The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball. ~Doug Larson
"In my mind I can do that." Acrylic on Canvas 43" x 43"
My grandfather lived to be 93 years old. Towards the later part of his life, he ended up on so many pill; medicines, vitamins, supplements, placebos...you name it. He had a case to put them all in that organized them by day. This was an affront to him. My grandfather, better known by everyone as "Coach" was an athlete all his life. Tennis, football, boxing and just a nut about health and physical fitness.
He was the football coach at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania (you may know it from the movie TAPS) for 40 years. He taught gym and other subjects...had Norman Scwartzkoff, J.D. Salinger and many thousands of other cadets under his tutelage. He remained a fixture at the institution even after he could no longer act in an official capacity.
I was sitting with Coach one day and he went through his daily intake of pills with me. He complained that he never thought he would need such a thing...his mind and body always being superhuman strong. But he conceded that the body was failing him. He told me how a few days before, he was at the academy and he saw a couple cadets running and jumping over a fence as if it were a blade of grass. He looked and me and said "In my mind, I can do that, but in reality, I can barely walk around that fence." For the man who was always in prime shape, this was a devastating blow. However, he was sharp as he ever was, there is some consolation in that, but only a little for him.
As I see my young children being so active and full of crazy energy...it puts the spectrum of age into focus for me. It inspires me to remain active with them as long as I can. Laziness and relaxation are a fools errand (although I do imbibe not and then) but I know one day I will be where Coach was, and wish I had done more, had one more catch with my son, played one more game of tag with my daughter.
In the end, it should be enough to enjoy conversation and laughter...but being independent and jumping that fence whenever we want, is a gift that only lasts so long...making it such a precious act to never take for granted.
Pardon me while I go jump a few fences.
In My Mind (2016)
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This artwork is sold by Law Blank from United States