On Getting Old…

I’m going to be 50 late next year (gotta include the “late” part). I’m getting old. My doctor is younger than me and he asks me every time if I’ve hit menopause yet. Check my damn file you fool! Stupid HMO. He also advises me of all the things I should be doing now that I’m “at that age”. At that age? What the hell? It’s one thing for me to call myself old. It’s a completely different thing for someone else to do so. Where is the boundary between young and old? Is there such a thing?

This AM I was doing a Cathe step workout, one of her older ones. I noticed that she wasn’t as stringy looking as she is now (and I don’t mean that in a nasty way–she’s very cut and muscular), her face was fuller, her eyes much bigger and she used an 8″ step. An 8″ step! I graduated from a 4″ step to a 6″ step about 6 or 7 years ago. Here lately I’ve begun worrying about tripping and breaking an ankle or a hip. I’ve also been wondering when age will force me to drop back down to 4″. Cathe now uses a 6″ step in her routines after some pretty serious knee surgery. She’s about 43 or so. Maybe she shouldn’t have been using an 8″ step all those years ago. Maybe I shouldn’t be using a 6″ step.

All these internal ponderings about step heights and age related changes had me thinking of my own eventual decline. How much longer until I wistfully gaze at my workout dvd collection and go, “too hard, too hard, too hard, too hard…” as I move from title to title? If I sell them, it’s like turning a corner and knowing I can never go back. I used to push myself to increase my fitness but there comes a point where no matter how hard you push yourself, the body not only refuses to go any faster but it will begin to slow. I wonder if Jack LaLane watches old videos of himself and says “ah if only I could still swim and pull a boat”. The dude’s like 90 something.

I also see these actors and actresses who were drop dead gorgeous in their day, my day, and now they are playing mothers, fathers and grandparents. Even Heather Locklear is getting puppet lines on her face. Pamela Anderson was looking a tad saggy too. Madonna is starting to scare me. Jack Coleman who was the hunky gay son on Dynasty plays father to Claire Bennett on Heroes. Claire is off to college. Child stars like Brook Shields (who looks wonderful by the way) are showing up on mature women’s magazine covers. Cheryl Ladd of Charlie’s Angels was in a print ad for bladder control or something like that. Another problem is the hunky actors of today are still quite appealing to my nearly 50 yr old married eyes, despite being young enough to be my son. I am now Mrs. Robinson. Yee-gads.

Getting old sucks. It really is like the lines from the Anna Nalick song Breathe,

But you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.

Girl, I’m singing.