Thursday, June 29, 2006


Yes, it is hard to admit that we're getting older -- for those of us whose 20's are a distant memory. Last night, however, I had reality slap me right in the face ... and a few other places.

I play in two softball leagues - one Monday night and a double-header league on Wednesdays. The first game last night was great. My fielding was razor sharp and I was stinging the ball at bat. I guess a few weeks vacation paid great benefits. The second game was quite different.

In my second at bat in game two, I tried to hit a shot over the second baseman's head into right field. My aim was low and I instead hit a hard grounder. The ball hit the second baseman and went flying into the air. I was halfway down the first base line when I thought that I'd better kick my speed into overdrive. Big mistake.

I tripped and went flying into the first baseman at full speed. Landed in the dirt and was covered with dirt and had in inside my mouth and eyes. The first baseman was a big guy - 24 years old, 6 foot something, and athletically built. Having this mass of old, unfirm former softball hero blast into even a young, muscular guy caused some pain. But not nearly the pain I felt, I'm sure.

I got my bell rung and played for another inning, but recognized that I was dizzier than usual. Got a big strawberry on my left knee and have nothing but pain on my left ribcage, lower and upper. Not to mention feeling like the biggest dork in the world. Whatever happened to the days of my youth when I played in five softball leagues, could run forever, never missed a ball, and knocked the crap out of the ball at bat more often than not?

I once told my wife that I was obsessed with poker since it was a way to rekindle all those competetive juices without endangering this old body. Looks like poker is a better, safer game for me!


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