If you were to arrive at my door right now with a measuring tape in your hand, and I was to strip down to my bare essentials, you would find I measure six foot in height, by stringing the tape from my big toe right up to the top of my head. ‘
This morning if you undertook the same task, I would be coming in at five foot and eleven and three quarter inches.
This mighty growth spurt so late in life (I’m 45) was not achieved with the assistance of growth promoters.
No Angel Dust over my cornflakes, or Jungle Juice in my tea.
My growth was achieved au naturel, or what I mean to say is, done without the use of any artificial ointments, powders or creams.
The height was gained by exercise, pure and simple.
For years, I have been suffering from bandy knees.
Yerra, ‘tis nothing to boast about really. It’s not half as glamorous as it might sound. It’s just one of those things that fellows like me develop with the passage of time.
I suppose there has to be a price to pay for a life of exertion.
Anyhow, in recent times, to keep myself in reasonable shape, I have been taking classes in the oriental art of karate.
These classes, in case you are wondering, do not take place in some faraway spot like Shanghai or Bangkok, but in nearby Crookstown.
I feel it is very important that we in the farming game keep ourselves fit and active.
Be it cycling, swimming, or running after your neighbours wife.
Whatever you fancy, the main thing is to stay active.
Getting back to my story, this evening I retuned to karate after a long Christmas break and I’m telling you, I was glad I returned.
Tonight, the focus was on the leg.
And with me possessing two legs as crooked as the horns on an old mountain goat, I was hard to ignore.
Straight away, I was ordered to stretch out on the floor and to raise one of my legs as high as it could go.
That wasn’t too high.
But then, didn’t this fellow grab hold of it and straighten it out like you wouldn’t believe.
So there I was like an old bullock with his leg caught in a crush gate. I couldn’t move up nor down.
I let out a few roars. as you would expect, for the pain was intense.
Anyhow, with the height of pulling, pushing and twisting, my knee and my leg were straightened to an-all merciful degree.
With similar moves, before long, the other leg too was also as straight as the Carrigrohane Road.
Some time later, with the miracle job complete, I got to my feet.
I felt like a new man. I felt like my old Hilux after getting the tracking realigned.
I was ready for anything.
With my legs straightened and my knees no longer letting me down, I was standing tall once again.
For the coming year, if you are beginning to feel bits rattle, loosen or even seize up, like me, why not take up some exercise outside the farm gate?
Who knows? Before long, you too might find yourself straightened out for 2016.