Why do you keep doing this?

Peter Leith is 89 and describes himself as ‘half-deaf and half-blind’, but he has never been one to dwell on his challenges. Why do you keep doing this? continues his series of true short stories and observations titled Aspects of Ageing.


His near-sightless eyes staring straight ahead, the old physio leaned on the heels of both hands and ran them up the long muscles of the prone footballer’s back. The younger man grunted as his back muscles started to relax.

The slightly knotted fingers moved and started to dig into the tense muscles of the upper back, shoulders and neck. Suddenly, the firm pressure was gone and a single finger of each hand started to discover, trace and massage the individual tight sinews until they, too, relaxed.

“God, but that feels good,” said the younger man. “I don’t know why you keep on doing this at your age Ben, but I’m bloody glad you do.”

Ben chuckled and dug the balls of his thumbs into the base of the man’s neck.

“Why do you keep doing it Ben?” the younger man repeated.

After a moment, Ben replied, with another chuckle: “Because it prevents the arthritis from taking over my hands.”


This is one of a series of short stories in a growing collection called Aspects of Ageing.

Do you have a story or an observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line.

Written by Peter Leith


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