Tuesday, February 7, 2017

An elderly man

Pierini Fitness' great-grandfather enjoying time
as an elderly man and grandfather, circa 1920's.
I was recently mentioned in a letter written by someone who’s doing some advocacy work for me.  In this letter, I was described as “elderly”.

I’ll have to be honest; at age 61 years and 99 cents, I’m not quite ready for this “elderly” hashtag.  Even though I’ll be eligible to start collecting Social Security benefits in a couple weeks, elderly I’m not I shout!  At least that was my first emotional reaction when reading a draft of this letter.

I suggested to the person, writing this letter on my behalf, that he find a different adjective describing who I am.  He gave me at least 100 good reasons why that wasn’t a good idea so I decided to accept, just for this letter, this elderly description of me.

Honestly, when I read this elderly word describing me, it seemed that when I stood up to stretch, suddenly, I felt like I had weak knees and a wobbly balance.  Was it my emotionally-injured mind playing a game with my manly-body?  It felt like a long-ago boyhood experience of the time I got smacked in my juvenile gonads by a baseball.

So, what’s the modern dictionary definition of elderly?

The online version of Merriam-Webster defines the adjective elderly as “rather old; especially: being past middle age” and “old-fashioned”.  In terms of popularity, Merriam-Webster ranks the word elderly as being in the bottom 50 percent of words. 

Well add my vote to this bottom 50 percent list.

I like the definition someone else offered; elderly is a person who’s 15 years older than you.  That’ll work for me.

In the middle-aged man advocacy work I’ve done since founding Pierini Fitness over eight years ago, I’ve routinely defined the middle-aged man as someone enjoying the golden years beginning at age 45 and continuing until he becomes age 70. This I’ve proclaimed in an old Pierini Fitness blogflection, and in my book.

So, this means I’ve got some time to go enjoying my middle-aged man time.  It’ll be another eight years, in my book, before I’ll officially consider myself an elderly man.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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