Of course, just about everyone is concerned about health. This is especially true after a certain age.
When you’re young, you think you’re invincible; that nothing bad will ever happen to you. But as you get older — at least in my case — you wonder when the shoe is going to drop.
I’ve been lucky so long — never spent a day in a hospital, just a couple of outpatient things — that now that I’m approaching (mumble mumble), the slings and arrows are catching up. When I was working, I had a health club right down the hall that I would use during lunch hour. But when the “campus” where the paper was located rented out space to a private school, they had priority over the basketball court, where I loved to just shoot around by myself.
Almost immediately after I lost my job, the problems began. Since I was finishing up the Hank Greenberg book, I was spending a lot of time in a fairly uncomfortable rolling chair so when the lower back pain started in, I just figured that was why. I think I have a fairly high tolerance, but it became too much to bear right on Yom Kippur evening. I sing in the synagogue choir and didn’t want to miss that as I consider it the most spiritual thing I do all year, but the spasms were so bad the next day that I had to skip services and seek out medical help in the person of a local chiropractor.
I had never given much truck to that area of medicine, afraid it would do more harm than good what with all the “adjusting,” but I was desperate. The doc prescribed an x-ray which showed arthritis in the spine. Terrific. (Oh, one more thing. Now that I’m on my own, I’m responsible for paying all of the health insurance bill, which adds up to more than $2,000 per month for just me and the missus. And they cut me off from the chiro after five visits. And no, in our situation, there is no shopping around.)
So, hampered by all this and coupled with the understsndable depression about being out of a job, I put on a bit of weight which turns into a vicious cycle.
(By the way, who proofread that cartoon?)
Fortunately, I got to a point where the back pain subsided enough to let me begin some mild exercise. My wife gifted me a membership to the local Y for Hanukka and since I have all the time in the world right now, I began taking Tai Chi classes. There’s something about the slowness and deliberateness I find calming. I started to supplement that with some time on the racquetball court, as a precursor to getting back to my weekly tennis, which I greatly enjoy. One thing led to another: weights (machines only, no free weights as that aggravates the back problems), cardio machines (they have gotten a lot more sophisticated in the entertainment they provide), etc.
It will be a long slow process. You don’t get out of shape overnight, and your certainly don’t get back into it overnight.