Monday, August 16, 2010

Control

I'm 52. I wasn't suppose to get this old. Didn't plan on it. Didn't expect it. They say that young people believe that they are immortal; but really, the delusion is that one will always be young...in one's prime...always. Growing old is something that happens to other people. We don't prepare ourselves for a body going past 30, 40, past 50. Until, one day, there comes a realization while looking in the mirror of "my God! What the hell happened?"

Then the little breakdowns begin. Parts of the body hurt for no particular reason. Hair whitens and thins while other hair grows like weeds in other places. The belly expands and droops. Jowls appear. Wrinkles. On and on, yadda, yadda. Friends start developing illnesses. Diabetes. Heart disease. Stroke. The dreaded cancer. They start dying and, day by day, that sweet little delusion of it happening to other people starts to erode with every chest twinge and headache. A steady slide to body failure which seems to be beyond control.

Or is it?

Back in my youth there were many things out of control in my life. I was probably crazy. In fact, I'm sure of it. The craziness was most likely fueled by an abundance of drugs but the result was a vast destruction of many years along with the heartbreaks of anybody unfortunate to be close to me at the time. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, I grew tired of the chaos and made a decision to regain control of my life. I quit drugs. I got a job. I went to school and finished. I stopped blaming circumstance and took responsibility for my life.

It worked. I like myself. I like my life. I regained my self respect along with my sanity. It wasn't easy and it was not at all quick.

I think I can do the same with this body that I've walked around in for over half a century. Gain control. Choose the path I want. Change.

Change? Too late?

No. I refuse to accept that.

In a couple of weeks I turn 53. My goal, my path for the next year, is to make the changes on my body that I have made in my brain.

Finally fit by 54.