Why do we get dumb as we age?

Small children learn after exactly one attempt that if you put your hand on a hot stove, your hand gets hurt.  They don’t feel the need to redo the experiment and see if their hand will be able to handle it next time.  They don’t lower the temp and try it again as soon as it re-heals.  And certainly, they don’t write long blog posts about putting their hand on a stove.

When we age, things that cause us pain or harm seem to get re-evaluated and experiments are recreated…but with the same results, as if we are trying to put our hands on the stove.  We just get stupid.

Today, my son and I pulled into a spot about half a mile from the parking lot of Clingman’s Dome, in TN.  The summit was perhaps a mile away, and the path leading up to the summit was well-marked and paved.  However, almost every step was uphill.  I suggested to Alex that we ought to try running to the summit.  OK, I didn’t suggest it.  I used words like, “put your shoes on and let’s run to the top of this thing…we will be there in 5 or 10 minutes.  OK, Boy, let’s hit it!”

Something like that.  About two-thirds of the way up, my foot with the Plantar Fasciitis was start to get my attention.  Alex was smart-he got real tired and decided to walk for 100 yards or so.  I tried to keep going, until it hit me….I am not behaving like a child and learning from my stupid experiments.  Last time I tried to push through an onset of PF, I regretted it.  That was only a month ago.

Why am I putting my hand back on a hot stove?

When I realized what I was doing, I smirked and jumped up on a bench.  Before I even turned around and looked for my son’s whereabouts, I got literally instantaneous relief.  I shook my head and swore in some foreign language or another and just started laughing.

Simmer down.  Learn from a child.  This isn’t a race, and the stove is still hot.


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