The Psychology of Aging

TAGS: The Psychology of Aging, slow death, getting older, aging bodybuilder, Just Sayin', Skip Hill, bodybuilding

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I turned 47 years old last week. I keep reading that sentence over and over. 47 YEARS OLD. I sit here almost shaking my head in disbelief, and those that are aging right along with me can almost certainly relate. Time just seems to speed up like a ball rolling downhill, every year going by faster than the last.

Getting older is not something I deal with very well if I am honest. It isn’t that I FEEL old — I feel great, am in great shape, healthy, making a good living, have a great marriage, and enjoy riding motorcycles, spending time with my family, etc. I have no real complaints...other than my impending death that keeps creeping closer and closer.


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I have given it a lot of thought, though I admit to only really obsessing on it each year around my birthday. The rest of the year I give it little to no thought. I have come to understand that my worries are two-fold:

  1. I worry that the time will come that I won’t be able to do the things I love to do.
  2. I worry about my health.

As I previously stated, my health is great — at least by all indications per blood work, physical, annual butthole-finger-bang, and just how I feel in general. It’s a bitch because I don’t notice my age until I look at my old face in the mirror. From the neck down, everything is not aging as quickly as everything from the neck up. Physically, I am carrying almost as much muscle as my earlier days (and plenty more than in my 20's), body fat is at least what it was in my 20's, and my sexual prowess is that of a 19-year-old God (I did not interview my wife for this piece, but I assume she would say the same thing — no need to check with her).

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So, why the anxiety? People die out of nowhere. People feel great and then have a heart attack and are gone the next day. Those people are my age — a lot of them younger than myself, even. They had no clue there were any issues or concerns and they had plans the next day and the following weekend and all of that mattered none. When you get older you start to think about shitty things like, “Do I have cancer and I don’t even know it?” My wife and I had friends back in Michigan that three weeks after we moved to Colorado, the husband walked into the hospital not feeling well and within one day was in a coma that he never came out of. He had cancer throughout his body including his spine and brain and he had no clue. He was four years older than I am.

Aside from the health concerns, I am equally as concerned—if not more so—of losing my quality of life. I have trained for over 30 years and giving up the gym would be a bitch. At the risk of sounding far too vain, not being able to be in shape would suck even more. Look, staying in shape is part of feeling younger and holding onto a part of our youth. I have said before that when you workout as a teenager, you are kinda trying to get huge so that you look older, but when you are older your focus shifts and you are essentially trying to stay in shape to hold onto your youth. Without the ability to do that, I feel doomed to saggy, old-guy tits and no muscle tone. Obviously, I would still hang onto my George Hamilton tan, but how much old-lady ass is that going to pull me? Probably not much.


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I don’t know how many of you have similar thoughts that I do, but I have decided how I want to die. Morbid? Maybe, but I truly hope this is how it pans out:

I want to go like my sister did at 29 years old: in her sleep. She simply went to bed one night and never woke up. No pain. No suffering. Peaceful.

My second choice? Go out on my motorcycle — but it has to be instant. I’m too much of a pussy to endure much pain or suffering before I go.

My sister didn’t grow old losing the ability to do the things she loved, and her quality of life was never compromised. She also didn’t have to deteriorate into a shell of herself after something like a cancer diagnosis, enduring radiation and chemotherapy only to die even more quickly while your family stands by and watches you become a shell of your former self.

Understand that I don’t want to die anytime soon; I am not curled up in the corner of a dank closet with a gun in my mouth crying because I can’t pull the trigger. However, if I do happen to go in my sleep, on my motorcycle, or even from a massive heart attack, be happy for me. Why? Because I didn’t have to bury a child or my wife; I didn’t have to deteriorate over the course of a disease; I didn’t exhaust financial resources leaving my wife and family with so many bills they had to sell the house and tap into my life insurance. I was happy doing the things I love doing like riding my motorcycle, working out, and staying in shape, laughing, and enjoying life.

And that is how I would be remembered. How awesome would that be?

But instead, I am likely going to live to be a decrepit old man with saggy balls and tits, drooling on myself in my bed in a nursing home well into my 90's while my kids wait for me to die so they can argue over who gets my money. Thank (your) God that my wife is cool — that’s probably my only consolation. If I’m living into my 90's, I’m gonna need a steady supply of old-lady ass. Just Sayin’.

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