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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

June 07, 2005

I'm Too Old For This Shit #1

Thanks to The Register for this link, which goes to an item about some research into exercise. They summarise it thus:
Just six minutes of intense exercise a week could be as effective as an hour of daily moderate activity.

I feel like I've been waiting all my life for a statement like that.

Moderate activity, hmm? I was a fairly active kid, in my youth. I played cricket all summer long, I ran everywhere, and cycled several miles every day from the age of about 14 till I was 27. I lived next to the Dumpstable Downs, too, so a lot of my running around was up and down hills. When I'm out with the family now and we have a hill to climb, I still find it easier to bomb up it than to take it at the same pace as everyone else.

But all that exercise, and where did it leave me? Crippled. Both my hips hurt, and my knees are agony. Sitting in the same position for very long, at work or in the car, and I stiffen up and creak slowly into action.

I'm 42 years old, and I already know I'll have to have one or both hips replaced. I could have had an operation on my left hip a few years ago, but the consultant basically admitted that the scarring would be as painful, and that my joint was probably so worn that I'd need the replacement eventually.

Exercise, mostly, did this to me. If Michael Jackson really has a bad back, what caused that? All that dancing, probably.

Anyway, thinking about all this, and after an email conversation yesterday with an old friend, I realised how much of a grumpy old bloke I've become. Apart from living with pain and the pointless green ring of copper oxide caused by the pointless copper bracelet, it's amazing how little tolerance you have left for daily annoyances and the crapiosity of modern life.

I was complaining to my old friend about gigs, and how insufferable they are. To pay £15 for the privilege of sitting around on a concrete floor for two hours, and then to suffer people talking throughout the gig (unless a song they knew was being played) jostling and shuffling around in front of you, with nowhere to sit, and with unspeakably annoying people walking back and forth to the bar the whole time - well, I just can't face it any more.

Why do we have to bloody stand up? I'm not dancing, I've never danced, I never will dance, so why do I have to fucking stand up for two hours, craning my neck over enormously fat lager swilling fuckwits in order to get a view? Why would I, with limited leisure time and limited disposable income, willingly pay to put myself through this? I love live music, live music brings tears of joy to my eyes, but I have lost my capacity to put up with this crap. It always annoyed me, you understand, but now I just won't tolerate it.

As you get older, you should gain confidence, and part of that means that you're willing to turn round and refuse something or somebody. And if it makes you come across as miserable and grumpy, so be it. My personality hasn't changed that much, I don't think, but when the daily crap comes round for the umpteenth time, you just think, fuck it, I'm not going to make that mistake again.

I had a friend who ended up marrying the wrong girl because he couldn't bring himself to be mean to her, to say no. She just arranged the whole wedding thing, and he went along with it. And then he left her, devastated, after he realised he couldn't stand it. Six months, something like that. Which is worse? Some situations, you just shouldn't put up with it, and while it's great to be loved, and nice to be liked, life really is too short to allow the bloodsuckers to waste your time.


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