Sometimes it's hard to believe I'm almost 68. That's perilously close to 70, which used to sound a lot older than it does now. When I was a little kid, 70 year old people seemed...well...old. Almost decrepit. There are times when the almost decrepit part almost fits, but only once in awhile. Apart from the occasional strained muscle or twinge of arthritis in my hands, I usually feel pretty good.
The string bass is a physical instrument. It's big, for one thing. Carrying it around is an exercise in itself. I think the stabbing pain in my left hip is the result of hoisting it up on my right shoulder and leaning to the left for balance when I'm carrying it to and from rehearsals. If done incorrectly, pressing and plucking the strings can strain the small muscles and tendons in the hands. I'm still fairly new at it, so it only takes about an hour of practice before my forearms and hands are crying out for mercy, even when I'm consciously trying to do it right.
Today dawned bright and sunny, a beautiful day for some roustabout work. It's still a bit early for some of the yard work that needs to be done, so a little demolition was in order. A few hours swinging a sledge hammer and crowbar fit the bill nicely. This afternoon, my shoulders protested that for 68 year old joints, I had been a bit hard on them. I told them they were just being wussies.
It doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to find people much younger than myself who are barely able to navigate, younger people afflicted with all sorts of illnesses or handicaps. To be able to wield a sledge or crowbar, or even manhandle my bass is a privilege denied many, and for which I am thankfully Ben-Gayed tonight.