Confessions of a 62 year-old jock

True confessions. I have an ego. I sometimes deny reality.

I have a standing date with one of our GAF members to workout early every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:00. This past Thursday, I tapered back my workout substantially because my left knee was bothering me. It’s the same knee that I injured way back in February.

I mentioned to my workout partner that I have surgery scheduled for next Friday. It’s time to get in there and finally clean up this problem. At least, that’s my optimistic hope.

He wondered if I was having any strong emotional reaction to this. With furrowed brow and a slight tilt of the head, I coolly uttered, “Naaahhhhh . . .

Umm. Pause. Consider. “Well, actually, what do you mean?”

In truth, I am having an emotional response. It’s a muted hum of contemplating the future, feeling vulnerable and thinking about loss. Last summer I wrote an essay about biking a round trip to Walden Pond one Sunday morning and how awesome and exhilarating it was to do that. I wasn’t, at the time, thinking about how awesome it was that I was, indeed, able to do that.

Back one year ago, I thought I could do almost any physical thing I set my mind to, within reason of course. This year, it’s different. A notion that things have changed is softly kicking me in the stomach. It’s not a full blown karate kick.

It’s not knocking the wind out of me. But it’s enough of a kick to make my stomach hurt and stir thoughts about what it’s going to be like down the road.

I figure the work to manage these thoughts and face the realities of future years will make me uneasy. To be brutally honest, I’m dreading it. Swallowing ego and finding courage, grace and the peace to let things go will be my challenge.

In fact, managing the realities of aging was one of my strongest motivations to create Greatest Age Fitness in the first place. I wanted to build a community where we could figure this aging thing out together. But, I pictured myself facilitating and leading the community arrangement, not so much participating in it.

How silly of me.

That was my “ego-blown fantasy mixed with a big dose of denial” talking. Of course, I will age. Of course, I will need this community. Of course, I’m no different than anyone else in that regard.

So, thanks guys. I’m grateful for the first-class role models at GAF and inspired by the acts of courage that I see here every day. It really helps. I’m glad we’re doing this together. 

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