10k, little injuries, niggles / frailty, and rebirth.

I haven’t written in a few weeks,


On most Saturdays

and Sundays these summer days,


crepuscular time,

I am off,

At the lake

Wetsuit and goggles.


Is the Don Valley 10k.

I have my name on the list,

There is a number waiting,

a medal and t-shirt at the end

and I am at home.

(This is last year’s advert)

My ankle hurts.

The left one

To be precise.

Last week I

Ran too far,

actually, a similar 10K, perhaps not enough warming up

Or cooling down.

You see,

As I age,

I have acquired aches and pains that never used to bother me.


I’d occasionally sprain my knee or ankle,

Things would settle and all would be well.


little injuries,


Add-up and some remain.

They don’t go away.

They never get recover.

They become part of the whole – me plus.

As I age, I acquire.

Anne would use the barnacle analogy.

I sometimes talk about it in lectures.


Are like ships, our bodies ageing,

with time,

On our passage through the sea,

we acquire barnacles,

adhering to our hull; they grow and accumulate.

I am a crusty old sea-fart and only 50.

And so too the reality that is ageing,

And the acquisition of frailty.

So much of ageing is losing.

Lost opportunity,

Lost health,

Lost friends and family,

Lost resilience.

And yet,

As we age, we gain,

Aches and pains,

diseases and ailments.

Frailty is a progressive decline in resilience,

It is a loss and a gain.

A football

Sans bounce.

With increasing frailty,

Our ability to recover from illness and disease reduces.

Age 20, I can break my leg and six months later train for a marathon,

Age 90, I am in a care home, facing the wall.

With each little episode

With the passage of time

From this winter to the next

Our abilities wind-down.

First the raised cholesterol

And blood pressure

Then, the heart disease

And the angina or stroke

And the arthritis

And polypharmacy

And falls

Then the confusion

The decline into dementia and dependence.

Our lives are mapped out from before we are born,

In our genes and in our environment,

Rich or poor we will live to be old at 70 or young at 90.

And so too

My ankle.

It aches.

Not swollen;

full range of movement,

Although tiny thread-veins have appeared over recent years

Likely gravity

Disrupting my venous return.

Do fewer people have varicose veins these days?

I don’t remember the last time I saw one.

I remember my granddad’s legs,

His veins would bulge,

On Glasgow summer afternoons

As he sat in the Melford garden,

Baggy shorts

And sandals and socks.

No, it’s not all bad.

Ageing has its advantages,

There is the experience,

The, ‘I know this feeling,’

‘I know what is coming, I had better re-route and prepare for the low,’

It is seeing the world,

Our existential monad

Perceiving reality albeit through tired, scarred eyes

That do not perceive the ageing body

But feel the warmth of the sun

And allow us to feel like 19

Despite our wrinkly carapace.

I might look a hundred,

I feel like 21

Says the old geezer

As he pedals his bike up the hill,



toothy grimace &

receding gumline.

This morning,

Out with the dogs

We saw four Canada geese families,

One is pictured.

I loved the symmetry.

I respected the parent’s hiss.

The earth, round and round

with one final turn.

I Jog on.

It would have been funny had they been barnacle geese

Published by rodkersh1948

Trying to understand the world, one emotion at a time.

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