The dog of small things

July 20, 2022 Comments Off on The dog of small things

It is a fact that the older you get the more you have to hurt if you want avoid hurting.

When you are young, you have to hurt to improve. But when you are old you are going to hurt no matter what and then die, maybe not even in that order, so the choice isn’t about what to do to get better, but what to do to get worse more slowly.

A lot of old people are like a lot of young people. They don’t like to hurt, period, so they settle into a life-death spiral of constant pain and discomfort. That can be the discomfort of not shitting well every morning. It can be the discomfort of insomnia. The pain of bad ankles, creaky knees, a bad back, or simply the general painful malaise of being locked inside a body that can’t go easily up a staircase or that can’t cross a parking lot without a lot of sweat, stink, and agony, or even a body that is too stiff or mushy or plain old fat to squeeze comfortably inside anything smaller than a giant recliner.

Kristie maintains that the older you get, the faster you have to move. There’s actually scientific research on this and some day I’ll dig it up and post it. But not today.

Today I’m going to talk about what happened when I did eight successive 30-second sprints, with 1-minute rests, on my morning 4-mile run that gains about 1,000 feet in the first two miles up to the turnaround.

What happened is that it hurt a lot. Sprinting when you are old and slow is not fun, though at the end there’s a kind of disbelief bath that washes over you. “I did that?” becomes “I did that!”

In the afterglow there emerged a morning glow, the burst of sunlight over the eastern peaks. I stopped my warm-down jog and whipped out my camera. You have five to ten minutes of that sideways light and then it’s over.

I focused the lens on as many small things as I could find and let the sideways light do all the heavy lifting. Small things, whether 30-second-old-man-hobble-sprints, or a bee in a flower, belong to the same dog. Arf.


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