I think bodies should have warranties. I'd like to think that my body was made to last until at least 40 without any major overhauls or malfunctioning parts, but unfortunately it doesn't appear to work this way. If it did, I'd march right in to the body office and tell them "Hi, I need a new body, this one is defective."
I make old jokes all the time because I'm over 30. I don't really think I'm old, and I sure as hell don't act like I am. That's just one of those things, once you turn 30 you're officially an "adult" and supposed to do adult things. I know plenty of my friends who look their age, and a decent number who look younger. I fall into the latter category. I've been told 24-25 is what people would assume if I were a stranger and they knew nothing about me. So obviously my face, hair and skin are not defective because I don't even look as old as I am.
I can tell you just about exactly when I started feeling physically old - when I was only 28. Until then I could drink like a pro, exercise without injury, wake up without random body aches and pains, and generally go about my business without something breaking. I wasn't aware that this was something to be cherished and treasured, I just thought I was NORMAL.
Then 28 rolls around. I notice a few problems creeping up - namely my relationship with alcohol. Alcohol and I were relatively good friends, especially during law school when I took it upon myself to make up for 4 years of college with a boyfriend. I rarely had hangovers, almost never vomited, and headaches didn't exist. Up until that time the only headaches I'd ever had were in relation to an illness.
Magically alcohol became my enemy. I don't know if they changed the formula but I'm pretty sure that would've been newsworthy, so I'm guessing it was my body that changed and not the booze. Over the past 4 years I've gone from "no hangover" to "hangover WHILE I'M STILL DRINKING". Yes, my friends, I actually begin my hangover approximately 2 hours after I start drinking. Headache, nausea, bloating (dear god I bloat like a fucking Macy's balloon, so sexy right?) are all happening when I'm STILL AT THE BAR. Wonder why I never meet anyone when I'm out? BECAUSE I'M THINKING ABOUT HOW TO KILL MYSELF.
One beer? Feel like death. One glass of wine? Feel like death. You get the picture. The only reason I haven't given up alcohol completely is because I must be drunk to be around drunk people. Think I don't like people normally? I DESPISE drunk people when I'm sober. So I drink not to hate.
The other thing is that alcohol is the bringer of bad decisions. In your 20s, those bad decisions involve things like random strangers, binge-eating a dozen donuts and waking up on a park bench in a strange city wearing hospital scrubs - and at least they come with a good story. Bad decisions in your 30s also can be fueled by alcohol, they're just a little less exciting and have long-term consequences, such as "I'm going to do the splits without stretching because this random fat guy is going to try and I used to be a dancer 14 YEARS AGO".
My hamstring and I are still not on the best of terms, and that was over a month ago. Hey buddy, why don't you heal yourself up like you would if I were 23 again, I got shit to do. If I'm dancing at a bar or club, I can't do certain moves because I HAVE OLD KNEES. I leave work every day wishing I was dating a masseuse because my neck and shoulders have all but detached from my body. And now I have back problems. WHO HAS BACK PROBLEMS WHEN THEY'RE 32?!?
This is the second time in a year my back has gone all old-lady on me, making moving difficult and hurting even when I'm doing things that require no movement, like SLEEPING. For real? I'm not obese or a smoker or addicted to meth, so I really shouldn't be dealing with this until I'm 50. So now I have to forgo exercise of all types until my back heals up while taking more pills than an AIDS patient.
My right ankle pretty much doesn't have tendons. The damn thing will give out while I'm simply walking, and I've sprained it to the point of incapacitation at least 3 times in 2 years. I had a stress fracture in my right shin from training for a race a few years ago, and sometimes the damn thing still aches. I feel like one of those weird old people who can feel weather changes in their bones, telling you all about it while force-feeding you Werther's Originals. And keep this in mind - I'm not an athlete. These are not sports injuries due to overuse, these are "I tripped over my own feet walking into the bathroom" type injuries.
And let's not mention the two times I had to go to the hospital to get an IV, one of which may or may not have been at a Chinese restaurant where I had to be carried to the car by a gigantic Chinese linebacker who happened to be wandering around the restaurant looking for damsels in distress. It's even worse when you're in the hospital bed while your mother and grandmother (65 and 94 respectively) look on in perfect health with worry in their eyes. REALLY? MY GRANDMA'S BODY FUNCTIONS BETTER THAN MINE? Good god.
The real irony here is the fact that the one part of my body that functions most effectively? MY BRAIN. Yeah. Chew on that for a little while.