Much has been said and even more has been written about the “bulletproof” mindset of an eighteen-year old. Granted, there are variations in terminology ranging from “Hey y’all – look at this!” to the more basic “Hold my beer”, but ultimately it can all be traced back to the “It-can’t-happen-to-me” mindset that gives us fighter pilots and cage fighters.
I wish I could say age eventually corrects such dysfunctional thinking but even in my crippled state my inner paratrooper lurks, though at sixty-five living on the edge is more likely to involved hooking one too many plastic grocery bags through my fingers than flying through thunderstorm cells or diving without calculating decompression times before hand. Pushing the envelope usually involves handling actual envelopes while paying bills rather than test pilots consulting performance charts and the limits indicted by lines on graphs (which is where the expression came from!)
In my case there is one situation when my ego has most definitely been checked at the door : when I first get up – or more precisely try to get up in the morning . Morning is not my friend and when I first stir in the morning there is a fair amount of weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth and crying-like-a-hungry-puppy coming from the general direction of my over-sized papa-bear chair.
(I started to write “crying like a little girl” but that would be unfair as I wasn’t even close to being as stoic as a little girl would have been)
I keep telling myself that I can still win, that pushups and miles will defeat the disease-dragons I fight each day, but to be coldly honest there is a day coming when I won’t be able to ignore the pain and stand up.
A day coming when I won’t be able to take that next breath.
…but until that day arrives I will keep adding plastic bags to my grip on grocery day.