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If Sir Isaac Newton wasn't already dead, I'd have to kill him myself

I used to feel a bit of scorn for women who groused about gravity, and its effects on them as they age. They'd complain about how things were sagging, drooping, and in general being pulled down by gravity as they grew older. I thought that they were making excuses for their own failings in not keeping themselves up.

That changed recently, and I now have a great deal of sympathy for them. And that's because lately I've discovered that gravity is no sexist force -- it's starting to wear on me, too.

Recently, a visit to the doctor's gave me some horrifying news. The nurse asked me my height, and I answered as I have for over 20 years -- just under six feet tall. (Saying 5'11 3/4" seemed a bit vain.) She frowned and measured, and pronounced me 5'10". I was shocked and demanded a second opinion. Then a third. And they all agreed -- gravity had robbed me of almost 2 inches of height.

As I thought about that, I realized that gravity has been wearing on me in other ways, too. The hair on the top of my head has been thinning more and more, my receding hairline and my expanding bald spot growing closer and closer until they have finall merged and given me a nearly-perfect "monk's fringe." I blamed it on genetics and dying hair follicles, but the incident about my stolen height suddenly crystallized matters:

The hair hadn't fallen out. It had fallen victim to gravity, and had ceased growing up and out. Instead, it was growing inward and down, and was now emerging from my nose and ears.

Gravity, you may be the weakest of the four fundamental forces, but you are certainly the cruelest.


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Comments (12)

... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

I misposted my comment abov... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

I misposted my comment above which SHOULD have said: "Your Post Has Been Forwarded to Cupid.com", but the surreal nothingness is better so ...D'OH!!!

Amen! You have my deepest s... (Below threshold)
DocJ:

Amen! You have my deepest sympathies, Jay Tea. While I haven't yet succumbed in the height department, I have experienced the head hair "growing inward and down" - much to my dismay. My dear kid brother then rubbed it in by giving me a nose/ear hair trimmer for Christmas...

I call bullsh*t. Another bo... (Below threshold)
Elmo:

I call bullsh*t. Another boomer sees the signposts of middle age, along life's road. And yet another caption contest passes without winners being anounced.

Signed 48, waiting, and two inches shorter (bfd).

Shave the noggin JT, trust ... (Below threshold)

Shave the noggin JT, trust me, you'll feel better.

The aging process really su... (Below threshold)
Charles Bannerman:

The aging process really sucks. Not only do you get shorter, lose hair where you want it and grow hair where you don't want it, it seems you skin grows and your muscles shrink.
Elmo at 48 sees signs of middle age. Wait until you are 65. God has arranged some shitty surprises for you.
Given the above, aging sure beats the alternative. I wouldn't trade places with anybody.
Chuck

Wait until you find things ... (Below threshold)
lakestate:

Wait until you find things growing all over your body (moles, etc.) jay. Or as Billy Crystal once said about growing older (I paraphrase) "Just the other day I found a hair on my back and thought I was turning into the fly." Altough it's funny how a certain male organ doesn't seem to be affected by gravity... hmmm. At least that would be a fair trade off - don't you think?

Chuck beat me to it, but I ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Chuck beat me to it, but I will reiterate: aging beats the alternative. At least up to a point. Even after gravity seems to have exerted a permanent effect on the male genitalia, life still can have its positive aspects. Once the grey cells are depleted, however...

Jay, gravity can be fought.... (Below threshold)
jmaster:

Jay, gravity can be fought. I am living proof.

I found myself in an extremely similar situation, as I just hit the big 4-0 last year. For years, I was 6' 2 ¾" (which I of course rounded up to 6-3). But at a visit to the Dr about 6 months ago, I found myself literally coming up a bit short, at a tad under 6'1".

And I had multiple measurements to confirm that too, as I made the rounds of 3-4 various Drs for some diagnostic tests. There was some concern that I might be developing MS. Fortunately, it is looking more and more like my symptoms were the result of a viral infection of some sort.

One of my symptoms was frequent muscle spasms and cramps in my back and chest. One Dr prescribed a series of stretching exercises to help alleviate those problems. I also discovered that my heart, lungs, and blood pressure aren't optimal, so it was recommended that I get a bit more active with an exercise routine, and try to drop 5-10 pounds.

Now, about 3 months later, I have lost 15 lbs, increased my flexibility big time, built some upper body mass with a little weight lifting, and improved my cardio profile with 15 minutes of NordicTrac work a couple times a week. This has been a fairly radical change for me, an avowed activity- phobic, text book geek.

But on to my main point here: At my last two Dr visits, it appears as if I have actually "grown" back to 6'2 ¾"! I even had to change the angle of the rear view mirror in my car and truck!

Both Dr's noted this change in height, along with my weight loss and a 40 point drop in blood pressure, as proof that my efforts are working. Apparently the "heightening" is a common effect associated with getting a body back into shape after years of slumping over in front of a book or a PC.

J,Men over 35 requ... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

J,

Men over 35 require some "weight lifting"; this will prevent osteoporosis or thinning of the bones. Yes, it's not just for women, men get it too. There is a slow decrease in testosterone and if not accompanied by some moderate resistive strenght training, you will shrink!

Two five pound weights and a handful of Fosamax oughta do it.

Good luck

Definitely shave your barne... (Below threshold)
Lizzie:

Definitely shave your barnet.

Funny you should mention th... (Below threshold)
George:

Funny you should mention this. I faced the similar
discovery just recently when I found that I had
gone from my longtime 6'½" to 5'11½".

Hey jmaster, thanks for showing me those fractional
characters. I didn't know you could use those here.
I did a little investigating and figured out how to
do it.




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