“I’ll take the senior discount.”
That’s what the middle-aged looking woman said to the young man behind the cash register at the La Bou’s bakery cafe.
I had just paid for my small Asian noodle salad but I felt compelled to ask my checker, “how old do you have to be to get the senior discount?”
Gee, next time I guess I will invoke one of the few benefits from the natural aging process and save a few cents.
Hell, I’m over 55–but not by too much, mind you.
I guess if you are lucky, eventually you will grow into an age you thought was ancient while you were in your youth, but certainly now doesn’t seem anything older than middle-aged.
You know, 70 is the new 55. Well, maybe that’s pushing it.
So what would that make my 56? Maybe 40?
Ask my wife and she would probably say my 56 is more often like 16–at least in my behavior.
I can say with certainty that when AARP sent me my first membership card at age 50 it was a strange sensation.
I’m not ready to be old yet!
Other than discounts at restaurants there are other so-called perks, such as supposedly getting a seat on a crowded bus.
Beyond the fact that a otherwise healthy middle-aged person really has no reason to expect someone to give up their seat, good luck getting a younger passenger to even make the offer.
But there are other implications of the advance of age to the active traveler.
At the least, a weekend of outdoor pleasure might lead to reaching for the Ben Gay and Advil. At the most, you might end up at the chiropractor-but hopefully not the E.R.
I know there are adventurers many years my senior who have undertaken challenges I would have barely dreamed of, even before you could hear my joints creak when I get up.
On the other hand, thanks to a reasonable effort on my part to stay active and an attempt towards semi-proper nutrition, I think I am probably as fit to enjoy travel adventures as I have ever been.
As I participate in local 10k runs and an occasional triathlon you can’t help but notice a lot of white-haired assiduous athletes.
While you shouldn’t expect to see me in a Mount Everest base camp anytime soon, please don’t expect me to act my age, either.
AARP card notwithstanding, I will continue to hit the lakes, trails, rivers, and ski mountains as long as I am able.
As a matter of fact, tomorrow I will be shredding at Snow Basin ski resort north east of Salt Lake City.
Sorry, I just don’t have time to be old…yet.