I’m sore. Really sore.
I reek of ben gay. I snort Tylenol. Whole. I beg the wife for a massage but my pleading falls on deaf, uncaring ears.
I hobble around like a one legged pirate with termites. I take each step gingerly like I just had a prostate exam given to me by a large fingered man in Tijuana (circa 1998). I was shuffling along and some old dude with a walker told me to get the hell out of his way. Happy to report I was able to push him over, but he caught up to me (you know, on account that I’m so sore) and beat me with the aforementioned walker. Thank you to the dude with the I phone for not helping me. I hope you got some good footage.
All jokes aside, I hurt. My thighs, my calves, and inexplicably, my guts. I can’t laugh. Can’t sneeze. I blink with effort. “What happened?”, you ask with real concern. “A car wreck? Did you finally wreck your Lamborghini?” No. I’ll tell you what happened.
A friggin softball tournament happened.
Yeah. Sad, I know. In my defense, it was an all day, 6 game affair. And we won the championship. Look for my picture on a Wheaties box soon. I’m going to Disneyland!
But really. Why do I do this to myself?? Every time a tournament comes up, I participate. Basketball? (well, half-court 3 on 3) sure, I’ll play. Football? (well, flag) I’m in. And every time I feel like crap for days afterward! Am I getting too old for this stuff? Is it time to retire? After 25 years of sports dominance, is it time to hang it up and hobble off into the sunset?
It all started when I was a kid. My parents signed me up for Little League baseball, AYSO, and Boys Club basketball. Not sure WHY they did, probably just trying to come between me and my Nintendo. Don’t worry, Mario, let me go hit a few home runs for my parents, I’ll be right back.
Just kidding about the homeruns. I was never a stand out player. Solidly average. But truth be told, I’m glad my parents signed me up. It was fun when I was a kid. It got to the point that whatever sport was on tv, I’d have to go out and play it. Basketball season meant me in the backyard with my mini-hoop playing Magic and the Lakers vs Bird and the Celtics. Or Nerf action in my room. Football season meant street 2 hand touch with the neighborhood kids. Baseball meant pitch and catch with dad or friends.
During my teen years, my interest in organized team sports died a little bit. For whatever reason I became anti-social, awkward, and “shy” so the fun of team sports went away. Senior year I didn’t play any sports at all.
Adulthood brought back the interest. As I mentioned, flag football, basketball, and softball are all in my rotation. Why do I still play and risk permanently crippling myself? I believe its the old saying: “you can’t break a chicken without making an omelette”. No. Wait. ” You don’t stop playing because you’re getting old. You’re getting old because you stopped playing”. Plus, I think I play for my kids.
Now that I have kids of my own, I’d like them to play sports as well. Am I going to make them play if they don’t want to? Naw. My daughter has tried tee ball and basketball and seemed to like it. My son has played tee ball, but didn’t want to play this year. And that’s fine. It’s mostly my fault anyway. Instead of practicing with them , we’re running back and forth in the front yard pretending we’re being chased by dinosaurs: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QLl3GS-bSo8. Ain’t no scholarships in that!
If they DO decide to pursue sports, I have to stay fresh. I want to be able to keep up with them. I want to be able to hang with them. To be able to dominate them like I dominate them at Candyland. Plus I’d like to teach them about sportsmanship and teamwork and losing with dignity.
Speaking of losing with dignity, I’d also like to tell them slightly exaggerated stories of the not so glorious years.
So you have a soccer tournament coming up and you need another guy? I’m your man. Just let me get my cleats and shin guards.
And ben gay…..and advil…..and neosporin….and band-aids…..and crutches…..and gauze…..and ice pack…….