Pandemic recovery plan includes lightening up

Gearing up for my second Moderna vaccination on Monday has me going through the filing cabinet in my brain and recalling what people have told me to expect.

“It’s a little like a hangover.”

“I just had a case of the chills and some fatigue”.

“I just went to bed and slept it off.”

“It’s nothin'”

Yikes. Aches and pains don’t bother me too much. But they’re more of a hassle as you get older.

My doctor said it wouldn’t last very long and the benefits far outweigh the 12-18 hours of feeling like dung.

I’m a couple years past the 50 mark so I get my regular issue of AARP magazine and the last issue I leafed through talked about a personal pandemic recovery plan.

My includes playing lightening the heck up, playing some golf, and maybe some summer travel.

The editors of this pretty informative magazine for seniors suggested losing the “COVID-19 lbs”. Eating home more regularly and snacking due to the boredom that tagged along with the lockdown has beefed most up. But I’ve actually lost weight during the pandemic… about 19 pounds.

I needed it. Sitting at a computer for 80% of my workday requires a 5K walk two or three times a week, if not more. In addition to the added walking, I’ve been working some training bands called “Slastics”. These things are nuts! It’s a repetitive kinetic kind of thing, but it can wear you out pretty quick.

I wouldn’t recommend using them laying down and pushing with your feet unless you lock the bands between your toes. Bad things happen if they slide down off your heals and snap back.

I double them over and stretch them across my back to simulate a pectoral fly machine. Step on them with your feet shoulder width apart and you can get in some curls. The wider the feet, the more the tension.

I’ve recently accepted, but still choose to not believe, I’m old enough for the benefits of American Association of Retired Persons. I’m far from retired. In all actuality, I’m just getting started. My mom’s retired. I’m her kid, so I can’t be old.

I’m not sure I’ve every been physically in this good of shape in the past 20 years. I don’t run very much because, well – it’s just ugly. It’s heavy and I can never push through the panic that sets in when I’m short of breath. People say it happens. You just push through.

I can’t get there, but then again I haven’t yet figured out your golf club strikes the ground in front of your ball.

I see it. I hear it. But I can’t let the physics in. I don’t get how door knobs turn the opposite ways, but serve the same function.

When my body says I need more oxygen I have to answer. I watch the Hounds at track meets with some of these kids running eight laps with stopping… or cross country kids…that’s when the age sits in.

One thing that has changed with age is patience and adaptability. I used to welcome technology changes and learning new things. Now it just irritates me. If I have something that works, I don’t want it messed with.

That has to be a sign of age. It used to frustrate me with older people who fought transition. It’s just the way it is. Well, don’t tell me that now. I’m fully subscribed to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra.

With age and experience we also are supposed to earn added patience. I think I’m regressing there, too. Patience is supposed to be a virtue, but the damn website is supposed to open when you click on the link. Where’s their virtue in making sure I get the service I so richly deserve…and pay for.

The second dose of the vaccine will come and go and I’ll ultimately feel better for getting it. But I’m not done fighting the age thing. My Slastics and I are going the distance.

Along the lines of going the distance, watch for the detour on Hwy. 61 this week. They running that sucker right by my house and the no parking signs are laying in my yard. Now I can’t park in front of, or beside my house. But I’m good with that because now everyone has slow to a stop instead of going 40 through the intersection. I got the over/under on a fender bender at under three days… but that’s Beside the Point.

Chuck Vandenberg is the editor/co-owner of Pen City Current and can be reached at

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