The Grunting Phase of Life

It’s become as much a part of me as my greying hair and expanding waistline. I grunt. Sounds from the deep. Utterances from the gut.

I didn’t use to be this way, but drop something on the floor and listen to me as I bend to pick it up, and then listen to me again as I stand back up. It’s like a double-header…er, a double-grunter. If I was trying to scare one of the grandkids and it required me rising from a crouched position, I’d be toast. Having two licks of common sense, I have figured out that grandkid-scaring must happen from a stationary position with an ending jump. By then, the grunt becomes a part of the terrorizing.

Why do I grunt? I asked Google and was taken back by all the results that came up. It caused me to grunt in wonderment.

Grunting in our old age comes as a result of losing muscle strength, accompanied by the reduction of lubricating fluids inside our joints that happens over time. Older people, like yours truly, have poor balance, at least compared to their younger selves, and grunting provides some much-needed trunk stability. There you go. I almost feel better about my grunting. Evidently, it keeps me from falling over…except when I fall over.

I don’t remember my dad grunting. Maybe he did and I just didn’t notice. Mom, however, would grunt and say something like, “Lord, have mercy!”, as she rose from her recliner. “Lord, have mercy!” was her go-to grunt. It was followed by a couple of pain-filled grunting sounds to express the stiffness of her joints. She was entitled to moan, groan, and grunt, since she had been struck by a car when she was young girl and spent a few months in the hospital. I have no excuse. I simply grunt as my body unfolds.

When I was younger, I grunted as an expression of my physical efforts, like when I was lifting weights. A grunt was an indication of a conquest taking place. It drew the attention of those nearby who would stop and admire the brute strength on display. I don’t know if those grunts were natural or learned from watching Olympic weightlifters get psyched up as they hoisted the bar that bent under the heavy amount of weight anchored to it. In high school I grunted with masculinity as I bench-pressed one-and-a-half times my weight. I should make note of the fact that I didn’t weigh that much in high school, but still…150% is still 150% and my high-pitched grunt drew the attention of those around me who, now that I think about it, may have been concerned for my safety.

Nowadays I grunt not because I’m bench-pressing one-and-a-half times my body weight, but rather because my body weight is one-and-a-half times what it was back in the day. I need a “Grunt-om-a-ter” to count the number of times I let one out each day. Kind of a different way to keep track of how much I move. After all, my wristwatch keeps track of the numb er of steps I take. In fact, when I’m too stationary, it vibrates on my wrist and when i look down the message on the watch face says, “Let’s Move!” A grunt-om-a-ter could remind me “Time for a Grunt, Old Man!”

That makes me huff a little bit. Now I’m wondering if huffing and puffing, like the Big Bad Wolf, also qualifies as grunting?

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