Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. Oliver Wendell Holmes
There it was in the shed, awaiting an athletic hand, a diminutive but fully pumped up, American football. Before you ask, no, I didn’t play Grid-Iron apart from a short introduction as a child in the USA. Okay, okay, my athletic days are in the past, but I couldn’t foresee what was coming.
A garden too small and an ego too big
You see, my two grandsons were with me for a couple of days. On the first day, bright with sunshine, dragged us into the garden. They are both athletic. Pretty soon the ball flew around. At some point we realised the garden wasn’t big enough for the throwing power available (mine … talk about conceit).
Open spaces, open shoulders
Next, we went to a small park in the village, near our house. Grandson 2 started working his way around the swings and things, comfortable as ever with his own company. Grandson 1 and I conferred about the skills of ball delivery to a fast running target.
thought may be father of the deed but there can be unexpected side-effects MacL
I’d throw, he’d run, athletic fellow
In the way of things, we started slow. Comical happenings resulted in banter and other forms of mild insult. Times when, for instance:
the ball arrived too soon …
‘Come on … you need to get to the ball to catch it.’
‘You threw it crooked.’
failed to arrive …
‘Where is it?’
‘On the grass behind you.’
‘Why can’t you throw it on time?’
‘You overran it.’
the catcher failed to arrive…
‘what kept you?’
or the ball bounced off the catcher’s head, ear, face, shoulder …
Ouch! ouch! ouch! ouch! ouch!
Naturally enough, through all the mayhem we improved; connecting at pace. We added realism by having a play-slide between us to represent other players. Gradually the angle and distance increased and the delivery power went up as my (athletic?) throwing-arm loosened. At last, we moved from ball watching to confident, heads-up, throwing and catching at a sprint.
The next day, A lump on a young forehead generated banter—he blamed me because I threw it–I blamed him because he didn’t catch it, and it was right there. Okay, hurt happens, but it was a good hurt.
Despited the fun, one day later I could barely stand and needed a strong walking stick. Worse still, going down stairs meant almost intolerable agony. Subsequently, hobbling in to a meeting meant a change of office. Later, I returned home and iced my right knee. As that particular agony eased, my shoulders and hands joined in.
This blog started with squeaking knees. Sad to say, I had to stop when shoulders and hands went on strike. Now, three days later, the pain is melting slowly, thanks to powerful anti-inflammatories from my doctor.
To top it all, an amazing family thing happened where, crippled or not, I had to get going … watch this space.
© Mac Logan