I'm too old for this shit

Published: 2023-07-06

I got a letter this morning is not only the start of many a blues song but also a real life occurrence. It told me I should have a talk with a physiotherapist because apparently I’m, in the words of Murtaugh, “getting too old for this shit”.

I had a good laugh about it at first. I might be middle age but not old. I’m probably in better shape than whoever I would have had said call with, and I can’t think of anything worthwhile a physio could tell me - at least not coming from the position of being a physio.

Then I had a more somber thought: what a sad state of affairs it is that our society feel the need to have these conversations with people my age. I’m less than half the age any of my four grandparents were when they passed away. Is the implication that before we have even reached half our total life we’re likely to be “old”, “out of shape”, and “unhealthy”.

At least two of the above words lack proper meaning, but essentially - yes! Our society is in such a sad state of affairs! The medical facility (government owned) did the right thing by reaching out because the majority are likely to start feeling the effects of what is a fundamentally broken concept of life at this age.

Look around: middle-management guts, beetroot-faces from high blood pressure, people getting out of breath from walking stairs, they’re unable to lift furniture because of bad backs… At half the age they (hopefully) will be when they pass. It will only get worse from there if nothing is done, which means they will spend half their lives becoming increasingly wretched.

We’re taught to eat too much and we teach our children to eat the wrong things. No wonder the state has to send letters about health calls when you’re at an age at which you have no excuse whatsoever to not be in great shape.

It’s not new. Seneca the Younger (born 4 BC) notes:

“Men’s bodies were still sound and strong; their food was light and not spoiled by art and luxury, whereas when they began to seek dishes not for the sake of removing, but of rousing, the appetite, and devised countless sauces to whet their gluttony, - then what before was nourishment to a hungry man became a burden to the full stomach.”

Unfortunately, what is the right amount to eat, and what to eat, is obscured by financially backed dubious science, fitness charlatans, and some hand-wavy definition of “healthy”. This has lead to people digging into non-fat alternatives filled with garbage sweeteners, and thinking some diarrhea-inducing “protein” powder is the epitome of health. It’s all too much to dig through and sort out here. Just remember that you probably can’t go wrong with a salad with simple oil and vinegar as dressing.

The food is just one thing. Movement, or rather the lack thereof, is equally important. Too little movement gives us crappy posture, poor necks, bad backs, and the endurance capabilities of an empty battery. If you’re always sitting: stand. If you’re often standing: walk. If you’re comfortable walking: run and move your body. In either case, build up strength! Enough of it to carry your body with dignity instead of like a carcass. When in doubt, move more.

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