Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Every man who looks in the mirror sees a 16 year old kid

I have been looking at myself in the mirror for as long as I can remember. How many times who knows. Perhaps a number higher than I can count. It is the honest truth if I am rigorously honest.

In fact, I enjoy it. Not a little but a lot, and I know I am not alone among men. I am sure the same is true for women but I will let a woman confirm that, maybe a guest female blogger, on a different day at Pierini Fitness.

And based on my experiences, I have come to the conclusion that every man who looks in the mirror sees a 16 year old kid. I do, or at least that is what I tell everyone.

And chances are so did the great Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon about 500 years ago in his search of the fabled Fountain of Youth and the vision of eternal youth its discovery promised.

This daily visual exercise spares me of recognizing the obvious aging that is taking place daily because those changes are so subtle. So much more pleasant to my eyes than the visible changes I see in another person whom I have not seen in a long time.

Like an old high school buddy I bump into whom I have not seen in 20 years. “Man did he get fat and old” I might say, or “look at all his gray hair”.

So how long can I get away with this? A lot longer today than a generation ago because men today are more likely to color their hair and moustaches than their fathers and grandfathers did yesteryear.

And they are more likely to have laser eye surgery instead of wearing eyeglasses. Some might even have liposuction to rid themselves of a portly belly or other excessive bodyfat that at the turn of last century were considered symbols of manly prosperity.

And thanks to modern day pharmacology, human growth hormone injections and little blue pills known as Viagra can give middle-age men the virility of a “loaded cannon” 16 year old kid out on his first date with the popular high school cheerleader.

Not that I have resorted to any of these youth helpers thus far or plan to, but those options are there.

But despite these enhancements that allow us to have the illusion of being a 16 year old kid, sooner or later Father Nature will catch up with us when the mirror can no longer lie. Call it a fright of passage for lack of a better term, the realization that we are middle-age men at best or old men in truth.

My father told me that on his 70th birthday he had to get honest with himself and acknowledge that he was an old man. He took it well and has been doing fine every since.

But until that day comes, I will continue having a great time when standing in front of a mirror washing my hands, shaving my beard, combing my hair, or brushing my teeth because every man who looks in the mirror sees a 16 year old kid.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Franklin said...

These days for this middle-aged man, the 16-year old kid I see in the mirror has yellowing teeth, a salt and pepper beard, horse-pattern baldness, a chicken neck and a somewhat rubbery face with an assortment of wrinkles and spots.

But I also see a very fit and strong 16-year kid .. and for that I am very grateful.

.v. said...

Hi Mr. P, Sadly I see the middle aged man. But you know...it beats the alternative. Each line, each missing hair, each touch of grey is a trophy showing another battle against mediocrity won. Another battle against the reaper won, another day above ground. I'm keeping the hair, at least all that hangs around. I'm keeping up the training as much as I can push it. Eventually, when the reaper wins...he'll know I was there and didn't go down easily.