Not only are baby boomers the largest generation in American history, they are (gasp!) getting older with the earliest members approaching 65. And while the majority of its members-just like most Americans, don’t exercise enough or not all, there is a sizable minority who still pounds it out whether at the gym or outside.
I belong to that minority of baby boomers, who, defying logic and common sense, fervently believe that their aging bodies can withstand the level of exercise which they had done some thirty or so years ago.
I used to run, hike, climb, ski, surf and play tennis among other things. I still do some of these things and despite as a doctor knowing better, frequently forget that I am no longer 20.
The years have indeed left their marks. Starting from my neck, I have rather pronounced arthritis of my cervical spine with narrowing of disc spaces at several levels. I have torn both of my rotator cuffs in my shoulders. One of my knees has a torn meniscus and the other one has some loose stuff in the joint. I have torn my foot fascia an as a result have plantar fasciitis.
How do I cope? Well, I do like my Motrins and actually rate each sport in which I participate on a Motrin scale. For example, walking a mile or two might be a one-ie one Motrin equivalent or 200 mg; biking a two or three; falling while biking raises it up to a five at least and going and actually participating in a rock climb at least a seven. The problem arises because you can easily get to a toxic dose of Motrin.
I have participated in physical therapy and stretch on a regular basis. Still, you would think that being an experienced physician I would take up golf or perhaps even shuffleboard, in lieu of some activities such as rock climbing. Yet, while I talk the talk I don’t always walk the walk.
To date, miraculously I have avoided any surgery. I do not take any narcotic medication but if there were some way to alter my DNA to repair the damage and turn back the clock, I would without a doubt sign up.
My advice to my aging peers and to those of you younger who some day will travel this road: Take it easy; Slow down; and buy stock in Motrin.