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.
(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.)
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.