Calling 911

I’ve been in denial for a while now.

In spite of the mounting evidence in the mirror – the grey hair, deepening wrinkles, and the extra pudginess – I’ve been stuck in a mental time warp, refusing to believe that “me and mine” are getting on in years.

Events last night have forced me to accept that I am now a person of “a certain age”.

I attended a dinner party with a group of long time friends.  It’s an annual tradition where we get together to catch up with one another and what’s been happening over the months since we last saw each other.

I suddenly realized that our conversations have now drifted into the territory of ailments – real and threatened.  Kidney stones, visits to emergency rooms, cancer scares, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes … apparently I wasn’t paying close attention when we became THAT generation.

Last night’s dinner – instead of being a happy celebration of our long friendships – became instead a clear message that the sins of our youth really do come back to haunt us in our 50s and 60s.  I went home feeling vaguely unsettled.

I normally run on Sunday mornings, but today there was a deep sense of urgency attached to it.  Not the urgency of a training program or impending race date, but the compulsion to feel my body in motion and assure myself that I was still healthy and strong.

So, I laced up my running shoes and ran like the hounds of hell were chasing me.  In spite of the grey skies and light drizzle, I ran with a rare sense of exhileration and happiness … because I COULD run.  My health today feels like the most precious thing I own.

I feel like one of the lucky ones.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Active Lifestyle, Attitude, Random Stuff and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Calling 911

  1. Zambian Lady says:

    I am not yet in that age group, but I don’t feel my age. I am only reminded that I am getting older when I see my ‘little’ nieces and nephews getting married and having families of their own.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Woolly Muses says:

    You are lucky to be able to run. My football injuries of late teens early twenties, hit home about fifteen years ago. Even descending stairs now requires a hand on a banister as my right knee causes considerable pain as it bends…bone on bone. Run while you can 🙂

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      It’s so true that the things we do in our youth catch up with us 25-30 years later! My son broke his hip snowboarding 4 years ago and has already been told he will need a hip replacement by the time he is 45.
      We need to enjoy and protect our health while we can!! 🙂

      Like

  3. Great post 🙂 Health is a gift, and i’m eternally grateful for the days without struggle or pain. All the best 🙂

    Like

  4. stvrsnbrgr says:

    Resistance is NOT futile!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I agree Steve – I don’t plan to go quietly into the night.

      Kudos to you on your successes in the healthy regime department … I’m trying to draw inspiration from people like you. This excess poundage is literally dragging me down.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well you had me worried there, Joanne. Keep running healthily into 2015!

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  6. ChristineR says:

    Most of the people I know who have retired report that they have never been so busy! And there is so much one can do that doesn’t actually cost anything except time and shoe leather, maybe a bit of petrol. It usually feels odd to me to watch tv during the day – I’ve gotten over soapies, thank goodness! 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ChristineR says:

    I know exactly how you feel, but there is no way I can run. No problem with walking fast, but run, na huh. I don’t think you have too much to worry about just yet. 🙂

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks 🙂
      … but it’s not about running. Rather it’s about staying active and looking forward rather than just ‘giving up’. I don’t think you are one of those people who has “given up” 🙂

      Like

      • ChristineR says:

        I’ve had a wake up call when I suddenly developed high blood pressure. If I don’t become more active I’ll die quicker – simple as that. 😀 I know what you mean about ‘giving up’, though, my mother-in-law did that when her husband died. She’s been marking time for 20 years now – she could have developed an alternative way of life instead of just waiting for her turn.

        Like

        • joannesisco says:

          That’s really sad 😦

          I know people who are retired and complain they are bored. They sit around all day watching TV. These are people in their 50s!!

          I don’t have enough time – or money – to do all the things I want to do. I’m constantly juggling even though I don’t work anymore. It shocks me when I hear people are bored or unhappy but don’t do anything about it.

          Like

  8. ima_soulman says:

    Great read. A few weeks ago I met up with a long-time childhood high school buddy of mine. The afternoon started out great talking about old times and reminiscing about all the childhood mischief we used to get into. As the afternoon turn toward evening at dinner I was almost struggling with things to talk about and realized we were talking about our health problems over the years. And I remember realizing at one point that I was becoming one of those people that you had just mentioned about. Be that as it may the evening ended on a great note and I was grateful for that day. Thanks for this reminder that life is short and we need to do everything we can to make each day count. Cheers

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you. As I get older, the expression ‘live in the moment’ is making more and more sense.
      On the surface I thought it meant pay more attention to what you are doing right now.
      I’m starting to realize it also means make sure you’re actually LIVING in the moment … not just existing eg – in front of the TV. In other words, make it count. That’s been a big AHA moment for me.
      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, Joanne, I think you’re miles ahead in the race–both in body and spirit.
    Currently I’m listening to a book on tape called The Future of the Mind. It is the one body part of mine that I’m most concerned with. I will eventually allow all the other bits and pieces to droop, jiggle, and fall apart, but I am absolutely determined to keep my gray matter somewhat snappy. Sadly, there’s only so much Lumosity one can fit in one’s day.
    You keep truckin!

    Like

  10. treerabold says:

    Keep running!!
    I am only a year into my 50’s yet I see friends giving up and letting old age drag them off!
    I have plenty of grey hair (a lot really) and the wrinkles get more obvious everyday….but I still feel healthy and strong…and I intend to stay that way!!

    Like

  11. Cee Neuner says:

    Health is a blessing. Isn’t nice when we recognize it and honor it. Great post.

    Like

  12. jannatwrites says:

    It’s easy to take our health for granted (until we get a scare that it could be taken away.) I think this will stick with me as I do my own exercise in the morning.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Reminds me of that famous line “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”.
      Let’s continue to do the right things and hope that we keep our health until the end 🙂

      Like

  13. Sue Slaght says:

    Now there is a title to grab my attention! Is it not wonderful to be fit and strong? I have a friend dying of pancreatic cancer who is my age. Your post rings very true with my thinking Joanne. I count my lucky stars hourly.

    Like

  14. NancyTex says:

    I am so in denial of my actual age. Mostly because I actually feel like a spastic 20 year old most days. 🙂

    Yay on the fierce run today, Joanne! I can almost hear you yelling, “Not today, old age, not today!”, while pumping your fist in the air.

    Like

  15. I agree completely – we should do things while we can because we can and I too feel grateful for the here and now. Nice writing.

    Like

  16. Getting older sucks. I may have to take up running so I can stay as far away from becoming a member of that generation. 🙂

    Like

  17. I’ve experienced this in layers, not that one was closer to evil than the last, but in hopeful increments of ‘amazement’ they were not happening. 😦

    Like

  18. glenn2point0 says:

    Excellent that you can still belt out a run like that. Seems that is keeping some of the pitfalls if ageing at bay.

    Like

  19. I know what you mean. I’m at the age where some of the older moms are getting into that kind of conversation and I’m just waiting my turn. On the other hand, I know a lot of older people who have enjoyed good health well into their old age and it seems like you could be one of them. Great to celebrate your health!!

    Like

  20. Mrs. P says:

    Yes, it’s that age when health and family are the most important parts of my life. Fortunately both of mine are in good shape.

    Like

  21. la_lasciata says:

    I can’t run and have never been able to. I mean that literally: I cannot. To give you an example: if I fall down and there’s nothing around to hang on to to get me up, I have to stay there till someone comes by. I have no muscle strength in my fat old legs, it seems ! It’s quite weird, I think … Still, I dunno that running would be my thing; but I’m hoping very much to find out what will be when I have a short consult with Emily the beautiful at 1:30 today to find out what she has in mind for me in the gym …
    I suppose you are lucky; but then, I’m told we make our own luck. 🙂

    Like

  22. Blimey Jo, I had a flutter of panic when I read the title! Stay strong and healthy, missus. And you’ll always be beautiful no matter how many grey hairs there are 🙂 xx

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you for the lovely compliment. Sorry about the unintentional scare.

      Having to call for an ambulance was one of the conversations last night … and not because of an accident. That’s when you really know life has changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Phil Taylor says:

    I know exactly how you feel. When I run, I imagine that I’m running away from growing older. My brain also says that the mirror is a liar.

    Like

  24. Oh, Joanne, I can so relate to this. I’m going to turn 58 in a week or two and to me, that’s still relatively young. I’m still strong and healthy and pain-free. BUT my high school 40th class reunion was last summer. Eighteen kids from my class have died. Eighteen. Holy smokes. Husband and I (we both graduated the same class) were in shock. Yup, we’ve definitely entered the age of really, really not taking our health for granted. Keep on truckin’, girl!!

    Like

  25. I refuse to become a member of THAT generation. Keep up the defiance, Joanne. Loved this post. 🙂

    Like

  26. Heyjude says:

    I get a shock every time I see myself unexpectedly in a mirror or a photo, it’s not ME! Where did I go? But you are right, health is very important, mobility is crucial for a happy old age, I hate it when my stiffened joints prevent me from clambering easily over stiles. Keep Calm and Keep Walking!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Your comment about clambering over stiles reminded me of a few instances when we had to climb over barb wire fences … not very easy to do when you’re a person of a ‘certain age’. I couldn’t believe how hard it was!!

      I believe that these things – if they don’t kill us – keep us ‘young’ … regardless of what that miserable old mirror says 🙂

      Like

  27. Sammy D. says:

    Yup. There is now a sense of urgency that we have to quiet to stay mindful. I, too, appreciate having (relatively) good health!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Healthy is definitely good! … and then there’s staying mentally strong too 🙂

      It’s alarming to see close family and friends who aren”t holding the same health cards in life.

      Like

  28. mihrank says:

    wow – incredible title – you should not pay attention to your gray hair, it gives sometimes a beauty. You are running and active – Stay beautiful always!

    Like

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