Please Don’t Disintegrate
A letter to my friends.
As I get older, I’m seeing my friends slowly fall by the wayside.
It’s a gradual process. Just year by year.
But all my friends are slowly disintegrating.
And I can see a time pretty soon, where it’s going to get really lonely.
Disintegration takes many forms.
For some friends, it’s their hearts and lungs. I can hear them puffing, subtly struggling for breath at the top of two flights of stairs.
For others, it’s their legs. They try a squat at the gym with just the bar and their bodies tremble and their knees buckle as they descend. With the bar back on the rack, they suggest we do something else.
It’s the friend who passes when we suggest an afternoon run.
Or the one who opts-out and watches on from the sidelines while we play basketball in the park.
It’s the one who puts out his back lifting a suitcase off the luggage carousel.
It’s the one who’s knocking on the door of diabetes because he’s too busy to make health a priority.
It’s the one who does nothing for weeks, then tries to make up for it all in a single, punishing 45 minute session and injures himself repeatedly as a result.
It’s the one who can’t box with us in the garage anymore because he smokes too much and gets wheezy.
It’s the one who tears his hamstring innocuously kicking a football in the park.
It’s the one who can’t walk for a week after pushing the wheelbarrow around the garden on a Sunday.
Please don’t say you can’t because you’re too busy or your day’s too full of meetings.
None of those things are as important as taking the minimum necessary care of your body.
Find a way to be vital.
A way to exert yourself physically. A way to work your body to the edge of its physical limit, repeatedly, regularly, so it doesn’t forget what it’s like to really try.
Don’t get wheezy. Don’t get love handles. Don’t get bad knees or lower back pain. Don’t get depressed. Don’t get grumpy from bad sleeps. Don’t hide your sliding, compressed frame under more and more expensive suits.
Don’t be a bad example to your kids. Or your brothers. Or your friends.
Don’t forget that just a few years ago you were the kid who would play outside until there was no light left and your mother’s voice was hoarse from calling you in.
Don’t forget that you would stay in the water, surfing through numb cold, and dark dawn, paddling until your arms hung like noodles from your body.
That was you.
Start moving. Keep moving. Keep trying.
Please. Please don’t disintegrate.
Reposted from the Sessions blog.