“Experts!” Those people on TV who give advice (mostly unsolicited) say us old folks need to exercise, move around and stretch if we want to stay fit, stay ambulatory. “Join a gym,” they say, “Get an exercise partner, set up a workout schedule, whatever it takes.”
We don’t need any of that! Especially the advice. We have a failing memory that keeps us moving, keeps us fit. Better than any exercise program. It’s nature’s way of dealing with creaky knees, stubborn hip joints and all the other failing things that occur when, “Your whole darn body is falling apart,” to paraphrase a quote from Henry Fonda in the movie, “On Golden Pond.”
We, us old coots, sink down into a couch cushion to watch a little TV and then remember that the dog is out back and surely ready to come in. We push up from the sofa, wobble to our feet, take a step, regain our balance and totter toward the kitchen, working out the kinks along the way. Everything is working (sort of) by the time we get there. Except our short-term memory. “Why did I come here?” We look around, don’t find an answer, shrug our shoulders in puzzlement and go back to the living room and sit down.
A dog food ad comes on the TV and our mind seizes on one word in the message, “DOG!” He’s still outside. Off we go again. This time, focusing on the task at hand, not allowing our mind to wander to a dozen other topics. It takes all our will power, but we do it and let the dog in. Or memory tricked us. Made us stretch, move, improve our physicality.
This happens all day long. UP! DOWN! Into the kitchen. Out to the garage. IN! OUT! That faulty memory keeps us on the move. Even in the grocery store, we go back and forth among the aisles to get the things we forgot and to put back the things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but nothing we couldn’t live without. Those “experts” on TV, wearing spandex shorts, wife beater shirts and two-hundred-dollar training shoes have no clue. It’s not us old coots who need their attention; it’s the young people who need to be prodded, with their steel trap minds that let them stay focused for hours at a stretch, playing games, checking social media and watching TV reruns on their cell phones.
Now where was I? I better go back to the kitchen and check my notes.
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