I was up on the rack for a short while earlier this week. This was my ten thousand mile checkup. Or annual. Or just about time for me to see what might need loosening or tightening before the next scheduled pit stop.
I got to share a bit with my doctor about my least favorite phrase, "at a certain age." As near as I could ascertain, we are all at a certain age. There may be some who at some indeterminate age, but I have yet to run into them. Sure, there are those who defy aging. Until suddenly they don't. But I take some solace in the fact that "for my age" I am holding on to most of my factory-installed parts. I also find that this automotive metaphor suits me pretty well, in spite of the fact that I have no idea what my current Blue Book value might be.
I know that when I used to go out for a run, I would see others doing similarly. I would try and ascertain from their posture, gait and look on their face how old they might be. I have been passed up by plenty of runners more advanced in years than myself, just as I have blown past those young punks who must have over-exerted themselves in the first mile. And more often than not lately, I content myself to putting one foot in front of the other. Every day above ground is a good one.
And every day that I can still get up and find some new way to wear myself out, to build something new, fix something that's broken, touch my toes, I count it as a win against entropy. Things fall apart. It's the nature of things. I make a few more noises than I used to, and I am discovering muscles and bones in ways that remind me to take it easy on the old guy since he's not getting any younger.
None of us are. Which makes my relationship with my doctor an exercise at times in compare and contrast. We share knee stories, and I take comfort in her assurance that I'm in pretty good shape. I try not to manually insert the tag: for my age. Most of the time I don't. I feel pretty good. I'm not going to go ten rounds with the champ anytime soon, but depending to which champ I could be referring that might not be such a difficult chore.
There will be no rolling back of the odometer on this model, so I expect I'll keep it filled up with oil and slap a little Bondo and some primer on as necessary. I've got miles to go before I sleep.