The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

45% Of The Way There (+ Bukowski!)

with 2 comments

I decided this year that I want to live to be at least one hundred years old.  I’ve always had an interest in extremes—walking outside at -20°F windchill, taking the elevator to the highest floor, exercising 19 days in a row, watching all ten episodes of Band of Brothers in one day—so reaching one hundred feels like another link in the chain.  A link mighty far down the length of chain, albeit, but another link nonetheless.

I feel like I have the genes to do it.  Nothing chronic in my family except longevity, though my radar is tuned to glaucoma and diabetes.  My father will be 78 this year and is wearing it pretty well.  His mother made it into her eighties before her heart gave out.  All my siblings have been relatively healthy (get it?), except for lifestyle choices.  I’ve led a pretty healthy lifestyle thus far and don’t have plans to slow down too much, though I realize that I might not be the one who makes the decisions about slowing down.

If my running is an accurate gauge, I should be able to make it.  I’ll limp across the finish line…  hell, I’ll drag myself across the finish line, but I should be able to make it.  It seems that dragging myself across the finish line is pretty much how running is going these days anyhow, so when the time comes I should at least be used to the idea.

And speaking of running… the sun is setting on my running career.  I think I knew this as far back as five years ago, and have been trying to delay the inevitable by running.  Circular logic, I know.  But I think it’s working.  The sun may be setting, but I’m keeping it pretty far above the horizon still.  I’m about to enter a new age division for most races (the 45-49 age division), and I’m actually looking forward to it.  In fact, I’m attacking it.  I’ve done nothing more than work out this summer to lose some weight and make like Stella.  The results have been fair to midlin’.  I can’t deal with humidity anymore, which I started to realize three years ago.  The heat just takes it out of me.  It was so humid in a race I ran last week that I actually walked.  I didn’t feel like I could breathe, and rather than gut it out, I cut back.  There’s still that cross country runner inside me that is shamed when I do that, but that cc-er is still only 16.  He wasn’t thinking about still doing this at forty-four.  It might be time to change that mindset.  So if my ability to deal with humidity is any indicator, the sunset is looming.

There’s a dark side to all this, too.  Living to one hundred will inevitably mean attending a lot of funerals.  What’ll it be like to see most of my family and friends cross the border of the undiscovered country?  Dunno.  Guess I’ll find out.  That’s a big part of life anyhow, finding stuff out.  It’ll probably inspire some kind of writing at some point.

There’s the fact, too, that I’m stubborn.  I can’t see giving in easily when the end is near.  I don’t see myself signing things over and slipping away.  I can’t think of too many times in my life when I’ve done that anyhow, so I’m not sure I’d know how.  How bad will it get?  How much pain will there be?  Again, dunno.  Guess I’ll find out.

So I’ve been thinking these thoughts for the past year or so.  I figure now is as good a time as any to get them out there since my birthday is tomorrow.  Just last spring, I was having these meditations when the following poem showed up on The Writer’s Almanac.  Seems fitting for right about now.

a song with no end by Charles Bukowski

when Whitman wrote, “I sing the body electric”

I know what he
I know what he

to be completely alive every moment
in spite of the inevitable.

we can’t cheat death but we can make it
work so hard
that when it does take

it will have known a victory just as
perfect as


Written by seeker70

June 30, 2015 at 8:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. If you’ll entertain opinions on your health from the viewpoint of an observer, I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen of your running, & as a former physical trainer-in training, I’m not exaggerating. It may not feel like it because of your high standards, but you’re in excellent physical shape for any age group. Happy birthday!

    Joel David Hutson

    June 30, 2015 at 11:51 am

    • Thanks, Joel. Don’t discount your role in all this. It was you that helped me establish an effective weight routine five years ago. Without it, I wouldn’t have what I have. Thanks for your insights and support.


      June 30, 2015 at 11:54 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: