At my last annual checkup with my OB/GYN, I was struck by how much more maintenance seems to be required these days for a forty-something. It started with the physician's assistant asking me if I was taking a daily multi-vitamin and showing me a list of calcium intake with specific foods and ended with my doc rattling off the vaccinations that I should be current on (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, tetanus.)
Whatever happened to not smoking, limited drinking, and a decent body fat index being good enough? Do I really need all this other stuff to prop me up? Apparently so. I ran into a 50-something acquaintance who recently had hip surgery. When I asked what triggered the surgery, he replied, "It wore out." That's it? It wore out? No nasty accident from competitive motorcycle racing? How about a rough landing from hang gliding on the weekends?
It's a foreign concept for my body to be used up through normal wear and tear. It's also depressing.
Nora Ephron wrote a witty book about this, "I Feel Bad About My Neck." One of the chapters is titled, "On Maintenance," in which she describes all the stuff she does for the different parts of her body--hair, nails, skin, muscles. Don't even get me started on what I've adopted into my morning routine for my skin. When Nora Ephron writes about this stuff, you know it's bad.
I have started taking a One-A-Day horse pill of a vitamin. It goes down well when I'm not fully awake. Otherwise, I'm sure the thought of the pill would instantly trigger the gag reflex. I have yet to schedule vaccinations with my family physician or get a flu shot for this season. I may never do that. I do yoga and run a couple of miles several times a week. It's enough to keep me feeling good.
Oh, I nearly forgot. I'm now taking daily calcium supplements, disguised as dark chocolate. It's called Adora, contains only 30 calories, and is a step up from a Hershey's bar in taste. Now that's how getting older should look--as easy and pleasurable as eating chocolate.