JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

40 sucks

On April 22, 2012, I turned 40.

It’s sucked ever since.

First, I began experiencing horrific pain in my back, shooting down my left leg. Turns out I have disc degeneration. I’d been a distance runner for most of my life. It was my love, my joy, my stress release. Now, it’s over.

Second, I started, well, crapping blood. Went to the doctor—I have some sort of Crohn’s-ulcerative colitis hybrid. Stomach does flips, digestion sucks, colonoscopy every year for the rest of my life. Over the past few weeks I’ve been burping up everything. Flippin’ fuck.

I’m a lucky guy. I could die today, and how could I complain about the life I’ve lived? Still, this aging thing is really starting to beat me down. I used to be all active, all the time. I’d think nothing of jumping out the door on a morning like this and running six miles. Now, I’m reduced to the damn stair master. Or, egad, long walks. Maybe a bike ride. But it’s not the same. Not even close to the same.

I pretend everything feels good; try not to complain.

Alas, I’m complaining.