I was at the gym nursing the tendonitis in my right elbow, trying to lift one leg and the alternate arm in the air while I lay on my back when “Somebody to Love” by the Jefferson Airplane came on the stereo system. I was catapulted back in time to 1967 in San Francisco wearing a tunic designed to be a shirt as if it were a dress. Marijuana smoke was everywhere in Haight Ashbury where my then boy friend was spending the summer. I was there for a brief visit before heading back to college. Everyone was young. Everyone was lithe.
I remarked on the time to my workout partner when my trainer quipped, “that’s the old people’s radio station playing.” Agh. My worst nightmares had come to pass. I clearly remember hearing music from the 1940’s in the grocery store and fearing that by the time I was “old” my music would be played in the nursing home. Having it play at the gym, surrounded by “Silver Sneakers”(people over 65) members was just as startling. Here I was remembering the precise way I moved through San Francisco humming that song and yet here I was trying to just get one leg and one arm into the air at the same time.
I actually don’t miss being 20. I was what my grandchildren would call “a hot mess” at the time, consumed with love problems. But I do wish sometimes that I could take my wisdom and experience back to that 20 year old body if only for a day. I certainly wouldn’t take it for granted!