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It Beats The Alternative

March 16, 2021

I hurt myself today

To see if I still feel pain

I focus on the pain

The only thing that’s real

– “Hurt” Johnny Cash

I also hurt myself today. But, unlike the lyricist, it was an accident. Well, not exactly an accident. I was putting on my socks and I hurt my back. I’m not even going to dignify that by calling it an accident. I certainly didn’t mean to do it. But, it’s not like I misjudged a turn and bounced my car over the curb.

It sucks to get old. . .but it beats the alternative

I quit playing basketball a few years ago. I’m not sure if I quit because I no longer wanted to play, or because of the pandemic, or if I just got old. My brother, who is two years older than I am plays regularly. He dunked in a game a few years ago. I could barely touch the rim on my best day.

You don’t stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing.

– George Bernard Shaw

My friend asked me to join him to start riding bikes.

Motor or pedal?


I’m old and I have bad knees.

Biking is a great exercise for bad knees. Very low impact.

I’ve tried to balance my absence from the basketball court with other activities. I walk. . .sometimes. I hike. . .slowly. I do love camping. And I actually enjoy hiking to our camping spots. Some of the most beautiful are only accessible on foot.

I recently came to the realization that I’ve probably reached my athletic ability. That probably happened a long time ago. My youngest two sons are athletes. They are 18 year old twins. One plays football, the other is a runner. I watch them effortlessly do things that I could also do at that age.

I don’t really miss it. My father used to say, “You have to trade all of them for all of you.” You don’t get to pick and choose. And when I look in the mirror and see the wrinkles and when I tweak my back putting on my socks. . .or taking off my socks, I’ve already forgotten. . where was I? Oh yeah, my wrinkles are well earned. I wouldn’t trade them, for the ability to run up the mountain trails. Or even to avoid occasionally hurting myself while dressing.

Fortunately I’m not in any danger of kicking off anytime soon. At least I don’t think so. I have a few more wrinkles a few more sore backs and hopefully a long road ahead.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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