July 24, 2022 Comments Off on Quittin’ time
I was never tired. So why the hell would I want to be retired?
I look around me and see the wasteland of retirement, people who quit because they were so fucking tired they could no longer see anything except the money. One guy kept talking about retiring but he never did because he could “stay on” as a “contractor” and “keep getting paid.”
What the fuck was he talking about?
Another guy I know bought a bunch of land in Hawai’i and was going to retire as soon as he built his dream house. But he never did. Never could. Never will. All he ever saw were the four corners of that fucking office and the moneys. He died years ago, but still goes to the office. Every. Fucking. Day.
I know a guy who might be worth a billion dollars by now; got his start buying foreclosures and now owns a $15M house on the Strand in Manhattan Beach, among other palaces. He’s fat, sickeningly stressed, and once confided that he wasn’t ready to retire because he “wanted to mentor the young folks in his company.” Haaaaaaaa! The “young folks” in his company were praying every fucking night that he would step aside and make room for them. Go out to pasture. Enjoy the fruits of his rapine labor. But of course he never did because moneys.
Then there was the guy who was going to retire in style. He was so bone tired from making all those moneys that he couldn’t wait to be retired. So eventually he bought a junk hauler, quit his job, and retired by driving it around to parking lots where other tired people could check timber and moneys and ruminate about how free they were to no longer be so damn tired, only retired. That guy aged ten years in the first six months.
The problem with being retired is that you may have been sick of work but you were never really tired. You were worn out but not tired. And when they enter retirement, most people see it as some kind of reward for some kind of thing they did for all the time they spent doing something they hated, in a place they couldn’t stand, around people they detested.
What happens when they retire is that they quit moving. They reason that they worked so hard and were so dogdamned tired that it’s time to REST.
Well, the fact is that if you weren’t doing manual labor, you weren’t doing anything worthy of the word “tired.” And I’m speaking physiologically, not emotionally. Sedentary desk jobs where you send emails, talk on the phone, read things, have meetings, and accrue moneys don’t meet the physiological criterion of work. In short, work means movement. Motion. The contraction of skeletal muscles such that more energy is consumed than is taken in, a condition resulting in caloric deficit that can only be remedied by eating.
And the bad news? By rewarding yourself in retirement with a life of ease and leisure you are literally killing yourself. Not softly and not slowly, either, but fatly, slovenly, lumpily.
The first myokine, interleukin-6, was only discovered in 2008. Before that, people thought that muscles existed to move things, and that’s it. But with the discovery of interleukin-6 as a myokine, biologists learned that the skeletal muscles, which comprise up to 40% of your body mass, are a core part, if not the core, part of the human endocrine system. Myokines, which are created and secreted by skeletal muscle, play an astounding role in every aspect of human health.
Myokines affect cognition, the growth and development of neurons, fat oxidation, tumor inhibition, and a slew of other activities throughout the human body, enhancing health and fighting disease at the molecular, cellular, and organ level. Our understanding of myokines is faint, to put it mildly: with over 600 of these protein and protein-like substances identified to date, only a tiny number have been investigated in any depth at all. Hundreds more are suspected to exist that haven’t even been discovered.
So why should you, as an inert, “retired,” sedentary slob in an RV care about myokines?
Because they are created as the result of muscular contractions. In order for myokines to do their job, you have to move. And the motion isn’t limited to our beloved aerobic activities such as cycling and running/walking. Anaerobic activities, especially those that involve weight resistance, are also key to the production and secretion of myokines from skeletal muscle. Sarcopenia is suspected to result from the lack of muscular contraction, and simply riding your bike won’t remedy it because the types of activities that stimulate production and secretion of myokines are diverse. It’s almost as if humans didn’t evolve riding bicycles.
The very concept of retirement, that you are so tired out and now need to sit on your ever-widening ass as a reward for all your hard work, is a complete and total physiological fallacy. The only thing that will keep your retirement from degenerating into the immobile, alcoholic stupor of chronic TV-watching ensconced in a recliner, is motion.
And a lot of it, along with putting down the fork.
Not only a lot of motion, but a lot of hard, continuous, vigorous motion such as wood chopping, 10-mile hikes, grueling bike rides, hours and hours spent practicing ballroom dancing, heavy lifting, hard labor, and a veritable cornucopia of challenging, stressful activities that engage your skeletal muscles and force you to move A LOT.
You don’t know tired.