CariMAN: Ageing, a hell of a thing

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first in a series of articles provided by The Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN), which “aims to bring together men and organisations throughout the Caribbean engaged in work with and for men.” The articles will be published monthly. This article was written by Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis and first appeared in The Star newspaper in Jamaica.

Hey, nuff man nuh love talk ’bout it, but ageing is a hell of a ting yu know! And it’s a thing that wreaks havoc on a man’s mind and body. As one of the several humorous old-age quotes puts it “first you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper, then … Oh, my goodness, you forgot to pull your zipper down!”

blood pressure

It’s that time of a man’s life when bones start creaking and pipes start leaking; when the things we want to stay down (like our blood pressure) go up uncontrollably, and the things we really want to go up ketch relapse or resign and resolutely refuse to rise. Of course, not that it’s much of a consolation, but one of the upsides of ageing is that your secrets are finally safe with your friends – because they can’t remember them either!

Whether you consider your body a sacred temple or a ‘lean, mean love machine’ or just plain old flesh and bones, the human structure is like any other living moving thing. It will inevitably become worn out. It can’t last forever. Don’t mind the multiplicity of anti-ageing miracles on sale all over, and don’t be fooled by rare human phenomena like Merlene Ottey for example, man a nuh machine; and the body eventually slows down and stops.

patiently waiting

No matter how healthy we live or well we try to keep it, after a certain number of years of carrying around our spirits, our bodies fall prey to that patiently waiting predator called ‘ole and tiyad’, and mi nuh fraid fi admit it peeps, it start to whap mi already. Fi real man, and as I get less and less young, I feel more and more ‘pap dung’ and I become more acutely aware of the need to pay attention to my health. It will happen eventually of course, but I don’t think they start making replacement parts for the human body yet. If they did most men would probably want to upgrade to bigger and sturdier appendages. Yes, I’d go for bigger feet. Heheheh!

Ageing also messes with a man’s masculinity. It does! As a man’s body ages, his production of the male hormone testosterone is reduced. You know that right? Yes man, that is a medically accepted fact!
Testosterone peaks during adolescence and early adulthood. As you get older, your testosterone level gradually declines.

So now, I wonder if you realise that technically speaking, that means that as a man gets older and older he actually gets less and less ‘manly’? Yeah, maybe that’s why some of us men do what is called mellowing with age. I don’t know about a next man, but I know that as I get older I tend to be generally less competitive and aggressive. And I may even cry more readily. How about you? And I’m not saying that that necessarily makes us more ‘womanly’. If anything, I think it makes us more ‘humanly’. What you think?

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    September 3, 2012

    The body does not control the mind the will or the way a man feels inside. The age business is for other cultures. In the Caribbean yes it may apply to work, yes it may apply to sports because as you get older logic and sensibility tells you if you not making money on it don’t bother with it. With age a man competes for what he wants not what other people want to compete with him on. He learns to love a woman not just physically but like an instrument to play a song with her not just noise. Pablo Picasso had his last child at 60, Donald Trump still making children. I know plenty guys much older than me that are still driven by the love and lust of a beautiful classy woman and their childhood dreams. If you choose to eat crappy food and drinking too much alcohol or smoking too much then age will be an issue in terms of tolerance. It works the same as giving a plant too much water or food too much seasoning. We all should live a balanced life. Too many people use the excuse that ‘you only live once’ to spend their time and money being jackasses. We all have a purpose and our lifespan is to complete that purpose not gaspier it. Age is a number the body is a vessel what you do while you have that body will live on for ages to come.

  2. Dr. Lucia John
    August 15, 2012

    It is good to see a column just for men so they can interact among themselves and talk about their issues. It would just be nice to see more comments on such an important article.

    The fact of growing old affects everyone, but we can grow old much more gracefully and in good health if we take care of ourselves from a young age. There are rules of body and mind that keep the body and mind healthy if they are respected and applied. We are born alkaline, but with time and bad eating and drinking habits and lifestyles, the body becomes more and more acidic. Acidity encourages stress, so the more acidity, the more stress,and the more stress, the more acidity. Too much acidity can trigger inflamation in the tissues and then in the organs. Wherever there is weakness, the acidity will settle there and cause more damage. The stress will agravate it and a vicious circle is created between the effects of the acidity and the stress. On the level of the mind, mainly non specific feelings of dis-ease. Fear of nothing specific may crop up like anxiety. Without treatment or care, the anxiety or fear will be stronger, maybe some depression, etc. Negative thoughts become stronger and may even be intrusive and out of control. Body and mind always function as one, so if there is something happening in the body, the mind will reflect it. Now, you should be willing to change some of your old bad habits, lifestyles, and excesses. You should be willing to change even a little bit to ease up the effects on your bodies and minds, if not, you actually compound the problem. At this point, illness may begin to show clinically at the point of weakness that was attacked earlier on, especially if nothing was done to strengthen the body or the mind, or to take care of the problem itself. See your doctor, run the necessary tests, do not be afraid to ‘know’ what is happening to you, because now, you know that if you know early enough, you can change things to the point of reversing certain processes or even illnesses if only you decide to take charge of your health, work closely with your doctor and agree to change to healthier diets and lifestyles, you can live much longer and healthier.

    Your emotions have a great role to play in your health. Example. Your attitude of being the ‘coq in the yard all the time,’ It is ok to share the control with your wife or partner sometimes. It is ok to trust your children. It is ok to just be you, the guy, the friend, whatever your profession. It is ok to have nice clean fun. The ‘coq in the yard’ attitude has a testosterones connection, So take a hint and ease up on your endocrine system. You may save your prostate in the process.

  3. keykiss
    July 16, 2012

    Oh this is great continue the good works interesting

  4. mimi
    July 15, 2012

    Gosh, the sight of the word spelt “ageing”.

  5. July 15, 2012

    You forgot one thing. The older the grape,the sweeter the whine/wine. Youthful days are not for competition. Do not rush the brush,you will be gone and forgotten and punannie will still be there. We cats can take blows and still outlive the rod of correction.

  6. toots
    July 15, 2012

    Wow love the way in which this is written, :lol: Im a UK nurse Female so can you write a page for us girlies. Rona :)

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