The thought of growing old depresses me. I’m not afraid of age itself, death doesn’t scare me, what I am afraid of though is my ability to continue doing what I do. More specifically, losing that ability.
Until recently I assured myself that it wasn’t going to happen to me. I led myself to believe that I could continue to do as I did. I could do the hiking, I could do the constant casting, I could do the late night drinks; there’s no reason why any of this would change in the foreseeable future. But then, seemingly over night, age snuck up on me.
This became apparent on a recent three day spread where a couple of buddies came to float down my home river. Three days of fishing as hard as we did would take it’s toll on anyone. The body hurts from the miles of walking and rowing. The head hurts from the drinks that were had after a long day on the water. The all around grogginess from the lack of any decent sleep. All are things that can effect anyone so it was no surprise when on day three my body groaned in protest.
What did come as a surprise was the recovery time. Come the end of the trip it was a relief climbing into bed knowing that a good night’s rest was all I needed. That’s what I thought I needed anyway. But one night turned into several before I started feeling normal again. Each time I grumbled about it my wife was quick to remind me that I was getting too old to go that hard.
Of course she said it in jest, but in every joke comes a hint of truth. I understand that I may still have a long way to go before I’m not actually physically able to wade a river or spend a solid day on the boat, at least I hope I’m a long way from that day anyway, but in the back of my mind as I ride the couch with a bad back, I can’t help but wonder just how much longer I have.