I know that somewhere along the line I’ve been told, or read somewhere, that being outside and doing exercise is a great way to lengthen your life. Those that run and those that hike tend to live longer than those that don’t, providing you don’t hike amongst poisonous animals when you attract every sting on earth (ask me if I got stung by a wasp and three jellyfish on the same day – go on) or on high cliffs when you have a knack for falling over (overall it’s a miracle I’ve made it to 23).

But, here’s the thing. This weekend, I slid down a muddy slope for four hours after climbing it for four hours. It was tough, it was long and at times it was miserable. Was I completely covered in mud from falling over all the time I hear you ask? To you I say, what a ridiculous question, of course I was. The icing on the cake was that after a couple of hours of descent, with every minute that passed I think I aged a year, or at least my legs did. Somehow, I managed to end at the bottom resembling something more similar in movement to a penguin than a human being. My knees were shot from the slipping and the sliding and the tumbling and the tensing, and my usual poised and balanced self was reduced to a mere waddle.

I know that growing old is a privilege denied to many, but I’m not excited about the prospect of having that feeling in my legs every day even without a hike. Suddenly, I understand the reason why my grandma always used to ask for weed for her joint pain (no pun intended).


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