Flaccid and Flat … and Short of Wind

Flaccid and flat

old athleteI can guess what you’re thinking, but you’re probably wrong. There it lay, flaccid and flat in an old bucket.
You see, even a diminutive American football can sing a siren-song. Especially as I’ve always enjoyed throwing the Grid-Iron ball about.

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. Oliver Wendell Holmes

Okay, okay, I faced unfamiliar exercise and couldn’t foresee what was coming.

Garden too small – ego too big

As it happens, my two grandsons were with us for a couple of days. The first morning, bright with sunshine, enticed us into the garden. 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. Grandson-2 started working his way around the swings and things, comfortable, as ever, with his own company. Grandson-1 and I conferred about fast running targets and the skills of ball delivery.

the thought may be father of the deed but there can be unexpected side-effects MacL

We agreed I’d throw and he’d run.

In the way of things, we started slow. Comical happenings meant 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.’

the ball failed to arrive …

‘Where is it?’
‘On the grass behind you.’
‘Why can’t you throw it on time?’
You overran.’

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!
Through all the mayhem we started to connect more than we missed. With the aim of constant improvement, we practised with a play-slide between us, representing other players in the way. As a result of hard work, the angle and distance gradually increased.
My power increased as my throwing arm loosened. The ball connected more often. Imagine our delight as we moved from ball watching to confident, heads-up, throwing and catching at a sprint. What a marvellous pair.
Grandson 1 showed me a lump on his forehead next morning — he blamed me because I threw it, I blamed him because he didn’t catch it, and it was right there. We both laughed. Okay hurt happens, but it’s a good hurt.

cartoon by mooselakecartoons.com



A day later I could barely stand, Talk about feeling flaccid and flat. I’m sad to report I needed a strong walking stick. Going downstairs became horrific agony. After hobbling into a meeting, I returned home and iced my right knee. As that particular agony eased, for a short while, my shoulders and hands decided they’d join in and expand the affliction. Next, I visited my doctor.
When you’re an older person, exercise is encouraged. My doctor laughed when I returned a few days later, feeling much better, thanks to strong medication. With empathy in her eyes, she advised storage of the unused medication for use the next time I screw my self up. As if I’d do that … don’t ask!
A few days later, an amazing family thing happened where, crippled or not, I had to get going.
© Mac Logan

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