Let me be clear about something. This is not a rant about how I am so old and I know so much and my life is so full of experience etc. No. I am pretty comfortable with my position in life. I’d like to be smarter, I’d like to be more successful, but other wise, I am pretty comfortable.
My body on the other hand, seems to have different ideas about things. My body seems to be aging rapidly in some discreet (and not so discreet) ways that I don't notice on a regular basis.
The first is my gray hair. Now I have been going gray for a while, pretty much once you get your first gray hair you are "going gray." I was like 18 or 19 when I saw my first. I didn't think about it much.
But seeing as I am only 27, there is a very bit of the gray music playing its way around the sides of my hair. And people feel the need to point this out to me on a regular basis. But they always do it in a way that actually leaves no response.
Ohh going a little gray there are we?
Um... no. No we are not. This is not a joint venture. I am doing this by myself. In fact I am not doing it myself because I'm not doing anything. It's just happening.
It's like when people ask me if I am growing a beard. Well, technically by nature of being alive I am always growing a beard. But even still, it is not something I do intentionally. I just trim it once in a while so the question should be are you trimming your beard.
And did you ever stop to think that maybe I’m not going gray, maybe you are just going colorblind?
I don't notice my gray hairs as much as when I get my hair cut and notice a fair amount of the ones falling into my lap are of the silver variety.
Which brings up another point. People always say you are going gray. They never say you are going silver. No the adjective silver is reserved for the highest complement you can give an aging man which is to call him a Silver Fox.
This is something I have been called several times recently.
Oh Richard, you're going to be a Silver Fox.
Here is what I know of a Silver Fox. They are somebody who has gone prematurely gray and is thereby more handsome because of this seemingly bemusing appearance.
So when people say I am going to be a silver fox, what they are essentially saying is that I am going to be attractive one day, which means I am not yet attractive, which means...
Well, let's just leave it at not yet attractive shall we?
Everybody is so concerned with what they are going to be. I don't want to be a Silver Fox, I want to be a Rich Boehmcke. In fact, I AM a Rich Boehmcke. Here I am. Look at me, unfox-like as I am.
What is the opposite of a fox? What is the opposite of something compact, gray, and sleek? Maybe a... Giraffe? I guess that's what I am, a brown giraffe. Yeah, now that's a compliment. Actually Brown giraffe makes me sound like my skin has the capacity to tan. OK, Pale Giraffe. Now we're talking.
But one way in which I am not like a fox or a giraffe is that fact that I am incredibly out of shape. I don't appear to be out of shape upon first glance. My pants fit and I don't eat Doritos for breakfast, but it’s a more covert out of shape.
When my life has gotten busy, as it is currently, I only work out like once a week or once every other week due to what is scientifically known as "laziness."
But when I go to do something extremely physical I might be able to perform at the level of competition, be it playing basketball or going for a jog. But for days afterward my body feels like an old erector set that was left out in the rain for a month. I can actually hear my joints oxidizing.
This past week my company started its softball league. We had a lot of fun but I didn't see that much action in the field and I only got up 3 times. Granted I ran like hell each time. The first two times I got up, I singled. The third time I fouled off a pitch and ran hard to first base. It wasn't until I got there that I realized it was a foul ball. So i jogged back to the batter's box, picked up my bat and immediately thought to myself:
Oh my god I’m going to pass out. There’s no way I can remain standing. Dear god give me the strength to swing this bat.
My legs were trembling. My arms were trembling. I think my ears were even trembling from the exhaustion of having to flap in the breeze as I ran like a speeding... sheep.
So I swung and hit a long fly ball into the outfield and luckily adrenaline took over I was able to make it to first base, second base, all the way to third. I was able to stop only because I no longer had the capacity to run.
We ended up losing the game, which was fine. We went out for drinks and had a good time. However, when I woke up the next morning I felt like I had been beaten by a gang in a dark alley.
In fact I was so sore I could barely walk without moaning. When I sat at my desk I couldn’t cross my legs without a winch and pulley system. This is a pain that has yet to go away.
So while I may not complain of being an old man, my body is apparently trying to beat me to the punch. So instead of striving to be Rich Boehmcke, an attractive man, I’ll just have to settle for my newest aspiration:
Rich Boehmcke: The Gray Giraffe.