“You know,” I said, speaking to a friend. “I might need to be a bit more careful at my age.”
I finally said it — the words I’d hoped never to hear coming out of my mouth.
For a moment I felt as if I were having an out-of-body experience. Surely those words did not come out of me, I thought to myself.
I’d recently come in from an evening bike ride during which the heat index danced at the three-digit line. While the temperature was still warm and my body soaked in moisture, I found waves of chills running across my skin. Water, it seemed, was only making small dents in my recovery.
For one of the first times I found myself thinking it just might be time to be a little more careful about pushing my body around.
Men, by nature, are not the brightest of creatures. In some ways it is amazing we’ve not killed of the entire human race by letting our testosterone-fueled egos lead us into making less than brilliant choices. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure no woman ever uttered the phrase, “Hey, hold my beer and watch this!” No, that phrase is pretty much restricted to the wasteland of competitive one-upmanship staked out by the male species.
Which brings me back to my sitting on the porch, sweat trailing off my forearms in the heavy summer heat.
Men don’t like to believe there is a chink in their virtual armor — the armor in the gray, gooey real estate residing between their ears. Age, we like to convince ourselves, is just a number — that is until our body begins to point out the accumulating number is not just for show. Unfortunately for men, we are as hard of hearing when it comes to listening to our bodies as we are with everyone around us.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should let you know my wife is a saint. Through the years she grown to appreciate the fact that all the badgering in the world only makes overgrown boys dig their heels deeper into the ground. Whenever I seem to come up with a crazy idea (“Hey, I’d sure like to …) she is great at expressing her opinion or caution, all the while knowing most men are just boys walking around in a larger body and there is only so much you can expect from them.
So here I am, like many men my age, recognizing my body just might not be impenetrable to the effects of time after all. There just might be a bit of truth to appreciating that taking care of our bodies might require exercising the big muscle between our ears. And this, if you know men, is one of the least exercised muscles in they physical fitness regime.
Today I hereby mark this week on the calendar of when I officially acknowledge time just might have an impact on my life going forward. Now does that mean I’m going to change what I do? Well, I certainly am not going that far. After all, I’m still a card-carrying member of male species.