Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feeling My Age

I'm going to be 40 in about two months. That certainly isn't old, by far, and truth be told, I usually feel pretty youthful in my attitudes and personality. I'm also told often that I look about ten years younger than I actually am. Most people put me around 29 or 30 these days; sometimes 28. So I can't complain.

That being said, there are times when I do notice the effects of aging in my own body. I notice I don't see as well as I once did. Night driving is more difficult for me than it was even two years ago, and if I don't wear my glasses when I read, I find myself squinting a lot. I used to wear my glasses only when I read, but lately I find I'm wearing them pretty regularly even though I probably don't need to (I primarily do so because if I don't, I'll catch myself reading without them, and that's when I need them most).

Though certainly not deaf by any stretch of the word, I notice that I don't hear as well as I once did. This is probably due to listening to a lot of loud music during my lifetime (and I'm sure seeing The Green Hornet yesterday on an IMAX screen with deafening-level sound did not help a bit). It's mostly when I'm talking on the phone that I need people to speak up. I'm constantly having Jonah repeat things (often more than once), and in conversations with various people, I need things repeated as well. At first, I thought people were just mumbling, but it's happening often enough that I think it's probably my hearing that's at fault.

Of course, I have a lot of aches and pains, many of which I'm sure are the result of the many prat falls, dancing, and various stunts and falls I have done during my stage career. I've had surgery on my left knee due to an injury that I know was caused on stage. As I take a physical scan of my body right now, I can tell you that I have neck pain, shoulder pain, upper and lower back pain, pain in my right hip, and pain in my left knee. It's all minor, but it is still there.

I've broken my right foot twice and dislocated my right ankle. Because of the dislocation, I can now make a snapping noise when I bend my right ankle. My right hip also makes a similar sound (I did get this fix at the chiropractor, but I think it has reverted back to the way it was). I can make a snapping noise with my left knee (due to the surgery) and my right shoulder (due to a recent injury). There is also cartilage in my neck that makes a crackling sound when I rotate it or push on it with my fingers. I've also had a corneal transplant.

I'm probably about 30 pounds overweight and, as I've mentioned before, I have been diagnosed with high cholesterol. It does not help that I still don't eat as healthily as I ought to. I find I get winded more easily than I used to. It does not help that I do not exercise regularly.

I've lost some hair in the last 20 years, and I have a bald spot in back and my hairline seems to recede a bit every few years. I also notice my hair doesn't grow back as quickly as it once did after getting a haircut (but then, it never grew all that fast anyway). I notice I have to trim my nose hair more often than I previously have.

I like napping. But then, I've always enjoyed sleeping. But I don't have the same kind of energy I had 20 years ago.

My sex drive is not as strong as it once was. Although things are still well in that department, I'm certainly nowhere near as consistently horny as I was 20 years ago.

I was thinking of 19 year-old me. He ran 3 miles just about every day and had boundless energy. He was thinner, more youthful, and had more hair. He didn't have all these aches and pains 39 year-old me has. He enjoyed sleeping, but was also an insomniac. Actually, his left eye was much worse than my left eye is (that was prior to a much-needed transplant). He was pretty immature and self-centered emotionally, but physically he was in pretty good shape and pretty much felt immortal.

Don't get me wrong; I still feel pretty good, and any complaints I have made are fairly minor. However, just the thought of running 3 miles makes my knee hurt, and without some major training leading up to it, I doubt I could run a full three miles today without stopping.

I told Jonah I really want to get back into shape, and I am trying (though often failing) to eat better. We're planning on walking or running when I get back home. I have a big show in about 2 and half months, and I really need to get back on my game.

Anyway, I'm not sure what even prompted me to write this today, but I felt like doing so.

I'm sure some of you out there can relate.

1 comment:

Beck said...

Welcome to the beginning of middle age! At first it's a bit terrifying to realize you're no longer 19, but then you realize the wisdom you've gained...

I've been told I appear 10 years younger as well, but that means I'd look "your age". Keeping active, both physically and mentally is key.

I've always struggled with getting older. I tell people I'm never going to die.

You know you're getting older when your partner reads a book about how to slow aging, particularly aging of the brain. I'm never going to be 19 again, but I can work to achieve a "young brain" and have a "young spirit".

As aching as your body feels, you're still a very "young spirit"!