Getting braces on my teeth at age 70

So, yesterday I sat quietly in an office waiting room, surrounded by 12 year old kids, waiting to go in to have braces put onto my bottom teeth.  Got em on.  Walked out of there feeling quite out of place, but with the knowledge that I was doing what I always do…playing for the long run.

Everybody has their issues.  One of my lifelong issues has been my teeth.  Too much sugar, one too many surfboards hitting me right smack in the mouth, a few teeth in my mouth that decided to line up in several different directions…ongoing, costly, non-fun issues.  It finally came down to this…deal with all those issues or abandon ship.  I could fix the teeth or start to lose them one by one.

You would think this is a no-brainer…get them fixed.  However, what I see all too often is that people my age and older (and I am 70 years of age) don’t have the money nor the patience to deal with it…so they just kind of give up.  Net result, down the road it becomes a “quality of life” issue.  Those people end up with missing teeth, no teeth or “store boughts”.  I see it all the time.

There is a bigger issue at play.  The issue is that some people, as they enter into “old age”, make a decision that it is just not worth it to take great care of themselves.  They decide they are not worth the money that needs to be spent.  They know that, even if they get the best medical or dental repairs available to mankind, they are still going to look like a senior citizen…so the whole thing is just not worth it.

I say it is worth it…that you are worth it…we all are worth it.  Our bodies should be treated like they are going to last.  When I hear people say “I’m not going to do it because I will probably be dead in five years.”…it drives me nuts.  They seem to always outlive that prediction…sometimes by decades.

One of the first lessons my great track coach, Coach Bill O’Rourke, taught me was “Run all the way THROUGH the finish line.”  Same with life.  We get this one body.  Let’s treat that body as if it might last.  If that means that you need braces at age 70…get the damn things.  You will be happy you did….maybe not right away…but eventually.

One added bonus…my wife (age 68), our grand daughter (age 12) and 70 year old me are taking a trip to Europe together this summer.  ALL of us will being wearing braces.  I did not see that coming.  And my wife tells me that the new braces make me look a lot younger…like 69.5 years of age.  Now, please excuse me, I need to find some asprin and some of that “braces wax” they gave me yesterday.  Such is life.