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By Paul Bendix

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About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

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Aging and Training

Uploaded: Jul 30, 2014
Anyone who knows Caltrain knows Dexter. He is the archetypal conductor. Dexter could convincingly punch tickets on any American railroad...forever, it seems. Which is why recently I asked him, boarding the 8:39 AM northbound, how long he intended to keep working the trains. Don't know, he said, hydraulically lifting my wheelchair on board.

I ask myself the same question. Not getting any younger, to put it mildly. Aging with a disability, to put it realistically. How much longer can I summon the musculoskeletal wherewithal...to do much of anything? I can easily let age get the better of me. Things get harder...and I fear they will soon get impossible.

With a certain air and a certain girth, Dexter almost makes me forget he is of a certain age. What keeps him going? His answer knocked all the romance out of railroading, not to mention aging: five weekly visits to the gym, plus a personal trainer. Simple as that.

Which did not surprise me, and greatly encouraged me. Actually, I have recently been hitting the neuromuscular comeback trail myself. And the same lessons apply.

Come on, Paul, it's normal. This from my personal trainer, a.k.a., physical therapy assistant. I had been complaining that walking had become more difficult than ever. It's because you're doing it less and less, my trainer replied. Walk less, you balance less...until being on your feet becomes downright scary. Which makes you walk even less, and so on.

Not a brilliant insight...but at my age, any insight will do. As for the walking, yes, I am doing more and more. It is getting easier and easier. And though I'm not getting younger and younger...well, this will do.

Comments

Posted by Jeanne Cooper, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda,
on Aug 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm

And at my age, any inspiration will do! Thank you for reminding me to keep walking and exercising, so each time seems a little less arduous than the previous.


Posted by Stu Soffer, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Aug 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

Stu Soffer is a registered user.

Stay with it, Paul. Onwards and Upwards.


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