My first hemmorrhoid
This happened this year. At first, i thought I had asshole cancer but , through the magic of google , i quickly learned it was simply a hemmorhoid. (just a heads up for those in a similar situation: DO NOT do a picture search of that word. It will ruin your life). Anyway, once I came to terms with these annoying little things possibly being something I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life, I went to the drug store and some preparation H. This greasy ass (literally) substance may or may no be a placebo but it worked on some level because that hemmorrhoid went away.
For me, this started at a young age. While none of you have ever seen me without a hat (word to LL Cool J), I can say that I’m not bald. But balding, for sure. Because this started at a young age for me, I never connected it to getting old. I more connected it to “FML” and there is no god. I’ll never forget one of my older girlfriends pointing my receding hairline to me when i was in my early 20’s. I had never noticed but she was right. From there, it became a depressing timeline as the hair just kept on jumping ship.
but getting back to aging appropriately, as i look around me, a few of my friends who have had luscious manes over the years are starting to feel the heat. The heat of the sun burning on that tiny bald spot or receding hairline. For men, there is nothing worse, outside of impotence, than balding and , unfortunately for us, one of the most effective anti-hair loss remedies also happens to MAYBE make you dick worthless. So, you know, that’s a real toss-up.
My first rectal exam
This is the double chin like thing that appears as you get older. It’s not a fat persons double chin. it’s just the result of not being in amazing shape and your facial skin loosening. I’m fairly certain there is nothing that can be done about this once it has established itself outside of plastic surgery.When we’re younger, this feature can be attributed to baby fat but once you’re reach your late 20’s, that thing is officially just grown person fat. Mine isn’t even that bad right now but I foresee this being the bane of my vane existence in upcoming years.
Grey hairs…in my beard.
When I was a little younger, if I let my beard grow out, a light reddish hue would appear around the hair of my cheeks. Well, that was shot lived. Nowadays it’s a grey hair jamboree. It’s not even that bad but I’ve noticed the grey hairs always seem to be the longest hair. I’m glad they’re such go getters. I gotta say, when I saw the first one, it really took me for a loop. I didn’t expect it at all.
There are many more marks of aging I could list but those jumped out at me. But what also jumps out at me are the things I may have to deal with in the near future. Things people my age and a little older seems to be dealing with on a regular basis.
I seriously have woken up in a panic from a realistic dream about having kidney stones. That scene from “deadwood” races through my brain every time I hear of someone else I know who has gotten them. It’s like knowing, eventually down the line, you will get shot…in your urethra.
The unfixable injury
I’ve already got one in my shoulder but it doesn’t really effect anything besides the fact I can no longer play softball and how I sleep (no more right arm under the pillow). I’m speaking more of a knee, back or ankle injury that will just put all physical activity to bed…forever(I’m literally knocking on wood right now).
This shit obviously had no age preference but the older you get the more weird things you find on your body, the more you think you’re coming down with some horrible shit.
Losing my eyesight
My eyesight is well into it’s decline even though I’m yet to get glasses. It’s only getting worse. Hours a day in front of computer screens isn’t helping anything. Luckily for me, I rarely read anything so I might be able to hold out on glasses for another few years.
Having a baby
I feel like this, above everything else, will be the official death of my youth. I’m not young but , as much as I’m complaining here, I don’t feel like an adult most of the time. Having a kid will stop that dead in the tracks. Granted, it’s something I will hopefully do in my life but it will be the undeniable transition into 100% adulthood. In a way, I’m looking forward to that , just not right now.
So, listen up all you happy-go-lucky young motherfuckers. This is what you have to look forward to. Sure, you gain knowledge and understanding as you get older. While life gets more hectic due to growing responsibilities, a lot of things do simplify. But one thing is clear, your body doesn’t give a fuck about you and has no plans of keeping up past a certain point. As Denis Leary once said “Life sucks, get a helmet”.