Youth is Wasted by the Young

27 10 2009

I’ve been raised, deliberately or otherwise, to view Sunday as a day to relish. For me, this has usually involved sports.  Whether it was the pre-service touch football games in the parking lot, church softball team practices, evening bowling games with friends in San Luis, or even wiffleball games in Grandma’s back yard with John,  (I still have a cool scar–two, actually–from one of those) I’ve always enjoyed a bit of friendly competition on Sundays.  Lately, I’ve been playing soccer with some miscellaneous cohorts in the afternoon, and  I have occasionally indulged in frisbee later in the evening to boot.  Yesterday, however, I inadvertently planned a veritable deluge of sports for myself.  My buddy Corey had planned a good-sized inline hockey game at around 5 or so in Chino Hills.  Since I usually don’t play soccer much past 4, and I wasn’t planning on playing ultimate frisbee with Andrew and co. until 9, I figured I could squeeze in brief showers before the latter two events and just stay energized through pure gumption and a couple of Powerades.

Turns out, I don’t have gumption any more.  I think I used it all up around sophomore year of college, which is also the last time I remember drinking more than one Powerade at a time.  There’s a reason for that.

So, of course, Sunday afternoon arrived warm, with mid-eighties temperatures and a sweltering soccer field beckoning my naive legs to their doom.   However, I’ve conditioned the old tree trunks to take their share of punishment when it comes to football, and a couple hours’ worth of play left them tired, but sweating gracefully.  If only I had been able to see theirs tears of pain amidst the glistening perspiration.

As soon as I walked into the apartment at about 4:30, I could tell I was in for some trouble.  My muscles were beginning to tighten up, and I was less confident than usual that my standard calisthenics and stretching would prevent them from taking a quick five on the 30 minute drive to the hockey rink.  I showered, making the water as hot as possible in a miserably futile effort to keep the ol’ gams elasticized, and picked up some liquid electrolytes on my way over to Chino Hills.

Let me say now that the drive over was extremely pleasant.  As I gave my body no choice but to relax and enjoy the cooling evening air and diminishing sunlight, I began to feel peaceful.  Life is good.  I’m just sitting here, listening to the radio, driving past the unicorn palace on my way to my first NHL practice.  Oh, right, I’m dreaming.  Thanks for the wake up honk, jerk.  Ahem.

(I didn’t really fall asleep, but I very much wanted to.  It was that pleasant.)

I lackadaisically* carried my stick, skates and such over to the rink, and was greeted by an enthusiastic cheer from the Red Wing Jerseyed Corey.  Seeing hockey jerseys moving at full flight always gives me the itch to revisit my Flippos days, and here was one of the few times in recent memory that I had a chance to respond to that call.  The anticipation to hop onto the rink as fast as humanly possible was intermittently tempered by my knowledge that I hadn’t played more than once within the past two years, and that my body was not exactly ripe for intense physical activity.  Thankfully, I learned to stop listening to my body a long time ago.  What does a stupid hunk of mostly-water-filled carbon know anyway?

The play was good, all things considered.  My passing was good, but foolish at times.  I also cannot stickhandle at any decent speed to save my life, and my slapshot resembles badminton more than hockey.  However, I did beat Kyle the Goalie with a nice head fake and wrist shot to the far side fairly early on, which helped to ease the chagrin that set in as the evening wore on and my severely limited skill set quickly began to erode alongside my lung capacity.  When 8 came around, I knew I had to go, prior engagement notwithstanding.  My body and lungs were begging for mercy, and I knew better than to ignore their pleas this time.  I bid farewell to the boys, and rather gingerly loaded up my car for the drive back.

As my tender frame informed me of each and every pebble my tires felt on the freeway, I tried to soothe my back/quads/hamstrings groans with the only medication I had available:  Powerade.  I think I envisioned the sugary liquid coursing through my veins and purging my body of the evil lactic acid I could feel welling up all too quickly.  Instead, it just felt like I was drinking Powerade when I needed a sauna (sa-OO-nah, according to some people) and acupuncture for an hour.  Which I did.

(If you need a frame of reference for my condition, just know that hearing the Angels end their season through multiple errors and discombobulation failed to ease my pain one iota.)

When I straggled into our apartment this time, I looked at my roommate, Cory, and made my decision:  I was not leaving this apartment again tonight.  After text messaging Andrew to inform him of my prodigality, the following conversation (inspired by real events) ensued:

“Cory, are you still wanting to go play ultimate?”

“Well, I was kind of planning on it, yeah.”

“Ok, well, I’m not gonna go.  I can’t move like forfty percent of my muscles, including, apparently, the muscle you use to come up with real percentages.”

“Oh, that’s ok.  I actually need to get some stuff done anyway.  What are you…Robert?”

I had shed my clothes, gear and way too much time not bathing in steaming hot water.  I filled our tub with steaming hot water, and plunged myself into its depths armed solely with what Micah called a “teen hockey romance novel.”  Well sure, if you only read the back cover.  Man, wise up.

And so ended my day of indulgence.  Andrew came by later on to chastise me for said truancy, and I made bachelor food to replenish the billion carbohydrates I had burned.  To all those that say youth is wasted on the young, I urge you to look no further than this entry’s titular truism, and bow at my athlete’s feet.

Wait, that didn’t come out right.

*Spelled that word right the first time.  Take that, creepy spelling bee kids on TV.



One response

31 10 2009

I get jelous when I read a post that has Cory and Micah in it, but not me. Well, not jelous really, more like angry, or vengeful. Well, more like, planning, or schemeing. Or more like plotting.

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