Thursday, June 11, 2009

"For a Man Your Age"

Only as Old as You Think You Are

Anyone who knows Dangerous realizes quickly that it doesn't take much to set him off. It's a bit of an understatement to say he has a "short fuse." As he tells it, he easily angers, but gets over it quickly. Well, I am not sure that description fits these days. Recently, he has been "pissed-off" most all the time. He even snaps at me occasionally.

At first, I thought it was his most recent accident that caused his foul humor, but now I am not so sure. Last week while we were riding horses in Grover, Trea rearranged the bedroom furniture. You have probably already guessed what happened next. I was peacefully sleeping on the floor when all hell broke loose about 2:00 AM. Like most men his age, Dangerous has to get up during the night. Returning to bed half asleep, he dropped onto the bed believing it was in its usual spot. After the profanity subsided, Dangerous was on his way to the emergency room with a separated shoulder.

Actually, he quickly got over being angry at Trea for moving the bed. She was just doing what women do. However, what really sticks in Dangerous' craw is his treatment by the medical profession. He's OK with them smiling and snickering about him separating his shoulder falling out of bed. He even appreciates their expert medical care and advice. However, they really set him off when they preface their prognosis with "For a man your age." One more comment like that and Dangerous might show them what a man his age is capable of doing. Rather than resorting to violence, I thought I would include a few pictures and comments about what "a man his age" does to entertain himself.

Teaching Dottie the Trails

While most men his age are playing golf or watching TV sports, Dangerous has Dottie and me hauling butt up one mountain trail after another. There aren't many men Dangerous' age who still ride let alone spend five years and hundreds of hours turning a mostly wild horse into a fairly decent trail pony. I watched all the progress or should I say incidents. During those five years, Dottie knocked Dangerous off on a tree, backed him over a four-wheeler, and fell on him a number of times. You would think that falling out of bed was the least of his worries?

Still Hiking at His Age

While most men his age are gardening, Dangerous is humping his backpack through Utah's red rock canyons. At 63, he doesn't go as far or as fast as he did 20 years ago, but he still goes. "For a man his age," he still hikes all day through rough country sleeping on the ground at night. While 18 miles a day aren't possible anymore, he isn't ready to trade his backpack and hiking boots for a set of gardening tools.

Usual Sunday Activity

While most men his age are attending church, Dangerous spends his Sundays snow shoeing in the winter. Horse riding and backpacking are strenuous activities, but don't compare to a day on snow shoes. Dangerous isn't ready to give up Sunday snow shoeing in American Fork Canyon for a front row seat at the local ward house. If he ever does, I won't hang out with him anymore.

Refuses to Act His Age

Take a close look at this crazy old goat. I don't believe for a second he knows how to act like "a man his age," and I hope he never does. What do you think? Love to hear from you!


Me in a nutshell (heavy on the nut!) said...

I think the medical profession is full of a bunch of quacks! (sorry to offend anyone out there) You should avoid them at all cost, unless you separate a shoulder or something ;). When I was 11 I broke my elebow and had to have it pinned. They said I'd never do gymnastics again. Well, I went on to get a college scholarship for gymnastics, and I'm 40 and still doing gymnastics! If I would have listened to them my quality of life wouldn't be the same. You can do or be whatever your mind lets you do. Keep hiking and riding!

Max said...

I'm going to have to comment on this one. Though Dangerous is loathe to admit it, age in starting to tell on the old boy. According to the stories I've heard, back in the good old days, calling on a doctor for a separated shoulder would have been out of the question. He would have had Trea fetch him an old piece of rawhide. He'd have rolled it tight and placed it in his mouth to bite on. If necessary, he'd have snatched the shoulder back in place by grabbing onto a door frame and pulling. Finally, he's have left on a night forage in the nearest canyon until the pain subsided. That would have been the old Dangerous. What a pity to see a good man start slipping. Make him a nice cup of tea and bring him his slippers. It'll put him in a better mood.

Bluester said...

Lets go pack Little Guy and you can tow him along with your other arm and probably fix your roter cuff. Or, you can grab the truck door handle and a few of us can pull on your other arm. You don't need no Doctor! What are friends for? Best from Bluester and Fremont.

Max said...


Your tale about Dangerous falling out of bed got me to thinking about injuries and old men and I decided to post another comment. I guess by now Dangerous has told you that my little mare, Darling, bucked me off about six weeks ago breaking three ribs and putting a small hole in a lung. Well, I’ve recovered pretty good and started riding again this past weekend, but I can surely tell I’m not as resilient as I used to be. For the first few weeks, I could tell that my left side rib cage had tentatively opened diplomatic negotiations with the rest of my body, but simply would not commit to a treaty of alliance. Thanks to Darling’s antics and my hardheadedness, those ribs had become an independent territory and seemed loath to rejoin my body in their usual role. Thankfully, that stage has passed and I’m only dealing with the residual aches and pains that daily remind me of my mortal standing.

Rosie, I certainly mean no offense to you or any other female of any species, but you would think that Dangerous and I would eventually realize the wisdom of riding geldings. It appears that we are either slow learners or adrenaline junkies as we continue to ride these kegs of hormonal dynamite. Darling is the sweetest little horse you’ve ever been around… until she’s not. Every once in a great while, the stars will get out of alignment, ditches and creeks will become haunts of terror, bluebirds will become raptors, sweat will roll, and that sweet little paint with the gorgeous head, the deep eyes, and the sleek lines will become, for a few brief moments, a world class bronc. Capable of Saturn V launch velocity, she will defy the laws of physics, make an impossible spin, and leave me floating in an otherworldly silence, contemplating my imminent return to earth. After which she will regain her composure, trot about twenty-five yards away, and graze contentedly on the lush grass that has just scared the bejesus out of her. Whistle and call her name and she will come trotting over for a rub on the muzzle. How long will we continue to tolerate this type of disingenuous behavior from a good-looking female? But then, maybe you’re the wrong one to ask…

Anyway, back to the point, here’s a little something I wrote to commemorate this epiphany on old men and injury.

“Not for the Faint of Heart”

In days of yore, when I was young, I’d take a chance or two
Sometimes I’d win, sometimes I’d lose, and end up black and blue
Youth was clearly on my side, the pain was worth the fun
But time has clearly changed the game and has me on the run

So when I’m loath to “act my age” and stick my neck out long
Old father time will nick it and sing a warning song
The words remind me of my age, the tune the pace of time
My aches and pains, they punctuate his jaunty little rhyme

Pains that were a nuisance, now hold me in the bed
And cause me to reflect too long, and mess around my head
And make me ponder what’s to come and how my days will end
Just sitting in a rocking chair, waiting for the bones to mend

But I’ve got better things to do, get out and chase the sun
If father time’s to catch me, he’ll also have to run
Though I know he’ll catch me in the end, I’ll put him to the test
I’ll live my life without regret and give my very best

Now, getting old’s a hassle and the aches are real enough
Life’s not always easy, and the going can get tough
But take it all in stride my friend, you can only do your part
While we'll all get old with time, it’s not for the faint of heart