That brings me to this past Monday. I had just finished working out at the community center and was in the process of getting cleaned up in the locker room when all of a sudden, a group of aged men entered the locker room after finishing their "workout". They were all talking about what ailed them. In fact, one guy was commenting how he was pleased that he didn't walk like a duck anymore...whatever that means. But most of the dialogue revolved around retirement, complaints about their "old ladies", their discovery of the internet and how this wasn't around back in the 40s, and on and on and on...
At this point, I felt like a kid at the grown-up table at Christmas dinner greatful that I was there but knew damn well that I didn't fit in. Hell, I was born when these guys were approaching 60!
Then the worst thing that could happen in a locker room full of old men actually happened. As if ordered by some omnipotent force from above, they all disrobed down to NOTHING! No, not down to underwear...down to bare ass!
This is what super-old men should be doing.
You're probably wondering why I looked in the first place. Well, its hard not to when you have six old men with a combined age of 498 walking around the locker room buck-naked taking half steps. Try not looking at a 15 car pileup on the interstate. See, that was my conundrum that fateful day. Believe me. A room of old men with wrinkly, stretched out skin and fat hanging down all over the place was the last image I wanted my eyes to capture and my optic nerve to send to my brain to process.
Oh, the humanity!
This brings me to my "moment de vérité" (moment of truth):
Why are men over the age of 80 working out in the first place?
Honestly, is working out going to change anything at this point? I mean, once you've hit 80, does your doctor all of a sudden tell you "You know, you might want to get on a fitness regimen"? No.
I've never been to my grandmothers' doctor's appointments but I'm fairly certain that the conversations had nothing to do with "pumping iron" or cardiovascular training. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think this happens.
The operative word in all of this is YOUNG. If your just out of college and you smoke then that isn't good. If your in your 30s and your starting a family and you eat greasy burgers with a few beers 4 times a week, that probably isn't good either. If your in your 40s and 50s (the age when heart attack chances become greater) and your daily exercise consists of flipping through the channels then your not too wise. If your in your 60s and 70s and you do all of the above then your arteries could very well look like my basement plumbing.
In other words, working out when your under the age of 80 is the best thing you can do for yourself. Once you hit 80, what's the point. Yes, I know that you need to stay active at an elderly age but that shouldn't culminate in a trip to the locker room to chat NAKED! Play bingo or hang out at the mall or something. Walk down to the Piercing Pagoda Kiosk or the Orange Julius in the footcourt for exercise. Now I'm scarred for life because six old men decided to dawn their plaid shorts with an "I'm a grandpa" shirt (no doubt bought at Myrtle Beach) topped off with black socks and velcro sneakers to work up a sweat only to strip down and lumber around the locker room letting it all hang out. Why can't some hot chick (or chicks) saunter in with their clothes off?
I can tell you this. When I hit the magical 80--assuming I live that long--I'm taking up smoking, drinking scotch everyday and eating food that has all of that trans-fatty stuff that makes it taste so good. I'm purchasing a recliner and super-big plasma TV (or whatever the high end TV is in the year 2054) and I'm only moving to go to the bathroom assuming that I can still go unassisted. Why? Because what's broke by then ain't going to get much better. Why not have some fun? A friend of mine said he's switching sexual orientations at 85 just for fun. But that's a story for another time.
Today, there are many issues in our society that the president now and future presidents will have to tackle. The high cost of health care, oil prices, the Iraq war just to name a few. However, if I were president, I would make it illegal for men over the age of 80 to be naked in the presense of others. People say television and video games are damaging the minds of our young people. Nope. Catching an unwanted glimpse of a/many naked, flabby old men is definitely at the top of the list!