Tonight's schedule has me attending martial arts class at 7:30pm. I'll be training with the black belt candidates, who are all teenagers prepping for their test next month. It is not uncommon for a class like this to start with three or four hundred jumping jacks, broken into groups of one hundred by delves into hideous amounts of pushups and/or sit-ups. After that, I have a hockey game scheduled for 10:30pm.
What could possibly go wrong?
One of these days something in my body is going to say 'Enough of this shit' and just stop working. A knee, maybe, or an ankle. My left shoulder feels like it's made out of hamburger and broken glass most mornings, and after a class focused on wheel kicks (the ultimate nemesis to those lacking flexibility such as myself) last night my hips feel like someone was beating them with a rubber hose for a few hours. Between whatever buzzsaw I run into in class tonight and the strain of a game of hockey, tomorrow my groin muscles will likely lodge a loud complaint.
How much longer can this go on? Look, I don't paint myself as any real kind of athlete. I know there are people my age doing triathlons and all sorts of high-impact sports. I managed to wobble through a 5k with my son last weekend, no doubt aided by the few walks he needed to take. Hey, he's 8 and it was nothing but hills and valleys. If you'd told me the kid was going to run sub-12 minute miles in a 5k a few weeks ago I would have raised an eyebrow. Proud of the Boy. He may have found his sports-related Thing. I'm still looking for mine, maybe.
And yet I keep trying, keep pushing it. Why? Part of it could be that I'm in better shape at 48 than I was at 22, as my laughably puffy-faced passport photo would attest to if I were dumb enough to post it here. Could be the joy of playing hockey with two people I consider my brothers, or the abject amazement I feel every single time I somehow manage to keep a puck from going in behind me. Maybe it's just fun.
Question is, what happens when it stops? What do I do, whom do I become after that ACL snaps, after that L3 unaligns? How do I keep the weight off? Will I be able to keep my sanity with NHL '17 as opposed to skating myself? Can dusting off an old copy of Karateka substitute for actual sparring? (No.) Will I try to force my kids to play team sports so I can coach and live through them vicariously? (Also no.) Or will it all be something I'll take in stride (figuratively)?
I'll find out at some point, no doubt of that. Staying uninjured is a rigged game - sooner or later I'm going to lose. I'll keep my foot on the throttle until then, although my acceleration is more Prius than Porsche.
edit: it's Friday morning. I survived, although there is more of me aching than not.I'm pleased with myself until I try to do something crazy like move a muscle. Ow, quit it.