An Old Man Simply Walking

“Don’t push ‘Ole Betsy’ to the limit or she’ll blow!”

The older I get the easier I take it on my body.  Common sense dictates such. A veteran mechanic gave me advice years ago regarding things mechanical.

“Don’t push ‘Ole Betsy’ to the limit or she’ll blow!”

Just like the dangers of over revving a vintage car or truck engine, parts can fly apart in an aged human body as well.

For several years I rode bikes with an Alaskan friend.  Craig was a few years older but could waste me on endurance rides or climbing hills. We both entered a bicycle race up Arctic Valley Road to a popular Anchorage ski slope.

I took things easy maintaining a pace that didn’t kill me.  My friend burned to the top passing much younger riders along the way.  He took first in his age group and probably some others as well.  I was middle of the pack.  Craig was elated in his accomplishment and rightly so.  I was happy just to finish the race.

I see advertisements all the time about older people claiming to be as competitive in sports as they were at 21.  Generally these guys or gals are hawking some type of vitamin or health supplement.  I often wonder about such products.

When these athletes finally do explode from over exertion, we’ll never read or hear about it.  That type news doesn’t sell endurance elixirs. The company will find someone else to tout their product.

These performance boosters remind me of automotive gimmickry where oil additives are concerned. Certain companies manufacture fluids that claim to lengthen the life of an older engine along with increasing power. Suckers buy the stuff every day.

My goal is to live as long as I can and hopefully stay upright in doing so.  Most everyone tries for the same. While doing so I’d like to motor along without use of wheelchair or walker. I have no problem with canes.  To me canes are stately; very useful in fending off undesirables like thugs and Amway salesmen.

Because so many unknowns can unexpectedly happen during the golden years, my desire to continue walking without aid is much more difficult than it sounds.  I see seniors on a daily basis resorting to ‘help’ devices.  When I say help devices I mean wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. Most of these folks had a simple slip or fall before having to use such.

If I continue to be blessed with good health, one thing you’ll never find me doing is entering athletic competition of any kind. I’ll let others vie for ribbons and trophies. At this point in life I have nothing to prove to anyone including myself.

I’ll be more than content in my golden years, if I’m able to stroll along a country road; an old man simply walking.

Craig Fitzgerald on left. Michael Hankins on right. Arctic Valley Hill Climb (1984).

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

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