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40 not out


I have been hearing for years that life comes in stages. You start as a child and depending on how long you live you tend to end up being like a child too in your old age, as far as needing assistance from others. I guess that ties in with the “once a man, twice a child” saying.

I can almost remember being hugged and kissed by my mother as she came in from work on evenings and also being punished later for being a naughty boy. There were also the days of being the big boy where I went out to fairs and little socials, with a curfew of course, and got to be among the pretty girls too while pretending I had very little interest in them.

All that soon changed when I entered secondary school, which I remember like yesterday. I would be running about like a wild hare rabbit playing from football to cricket to softball to volleyball to a bit of basket ball. I had more energy than ever and when I went to sleep at night I thought of the next running around session.

I, at times, was bouncing off the wall with energy and seemed to never get tired.

When I got into white shirt and long pants I seemed to want to keep my shirt white, so I eased up on the running about and tried to be the cool senior student. The running about was left for after school and during physical education class.

I tried track and field events and every possible physical thing there was because youth was on my side and was going nowhere it seemed. After I finished school I eased up on the cricket and was a firm fixture in football. I played in the St. John League and then some division football for Eden Stars. When that started to get in the way and was getting more violent on the sidelines than on field, I skipped that for division cricket with Carlton Club.

I really enjoyed the times playing, but I was well into my career as an entertainer and was often travelling with the band or solo. I also had my daughter and a son on the way too so I was a family man with lots of responsibilities.

At 28, I still had a serious six to eight pack, depending on the extent of my workout or performance. I could sing and gyrate like a spring was in my waist and never got tired. I never drank or smoked and still never do. I was the poster boy for fitness and health.

One night while performing in St. Maarten I had this young lady who seemed overly excited by what she was seeing on stage run and jump in my arms and proceeded to show how flexible she was while pelting waist with her legs around my waist. I was still singing and dancing too but that girl aggravated a muscle in my back that was being a humbug from bowling in cricket. I felt like my back was tied in a big knot, but I could not show it.

That pain disappeared shortly and all seemed back to normal. So I thought at least, ’til one day I was playing football and realised I could not generate the speed I once had and was cramping in the same area. Again I blamed sporting activity.

As the years rolled by, sports now was resigned to table top games and the odd table tennis game at home. That was working out fine for me. I had purchase badminton rackets and shuttle cocks that are still waiting to be used and my Puma indoor soccer shoes are being worn as regular shoes. They have never kicked a ball at all.

I must say that, as the years rolled by, I no longer pelt pelvis on stage like I did as a 20-something early 30-something-year-old. A little slow wind was enough for me and still is. I viewed it as self preservation in the pelvic department.

Before I knew it I was staring down 38 and rolling fast towards 40. I called my mom an old woman at 40 years and she told me off. At her present age people are calling her a young woman and I must say she is still a looker. My mom never seemed to look her age, and is a very trendy dresser. Always respecting her age but never looking like a pensioner.

On Friday, I managed to score 40 and I must say thanks to the Almighty. I never thought it would catch me so fast. I heard that life begins at 40 and I should now be seeing things in a different light and looking at securing my family’s future. I was told that my entire view on life will change as the rest of the decade rolls on and then at 50 another phase cuts in.

So true, I must say. I am seeing things now via glasses and at times wonder where my 20/20 vision has disappeared to. As far as life beginning at 40, they have forgotten to let me know that back aches and sore joints begin too and started before 40. I can’t forget the energy level and memory too. Someone asked me to take gingko which aids in memory but I never remember to take it. Life beginning at 40 is such a tale. Everything begins to go downhill too it appears.

I must say that I feel not much different and I am proud to say my age. I see some youngsters younger than me who make me feel like a 25-year-old. I once remembered having to show my ID to enter a club in Toronto because I looked a tad bit under age. I felt really good about that and when I speak of having a daughter who is almost 18, I had a couple asking me how early did I start as a parent and what did my parents think. Keep flattering me people.

I am still celebrating for the rest of the month so please bring the gifts and the belated cake etc.

Finally to the Cave Shepherd All Stars and its finalist: I want to say well done. To the other finalist and winner in RPB I want to say congrats and well done, especially on your 30th year in entertainment. To LIME and Mels’s Beauty College and Mel’s College for pre Schoolers I want to say a great thank you. I will be back again in 2013 doing my best, thanks to you and the people. I have only just begun. It has been 20 years as an entertainer and 20 seasons as a competitor in the calypso arena.

This young man now has a long way to go. Fourteen years and counting! A big hug goes out to Latoya from Barbados today for remembering my fourteenth.

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