Ibuprofen and Caffeine

This may as well be the title for an entire blog or book about aging well as an athlete...

I wrote this essay while in a different state of mind. The experience was a valuable opportunity to see and feel the future. Thankfully, I'm feeling a bit better now. But I know where this ship is headed. 

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.     -Proverbs 22:3

I want you, young athlete, to go hard. Train with consistency and intensity. Have fun and conquer mountains in the gym and athletic arena.


Remember, there will be consequences to whatever you choose. So calm your hardcore self down and be smart. Tackling 3 WODs per day is HIGHLY likely to come at a cost. How do you want to feel and move in two and then twenty years? Find a guide who has travelled the path before you.

These are the drugs. I'm a user.

[Admitting there is in fact, a problem is a challenge for someone who has never taken an illicit or prescription painkilling drug of any form.]

Moderation is key, of course. It's only in the past three months that the tail has began to wag the dog. My arthritic right hip hurts, awakens me five times per night. A little help from those chemical friends allows me to push through with little thought. But then the hip hurts. The nights are long.

Chemicals prop up my interests as of late. They feed the ego and maintain the joy and persona for what, another few weeks or years?

Stop with the training and such? Do you know what it's like to be unreasonably strong? Have you ever been able to impact the ground hard, tumble, and roll with little consequence? To have seemingly limitless physical freedom in falling, jumping, climbing, and lifting, with a reputation for being able to do more? And what if you truly did it because you loved the process?

So if you are of the praying type, which I am, you may not want to pray for my hip to heal, which may allow me to finally get burnt with a "big" injury or grind down my other joints. You should probably pray for me to age gracefully and be at peace with a new place in the world. But of course, that is your call. Thanks for praying!

I know a handful of orthopedic doctors by name. I've spent hours seeing patients with them in their workplace. During one restless night, I saw the future.
- - - - -

The doctor sits down, shaking his head at me, the patient.

The X-ray looks bad. You're going to have to cut way back until your ready for a hip replacement.

Well, what do you mean exactly? I'm not asking for much.

Well how much would you hope for?

I like to be active outside and play with my kids and work for gainful employment. That and maintain a well over 500 lb deadlift.

That's a lot of stress on the body, even if it's just one repetition.

For years I've done that for at least 20 repetitions, almost every Tuesday.

And I've regularly squatted over 400 pounds.

For one?

For a lot. Sometimes twenty at a time.
The doc is not impressed. His look is confusion and disgust.

And what about impact on the hip?


How much?

Well, playing rec sports and sprinting and soccer with my kids. I like to jump on and over the picnic table and practice flips in the grass.  Close to 200 jumps on every Plyo-Friday.

Plyo what? You need to find a new hobby.

Yeah, we call it Plyo Friday and it's amazing...

In mid sentence the doctor calmly stands up and walks out of the room.

- - - - -

So for now, having thoroughly weighed the choices and the consequences, it's Ibuprofin and Caffeine. Someday soon I will wise up and bravely take what's likely to address the problem for a while. But perspective is one of the most bitter pills to swallow. No thanks.
Maybe I'll have some tomorrow.

But not today.

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