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Don’t Let The Old Man In. From “The Mule.”

My self-image has always been as an active, healthy, strong, relatively athletic person who also happened to be 76 years old.  Friends were frequently impressed when they learned my age. “Really? You certainly don’t look it,” was the usual reaction. I am willing to bet that the vast majority of SeniorsSkiing,com readers have the same self-image and have had the same reactions from friends.

So, when I had a hip replaced last week, I had a snapshot of what the opposite of that self-image could be. One week post-op, I am (temporarily) disabled, I hobble, I lean on a cane, I depend on others, I don’t sleep, I take lots of drugs. Despite knowing that this is at least a six-week journey back to normalcy, it was bringing me down. I became antsy, reluctant to do my therapeutic walking, a little pissy-and-moany.

I was getting a view of what it might like to be “old”.

On a Zoom call with an good friend, I unloaded my frustration at being tossed into this debilitated state.  Then he said something that flipped my attitude on the spot: “Don’t let the old man in.”

He said that’s what I was doing. The Old Man was in, and I had opened the door.

I am sure that most of readers are keeping the Old Man out every day, even if they don’t call it that.

Where did this stunningly inspirational phrase come from?

Turns out that country singer and songwriter Toby Keith was playing golf with Clint Eastwood then 88 at a charity event.  Toby asked Clint how he managed to keep up his energy, interest, and engagement at his age. Clint said, “Every morning I get up and say to myself, don’t let the old man it.”  The phrase struck the songwriter. Eventually he wrote a song about the keeping the old man at bay.  Eastwood included it in his latest movie, “The Mule.”

Here it is with scenes from the movie.

This Week

The Skiing Weatherman Herb Stevens brings news about ongoing change in the snow weather.  The Polar Vortex is on the way.  Eastern skiers, hang in there.

We have another poem in our ongoing Snow In Literature series, the first time we’ve had two poems in a row in our weekly editions. This time, it’s Interlude, by Linda Pastan.

Credit: MD Maginn

Our Make More Tracks series continues with a resort review of The Lodge and Spa at Three Forks Ranch, WY, a luxury inn just north of Steamboat, catering to the outdoor sports including cross-country crowd. This place is really classy.

Correspondent videographer Don Burch has submitted a very interesting video which is essentially a portfolio of artistic images of our ski world. Some of these are “frame-worthy”.  If you think so, too, let Don know.

Our Question For You this week asks if you’re happy you bought a season pass.  Any regrets? Buyer’s remorse? Or, are you getting more than the value you expected?

Correspondent Jan Brunvand takes a nostalgic look back at his family’s ski roots in Norway.

Finally, co-publisher Jon Weisberg reviews the Swiss Dahu ski boot which is designed for comfort.  Read his review and discover what the fitting process is all about.

Remember, tell your friends about us. And there are more of us every day, and we aren’t going away.

Jan and brother, Tor







  1. Jack Murray says:

    Feel better, Mike!

  2. Frank Scharo says:

    Since reading your article I have not stopped thinking about “Keep the old man out”. Chronological age, if allowed to dominate ones mind, can sure get in the way of a young spirit. Thank you!!

  3. Mike, I hope the six weeks goes quickly so you can get back to your old self…I mean back to full health. Nothing like an illness, injury or surgery to make us grateful when we get back to health. I LOVE the concept of not letting the old man in.

  4. mike
    having both hips done in the past fours years,and still skiing(just not as fast) ,its the first big fall you need to get over.I did mine in powder,I look up ,and only saw my loose poles,no loose hips.So you’ll pass on most of this season,just don’t ski “one-legged” not good,
    practice your golf swing

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