Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today is the 20th of May, 2008. I have been challenging my students for a sprint race, but they have been giving me excuses. I told them anyone who beats me will win $20 but if I win them I will pay myself $20. Last Friday we had a challenger, verified that he had a physical and we slated the race for today. Finally we had a race with the whole class of 25 students routing for my opponent; their classmate. It was a stretch to touch a bus and return to the starting point equivalent to 100 meters.
When the mouth signal (replacing the gun) to go was given, we ran neck to neck until when coming back that he left me some inches behind and first reached the finish line before I could arrive. They were laughing as their self esteem has been buoyed. They mocked and derided me that until the bell rang the class was boisterous as if it would be the talk of the school. Perhaps I just made their day.
One of my female students came to me, leaned closer by my side and whispered: “Mr. Ayuk, how do you expect to run faster than these 17 and 18 year olds when you are twice older than them? Didn’t you say you are 38? See, you are getting old and that is the fact. Now you have to start figuring out the things you could do at your age group than thinking you can compete with us”. I laughed, thanked her and concurred that there is a time to be born and a time to die.
Four days ago I drank a soda and had some palpitations. After school I went to visit my doctor. My blood pressure was 110/62, and my pulse and lungs were normal to excellent. The doctor commended me and told me to continue with my eating habits because it would seem it is very healthy. What was wrong then that I could not keep the pace with the student? Age!
Many at times I have refused to face reality and perhaps you too. I am no more the young sprinter who used to train or practice as I used to do; old age is setting in. People say age is a number. No, it is not; it means you are getting old and either the nursing home or a hospice (if you neglect your family) is staring you closely. If age is a number then it simply means that your number is increasingly taking you to the grave.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are getting old daily. Tell a woman she is getting old she wants to break your head with her talon. Is she getting old? Indeed, she is and faster too. By facing reality we reduce or prevent the rapid aging but living in escapism we neglect and face the same destiny of existentialism. We become like houseflies caught in the spider’s webs unable to disentangle ourselves just waiting for our turn of death.
Are you checking your body regularly? Young ladies are you checking for those paraovarian cysts? As you get older your body too is depreciating. That is entropy! You can see that with your breast. A bra will make you feel they are up but in a shower you face the reality that age is not really a number because they are sagging. We will not always stay young. Are we taking the necessary STDs and HIV tests? There are blood tests that we need to take regularly. How long do you check your blood pressure, sugar level, pulse and others? How long do you try to find out if you heart, lungs and liver are in good condition? I mean that is the only way you will face reality about your health.
If you are in your thirties and cannot run more than two miles without stopping then you are not in shape. Being in shape boosts your self confidence and gives you the ability to wear the clothes you like. Oh, I like when I wear my vest (which most people erroneously call petticoat) and students say you look really cute. I look at the mirror and my tummy is flat. Oh, I feel really good about myself. How about you? Do you feel good about yourself? If not then face reality and do something.

Until then, those who fear to face the future will not reach it.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

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