Friday, February 13, 2004

On aging gracefully

I'm limping a bit today. You see I play indoor soccer each week at one of the local Y's. I am not now nor have I ever been an athlete. I was the geeky kid who knew all the answers in school. Always picked either last or next to last (what a great triumph that is when you move to next to last or even next-to-next-to-last! It means there's at least one person lower on the food chain than you. Take your victories where you can).

Anyway about 10 years ago I got talked into joining this recreational indoor soccer league. One night a week, mostly guys in their 30's and 40's with a smattering of folks at either extreme. And I fell in love with it (about the same time I started playing golf too. Apparently my mid life crisis started at age 35 and involved sports. Cheaper than a mistress and/or a divorce). I've never been better than a mid-level player in this league but that was pretty good for someone with as little on my sporting resume as I have. It was fun, great exercise, a way to make new friends. It also became a running bit on my radio program for years. I dubbed us "Team Old Fat Guys" and we entered into local legend. Today there's only a couple of us still playing. It's still fun, it's still great exercise, I just have to work at it harder.

But last night was great. The game was wide open. I had pretty good wind and I was handling the ball well (a skill that comes and goes for me). In the end we won and I scored twice! Not my biggest night ever (I have a dozen or so hat tricks all told and one glorious night when I scored four times) but the best in a while. The problem came later as my right knee got tighter and tighter. This morning I was fine as long as I didn't flex the knee. Not good. Visions of torn ligaments and knee surgery dance through my head (the scars would be kinda cool though "Yeah got those when they repaired my ACL. Blew it out scoring two goals in soccer" Ah the dreams of the weekend warrior. Then I remember I hate all things related to medical procedures).

Am I too old for this? People have been telling me that for years now. I keep telling them I'll play as long as the knees let me (Hmmmmmm). In reality I'll play as long as my body doesn't give out and I'm not the worst player in the league. There's still a couple guys that are definitely below me on the totem pole.

I don't ever want to go back to being the last one picked.

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