October 18, 2001

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

You know you're old when This topic may not seem fitting for the outdoor corner, but read on and you will see it fits perfectly into the scheme of things as I've decided my age is taking its toll on my sporting pursuits.

You know you're old when you can think of 101 excuses not to get out of bed early on the weekend to go hunting. This weekend was rainy and windy, two things that don't mix real well with archery deer hunting. Still I felt a bit betrayed when I woke up late Saturday morning and realized that I had turned my alarm clock off and went back to sleep. It was almost like an involuntary act, sort of like sleep walking. Either that or my lazy side is winning out the battle of my split personalities.

Believe it or not, but I did actually make it to the season opener for Sunday night basketball for us old folks. You know you're old when it takes you longer to warm your body up than it did to warm the car up to get to the gym. Speaking of the ride to the gym, I suppose it might also be a sign of my impending eligibility for Social Security that I arrived for the ball game in a mini-van. Worse yet is the fact that I really love my mini-van and wouldn't trade it for a sports car.

Following through with the theme of the report, you know you're old when the day after playing basketball you have to go to the hospital for physical therapy. My wife must have thought she was having dream about the Wizard of Oz and that I was the tin man as much as my joints were creaking when I struggled out of bed that morning. It is sad when the highlight of your day is getting hooked up to the electric muscle stimulator in the physical therapy department. I wonder if they rent those things out? Worse is the fact that without a 15-minute session on the machine, I could not have bent down to tie my shoes. To top it all off one of the young whippersnappers that works in the department chalks my injuries up to nothing more than old age. She mentioned such nasty terms as arthritis, obesity, and stopped just short of admitting me to the nursing home.

The scary thing was I was there for a back treatment and that took only probably a fourth of our time as we discussed all my other ailments. The therapist would take a look at my knee or my elbow, moving in different directions and then just shake her head or say, "Hmmmm, that's odd." I was picturing myself walking out looking like a medieval knight in armor, with my body covered by medical braces and bandages. If I were a car, it would be time for some new wheels, an oil change, and some definite body work.

But when it was all said and done, I walked out of there feeling 100% better and without having any amputations or transplants. I'll drift a bit past the topic of making fun of my personal aging process, and give thanks to our Physical Therapy department at SCMH. It's fitting that it is Physical Therapy Month. We should be grateful that we have such a quality staff that can put back together even this 30-year old former athlete into working condition. Thank you, you folks do a wonderful job. And I'm not just saying that because I am anticipating regularly weekly visits until I finally give up physical activity.

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