Age 30: When the Body Begins to Break Down

Apr 10, 2008

I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me, and wasn't having much luck, but today it finally hit me. I'm old. I know what you are thinking. You young'uns are thinking "Yep, you sure are old!", and you old folks are thinking "You are in the prime of your life!" I used to think the latter as well, being old like I am, and I convinced myself that life was just beginning and my youth and vitality were only just reaching their apex. But then I started to fall apart.

I turned 30 on April 1st. It was a fine day filled with magical wonderment. On the 2nd, my foot started to hurt. I exercised anyway, and later Richard took me out to dinner and by the end of the night I was visibly limping. I was convinced however, that it was just a pulled muscle and a good night's rest was all I needed. Apparently I was right, at least as far as my foot was concerned. But I had obviously used some LONG neglected elbow muscles in my work out and on the morning of the 3rd I could barely move. Imagine, if you will, trying to get dressed without the use of your arms. Not to mention holding my baby, or feeding myself. Gadzooks!

Eventually I recovered, (and my elbows are stronger than ever!) but then my wrist started hurting. After a few days of that the mystery pain went away, but then my foot started to hurt again. Not like before, but more like I broke my toe. Except if I broke my toe, I should think that I would remember it. I ignored that, because I had no idea what it was, and then a few nights ago, as I ran home from a friend's house - who only lives a block away mind you - not only was the foot still painful, but the corresponding leg as well. With each step I had to say "Owe". (That helps you know. I don't know what good it does, but I'm sure that it was necessary.)

I was starting to think maybe I did break my toe. Maybe I kicked Richard really hard in my sleep? But what on earth did I do to my leg? Maybe I tore a rotator cuff? (I don't even know what that is, but it sounds real.) (Have you noticed how much I like parentheses?) And then, to top it all off, this morning I woke up with a sore knee (other leg) so that I was limping again. This is starting to get a little ridiculous. It certainly sounds ridiculous, but I'm not making it up. My body is falling apart, one little bit at a time.

Maybe 30 really is the top of the hill? Someone told me it was, but I said
"No it's not! 50 is the top of the hill if there even is a hill, which I doubt, now get that lizard out of my face!" but maybe they were right. I had thought maybe the hill analogy was about wisdom. The closer you get to the top, the wiser you get, because you are able to see more clearly, and see further, and thus understand more. When you get to the top you have all of your past experiences to draw on, and you can also see the rest of your life stretching out in front of you. But as you travel faster and faster down the far side of the hill, your vision wanes, you can't see as well or as far and you can't remember things, and eventually you don't know anything anymore. You are just old (ONLY JOKING).

But I've had to revise that analogy. It has nothing to do with wisdom. It is about your physical health. All the way up the hill your body is working and working and working to function properly and efficiently and it keeps at it until you get to the top. Then your body says "Whew! I'm beat! I gotta take a load off!" and it sits down for a nap. Course by that time you've already started stumbling down the other side of the hill, trying in confusion to figure out what the heck is going on and why everything is moving so fast, and body parts are failing left and right, till you end up in a big heap at the bottom, wondering what just happened and where on earth your life and energy went.
That is what the story of Jack and Jill is really all about.