Or, apparently, my body isn’t. Last week I drank 50 oz of diet pop (over the course of 5-6 hours), had a nice BBQ supper, and then had four cups of Russian Caravan tea that night. My heart rate did not return to Alma-normal until after 0100, and that’s about when I managed to finally get to sleep, I think. My stomach still wasn’t really happy about the state of the world until late the next morning. What could possibly have gone wrong?
I mean, when I was in college, I could get up at 0600, exercise, have classes all day and drink 60+ ounces of soda and iced tea, eat 3/4 of a pizza, and stay up till 0200 talking and be ready to go at 0600 the next AM without any stomach upset of trouble sleeping. Just because that was almost, um, 30 years ago has nothing to do with it. Really.
When I was flying, my tolerance for caffeine increased. I don’t think anyone is surprised by that. Pilots used to run on alcohol, sucrose, caffeine, and nicotine. Now we run on caffeine and sucrose. Authors used to run on a similar combination, or at least acted as if they did. Now we seem to run on caffeine and pixie dust. Oh, that’s children’s book authors, sorry. The rest of us just run, usually around in circles as we chase our characters, calling “At least tell me if you get the girl, please?”
However young my brain thinks it is, the rather higher-mileage rest of me disagrees. I can no longer eat 3/4 of a large pizza without being reminded of it all night. And apparently I need to put tea in my milk, rather than milk in my tea. Although Russian Caravan is sort of the espresso of tea, even before it gets forgotten for half an hour and thickens up “a little.” We will not mention the things (like moving wide boxes) that my muscles and joints would prefer not to do. I suspect spending an afternoon on my back scrubbing airplane bellies (two Cessnas, a Piper Warrior, and a Piper Saratoga) would take more than 1/2 a pizza and a hot shower to recover from.
(Yeah, I worked cheap. Twice a year the flying club had a “clean the hangars and wash the planes” day with pizza and a business meeting after we finished. It seemed to be 50 degrees both days, which may explain how the second youngest club member got “lucky” enough to do bellies every single time.)
Anyway, I can’t do that anymore. But I seem unable to remember that I can’t do that anymore. And then I do whatever it is, and I am forcibly reminded by a short night, aching muscles, and a racing pulse that “Hey! Tex! You’re not a teenager anymore!”