Gone are the days of my carefree youth where after a full night of dancing, carousing and imbibing on a rainbow of neon-colored alcoholic beverages, I would SPRING out of bed the next day like some sort of “Tigger” ready to take on the world for some additional play time.
I remember in my teens, summers filled with diving from the cliffs of quarries, hours of ride after ride on the newest “Lightnin’ Loops” roller coaster at Great Adventure, and I also remember many a picnicked game of softball, volleyball or kick the can. Now, even the thought of a game of friendly “Twister” conjures up visions of visits to a long line at the Chester County Hospital’s Emergency Room trying to explain a twisted ankle or hip.
I recently turned 54, and I remember when getting (read: aching) out of bed wasn’t a 30 minute event. My eyes no longer POP open like when I was a younger as if I’m some sort of newly awakened zombie who has just come to life; they sort of flitter open like the eyes of a freshly aroused patient on a favorite soap opera after a three year coma who just discovered how blinding light can be (just add some eye crust, and a little bloodshot to MY experience).
I USED to be able to sit up pert and aware like Sleeping Beauty who’s just been kissed by Prince Charming. Now it’s more of a twist to the side, roll the legs off the edge of the bed one at a time, then push. Looking at the bright side, I DO like to consider this my first aerobic workout of the day.
As my lower back twinges slightly at the day’s awkward starting position, my feet hit the floor. Of course after a full weekend of working on said feet, they sort of feel like a cross between a bag of pebbles and a rock. Take your pick.
As I shuffle out bed toward the hall, I try to avoid the “killer cat” who insists on time testing me with my steps and her desire to dart from under me as I look like some sort of drunken sailor on a weeklong shore leave trying to get to the bathroom on achy knees without tripping over her and becoming permanently disabled (I can’t help but wonder how many folks have actually had to submit a claim for injuries sustained from felines under foot).
Phrases like “all night party,” dance-a-thon, and pub crawl are slowly but surely being replaced with words like colonoscopy, prostate exam, atria fibulation, and acid reflux.
I guess I SHOULD consider that my daily aches and pains are relative, after all, I don’t have to use a walker with tennis balls on it yet, I don’t need an electric reclining lift chair, and I’m not quite ready for special orthopedic shoes; however, just as I thought there were no benefits to getting older, yesterday I received a special offer for a discount cruise from AARP. Go figure.