This Friday, I become a sexagenarian (I looked it up). And, despite my reluctance, I suspect that sounds a lot more promising that what it is.
I can now say one of the most important factors in feeling youthful is good health, or at least a sense of control over it. It now takes me a few more moments to get up and exercise without throwing out my back or without having to coax my knees to cooperate. It even takes a bit longer even get out of my chair without some aid.
But, in many other ways, I feel younger than my age. I hope that's a good thing. I hope it has a positive effect on me and gives me the confidence I need the next time I look for my glasses to read, only to find them still on my nose or right on the table in front of me.
So, when that special day actually comes, I'll will wake up, check to see if all my body parts are still working, and look up into heaven and thank God for what time he has given me. Then, I'll go on to do what I have been doing all my adult life.
I'll take some good old-fashion ribbing from my wife and my friends, and go on to enjoy the day. My health has been slowing me down a little with two total knee replacements. But, working as a softball umpire and working out at the Prodigy, I feel a lot better than I have in a very long time.
My wife, Lynne, did something for me that I wish I had thought of first. That was to celebrate the 18 days up to my birthday with a gift each day.
Some gifts have been small and some have been big; some were inexpensive and some were far more than a few bucks. She has taken a picture of me with each of my fits and it's been a blast. I really thought she would have forgotten after the first couple days, but she is right on the money and I thank her so much for her thoughtfulness.
Like I have said in previous columns, before you do any type of strenuous activity, please stretch out. One day you'll thank me for the tip. Don't try to do things you know you need help with, because there isn't anything that can't wait a few minutes. I have learned the hard way.
Being over the hill, as someone has stated, has its benefits. Senior discounts, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, as well as discounted food coupons will soon come my way. In Wetzel County, I believe you get free admission to high school games, (which I already get as a sports writer) and younger people opening doors and saying, "Sir, can I help you?"
I guess yard work and sprucing up the outside of the house will be something I might start enjoying more than I have. Walking instead of running just might be what the doctor ordered.
They say you are only as old as you feel and I feel pretty good. But, I don't want to be that grouchy old feller that gets mad when someone tries to do something nice and it doesn't go the way it could or should have. I know my mom and dad taught me right from wrong and to treat everyone the way you want to be treated. I hope that I have instilled the same values, and more, in my kids.
Being older has a few more benefits, also. You can take more vacations and enjoy life a lot more than you have in the past. This year, I get to cross another one item on my Bucket List.
In the next few months, the Wetzel Chronicle and the Tyler Star News are going to team up and sponsor the very first putt-putt scramble to benefit the Wetzel and Tyler County's Relay For Life. More information will soon come out in our papers and I hope everyone will come out and support this great cause.
I will also be organizing the newspaper's annual Fathers Day Relay For Life slow-pitch softball tournament. Get your gloves all lathered up and get that body loosened up and be ready to have the time of your life and help raise funds to help strike out cancer.
I'm not sweating it that I turned 60. Its just a number. I'm in the prime of my life. You're only as old as you think you are. I just need to eat healthy, take vitamins, watch my weight, stay active keep having a ball.
Friday, I will be just one year older. It's only a number. It's when those aches and pains don't go away as fast as they showed up. Or it's when the healing of sores, bites and cuts seem to take forever.
Or, maybe it begins with the loss of teeth or hair. Or when my activity meter doesn't show any output. Or, when I gain 20 pounds in a season and have to shop for a new waist size. Only to find that I already did that last week.
Either way, I thank my lucky stars that I am still on this earth and lived another day. And that I woke up beside that Special Lady who has been there for 40 of my 60 years.