Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Benefit of Aging

I finally got back to two classes Friday night, for the first time since I was sick last month. It felt good, though I was ready for bed when I got home.

I am often unwise enough to complain about the encroachment of age. But lately, the thought has occurred to me that I've lived long enough that some defects have turned into positives--or, to put it another way, some curses have turned into blessings.

Take my build.

I recently found stuck in a book of poetry a health certificate I got from the city of Houston when I was 19, something I needed for a summer job in construction. I weighed 165 pounds, and I was 6' 2" tall (well, 6' 1.5"). In metric terms, I was about 1.87 meters tall and weighed 75 kilograms.

I was really, really skinny.

I had a few kind people in my youth suggest that I needed bulking up. A coach at a basketball camp suggested heading to a gym and working out with weights. In my sophomore year of college, the first girlfriend I really, really liked gently dropped me after we had dated a few weeks; years later she told me one factor was I was just so ... skinny.

Eventually of course I gained weight, and ended up in a state where my cholesterol was too high and my waist line was pushing 40 inches. I started training in martial arts because it was a form of exercise I figured I would enjoy enough to stick with it. I lost close to 30 pounds, and was able to go off cholesterol pills. I weigh around 190 lb. now (~86 kg), a lot more than when I was 19, but a lot less than I did 10 years ago at 44.

I'm not very muscular. But recently three different guys who are trying to lose weight have remarked enviously on my slender figure. And it occurred to me that I've lived long enough that my build, which once seemed a hindrance to getting on the basketball team and keeping a girlfriend, has become an asset.


Felicia said...

I'm 6'2" and about 150 lbs - just on a female frame. I'm a gym rat, so lifting is a regular for me, but I soooo feel where you are coming from. Let's hear it for the skinny minnies! :-)

jim said...

That's great that you've manage to get in great shape. I'm the same height as you are and weighed about the same at 19. When my wife was pregnant, I got up to 205 lbs. My BP was up and I was just out of energy all the time. A year ago I decided to get back in shape. Started playing basketball. Tore my MCL, sat out for 8 months. Started running after rehab. Then played football. Pull both my hamstrings sequentially. Sat out for 2 more months. Starting doing BJJ and Krav and thank God for lack of major injuries. I'm down to less than 180. There is definitely an advantage to being skinny when younger. I could never gain weight since my metabolism is so high. Now that I'm 40, I still find it easy to lose weigh. But now my metabolism is slower and I find that I'm gaining muscle that I never thought was possible. Here's to the skinny guys!

BobSpar said...

Wow, you guys are trim!