Living Life Where the Elevators Meet

photo credit: The Empire Reborn via photopin (license)
photo credit: The Empire Reborn via photopin (license)

Gabi’s odometer just turned clicks on 200k.

Mine reached 44 years at the same time. We two – she, a 1994 Pontiac Grand-Am; me, a 1971 Writer/Coach/Dad – are past due, far from new, with enough to get through.

This post, though, isn’t about my clunky yet dependable chunk of American vehicle dependability. It’s about me, although I’ve made the comparison to a car and my body before.

I’ve felt a gradual betrayal by my body as I’ve aged.

I realized I could still do a lot of things I did in my youth – I just needed recovery time. I could survive a yoga session. Emerge from a Zumba session with my ligaments (if not pride) intact. (I haven’t made it back to those.)

I even played keeper against kids, little ones a big ones, and kept my side in the game.

photo credit: Header ♥ via photopin (license)
photo credit: Header ♥ via photopin (license)

(I took eye rolls from my kids with every save. They’ll look back and appreciate. Some day.)

Then, it progressed to not being able to do some of those things at all.

There’s two elevators. One goes up, one down, that carry youth and experience. Where they meet? That’s the best place, because it’s knowing what I’m capable (and not capable) of and being okay with it. Strange things have happened, though.

It’s true – I lean on KitKat and orange juice for quick bouts of replenishment.

It’s also true – those aches and pains I’d accepted in the past five years as my new norm? They’re gone.

I had a thought just last week.

I feel young. Not in a spike-my-hair kind of way. More of an unexplained physical renaissance.

A red oil can light illuminates Gabi’s dashboard when we take corners at speed. She’s long overdue – for oil and a good scrub.

Prescriptions go unfilled for me lately, glucose levels spike and crash, and days pass with few veggies on my plate (I realize an apple fritter doesn’t count, but it’s close.)

betrayal boaw2015Kassandra Lamb early this year wrote of forgiving her body for The Beauty of a Woman Blog Fest.

[Here’s what I wrote for BOAW2015.]

Kassandra tied physical health to emotional health. Which carries which in times of need, though? Maybe it’s a joint effort. Maybe the low-fuel light on the body registers with your soul, and there’s some sort of swap of energy, one picking up the other?

Pictures of me don’t lie.

My edges are smoother, eyes crinkled on the edges from time. I can stand in front of a mirror, though, and pull on shirts and pants that didn’t recently fit.

My hip flexors scream a bit, but I can do it all on the yoga mat (except for crow pose.)

I can take Marie on one-on-one and do just enough to pester her.

I won’t, however, take this unexplained respite for granted.

I know what it means to neglect a motor. To deprioritize maintenance and good practices.

I’m unsure sometimes what keeps me afloat.

But while I’m here, I’ll do all I can to keep from sinking.

betrayal quote


  1. amommasview says:

    Love this post and the quote you end it with. So true. Suddenly you realize that things are not just quite the same anymore. The recovery takes longer and our bodies do change and still there’s so much to be happy with. I just finished my workout and I know that if I would have done a similar workout 20 years ago I would have had to work as hard as today. Maybe my body would have looked different then with all the workout and because you simply burn more energy when you are younger (gosh… I miss the days I was able to eat 750gramms of milk chocolate a day and not gain anything…). I’m pretty happy where I’m at and I do hope it will stay like this for a while. I really appreciate it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Sandra. It sometimes takes a while to find the right quote, but this one happened quickly.

      It’s a gradual descent, but we often feel it suddenly. I think there are things we do better with age, though.

      I wish I had worked out in college – I had a free gym right there on campus, not to mention other free assets, and I didn’t take advantage.

      We have to make the best of our bodies with our mileage and dings and keep on truckin’.

  2. Lyn says:

    You are doing very well for an “old bloke” 😉 if I got down on the floor to sit on a yoga mat, I’d never get up again. This morning I twisted my knee and heard the knee joint crunch because there is no longer any cartilage between them. The pain? Red hot poker comes to mind. Pain meds, heat pack, cold pack, elevate the knee…in a few days it will be ready to last me at least another forty years 😀

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We saw a sticker on a car yesterday that said “Old Guys Rule” … I want one! I’m happy to have all my cartilage but maybe not all of my marbles at this point.

      It’s hard to get old.

      1. Lyn says:

        My friends all tell me I lost my marbles years ago 😀

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Who finds all our marbles? That’s what I want to know.

      3. Lyn says:

        I think they’re like lost airline luggage… they end up in the asteroid belt 🙂

  3. 1jaded1 says:

    Five kids to which I am related are fatherless due to unchecked blood sugar. Grr. Fill those scripts cus it would be a shame for three more to suffer that fate. *Takes off non mommy hat*…or do what you will…just sayin.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m determined to not let that happen, LJ. Until recently I was on track to eliminate this danged diabetes by 2020. I can still do it.

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        Good. I can see where things can get off track. I don’t always refill my HBP meds and could be off them in 6 months if I did one lifestyle change. Pot…kettle…black? Maybe. The difference is that you have dependents.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Let’s just both get off the juice, shall we?

      3. 1jaded1 says:

        If juice = meds…im in.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        If it’s baseball, juice *is* meds.

  4. Most definitely know this feeling well and admit I feel my age more than I’d care to admit now. I would welcome a respite from this though and would love if you could share your secret with this. Oh and still craving this apple fritters here this morning now! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We have to make the graceful descent and avoid the precipitous fall, Janine. There’s no secret. Aches and pains have gone away, and I’m acutely aware I could do some things better health wise – but I would say perhaps that maybe I make sure I move daily, I don’t try to sit for very long and as much as I love food, I’ll savor reasonable servings and not binge (unless it’s an open box of vanilla wafers and the kids are in on it too.)

  5. stomperdad says:

    It’s good to rev our engines. Just need to be careful about red-lining it or we’ll be flat-lining it. Love that analogy with the elevators of youth and experience. I’m on the experience elevator and I can see the youth coming down, albeit, a bit faster than I’d like to see.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Definitely have to rev smart, Eric. That analogy came from former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith – who knew a Gator and Cowboy could be so philosophic?

      We can’t stop the elevators, but we damn sure can slow them down.

      1. stomperdad says:

        I’m gonna try to catch that youth elevator on the way down. But I’m not so sure it’s safe to jump off a moving elevator. I knew Gators were philosophical (big Gainesville fan, here). Cowboys… well, I won’t make any jokes about them.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Dez Bryant takes care of all the Cowboys jokes in one blustery diatribe. Did you know Uncle Jed from The Beverly Hillbillies is a Gator?

      3. stomperdad says:

        Jed was a Gator? I didn’t know that. And the Cowboys themselves are the joke. Except for Emmitt Smith… I think I liked him.

  6. Norine of Science Of Parenthood says:

    Hi Eli! Are you still participating in the blog tour? Hope so!

    Sincerely, Norine Dworkin-McDaniel Co-creator of Science of Parenthood


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yes I am! So sorry to be so far behind. We’ll talk real soon (by email) and get this started.

  7. tamaralikecamera says:

    Can’t fight the moonlight! That’s how I explain these unexplained springs in our steps.
    I am still in my 30’s but my friends over 40 love to tell me how it all goes painfully wrong once your cross that border. I’m determined to do it differently. With cookies, yes, but with good living too.
    The kind that keeps me out of doctor offices. I don’t like doctor offices.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d not even considered moonlight in the equation but should have! I noticed the difference in my eyesight at 40, but the rest … I’m just a slightly run-down version of my 30s self, and much fiercer than my 20s self.

      Cookies *are* good living.

  8. All true words… I feel my age every day. I get disgusted every once in a while and vow to get into shape. I do really well for a few weeks then I get out of the habit. Something happens… I go on a trip, I have to have emergency surgery (like recently) life gets in the way of my good intentions, so I just give up. I do not give my health enough priority and now I am paying for it.
    Your car analogy is significant for me because my 10 year old car has 245K and is still doing well (mostly) but only because I have done a lot to keep it up. It is well maintained and loved. I fix everything that goes wrong. But it’s beginning to cost more than it’s worth. Even with the great care, she is still aging… like me! :-/

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The day after I posted this, I felt old! I’ve stopped judging my body against newer models and strive for damage control!

      One thing might bridge the gap – I tried so many times to run a 5K, but it wasn’t until Marie joined Girls on the Run that I saw it through.

      Gabi isn’t taken care of very well. She doesn’t get the equivalent of flowers and a date night from me, but that needs to change.

      when a car (and a person) reach a certain age, they move from being old to being classic.

      1. I like to think of myself like a fine wine… the more I “age” the betterI get! 😉

  9. ksbeth says:

    and there’s always someone standing by to jump start us as needed )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      i’ve needed those jumper cables once or twice, beth!

  10. Love it! I survived 2 games of Laserquest this weekend with my boys, and a foot race where I had to go all out. It felt great…until I rolled out of bed Monday morning. (And my 25 yr old thinks I should try paintball next – ha!)

  11. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    My husband is the same age as you also born in 71. I, however, and only ALMOST 40. Lately, I have been noticing the descent – aches, weight gain, etc. He seems a little too relieved that, now, I understand what he’s been talking about for a couple years now! 🙂 Glad you are experiencing some respite lately!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Does he get the dinosaur remarks? I have. A few times. I think it’s just a new phase closer to ineptitude, but so long as I can move it in my 40s I’ll keep on keepin’ on.

  12. Rorybore says:

    I thought you were going to suggest that 1971 babies meant old now, and I was gonna be forced to come down there and take that Kit Kat bar from you by force. Because roundhouse kicks are in my arsenal now. Besides, you have mentioned Kit Kat twice in a row now on the blog and I still have a house half filled with Halloween treats. A 3rd offense and I am going to have to ask that you bring enough Kit Kat for the rest of the class. 😉
    Aside from that – congrats on the journey! This being present and mindful and even the odd downward dog sure do go a long way to get you back to feeling fine. amiright? So things click and creak when I get out of bed in the morning… that’s just the body letting you know you made it to another day. So keep kicking ass Coach! 🙂

  13. We had a 07 Chevy HHR that had 370,000 miles on it. We never had a single problem except for “wear and tear” items that had to be replaced (breaks, struts). Husband says we have to trade it in and get a newer used car. We bought it in March we’ve put 20,000 miles on it and the transmission went on us last month. Luckily it was under warranty but it just goes to show that younger isn’t always better.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s a work horse, Rena, not a car! My Gabi is pretty dependable that way. At some point, it feels as if we have a new car with an old car, because everything’s been replaced!

      Give me the car with some experience, every time.

  14. Congratulations on 200,000 km and 44 years, Gabi & Eli!
    Please, please go for some oil and prescription refills, I don’t want the two of you to crash!
    Age is just a number on a piece of paper, mostly. I got the most awesome (unintended) compliment the other day – someone confused me with “Clara’s Mom”. She’s at least ten years younger than me 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We’re reeling in the years (and the miles), Tamara. By payday, I guarantee we’ll both have our maintenance (only six days to wait!)

      Age is nothing – I played in the soccer match against Marie’s team Saturday and didn’t even limp the next day.

      Clara’s mom has got it going on? (Oh, that was Stacy’s mom in the song, I think.)

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