I'll relate to you this anecdote about me and old men. I'm exercising by route marching with my rucksack. I've got probably 50lb of deadweight loaded plus my constantly-lightening load of water, another ten pounds. I usually walk a twelve kilometer circuit with this load, which has a 230 meter hill in the middle of it, which has 2000m of my route spread over it. I get to the foot of this hill, moving along a cliffside trail, when I encounter an old gentleman with a cane, birdwatching. We chat, he informs me that there's an eagle 'over that way a ways,' and it's hunting the other birds. I watch, but can't see this. This old man has Hubble Space Telescope-vision, I realize. We talk some more, he carries on. I begin climbing up the hill on the trail.
About twenty minutes later here comes the gentleman again, swinging his walking stick and humming. He's coming from in front of me... meaning he's circled the hill, climbed it, and made it halfway down in the time it took me to get halfway up. Okay. We talk again, and it turns out that in the afternoon he likes to walk laps of the hill. He said he'd go down to the cliffside trail and come back up, "race me to the top," he says jokingly. I laugh, we carry on.
Twenty minutes later again, he passes me as I'm climbing up the steps hacked into the side of this hill. My quads are on fire. This guy is the senior citizen embodiment of Atlas, and at a walking pace that outstrips my own - and I move very quickly on foot - he passes me. I just about **** a brick, because to my mind he's basically teleporting around the place. I cannot understand how he's moving so quickly.
I get off the stairs and climb a scree slope. It's easier on my legs at this point. I clamber up a grass slope. There's a gentle slope and then a stone wall. There's the old gentleman, standing behind it with his walking stick tucked under his arm, watching me scramble up the slope with my rucksack on. Tourists are looking at me like I'm a cliff-climbing commando come to sabotage their cars in the name of the fight against Hitler's Germany. When I get within earshot, the gentleman chides me for cheating and straying off the path. The only possible response is: "Yes sir. You still kicked my ass."
I now fear old men. "so take it easy on an old man" you say. Yeah... take it easy on me.
Ac her forş berad; fugels singağ, gylled grghama. Wyrd biğ ful aræd.