Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sucks to Grow Old?

Three years ago, while playing softball, I was running to first base and heard and FELT a crunching in my foot. Ouch … another sprain, last game for a while until it heals. Didn’t heal and I ended up having surgery to remove pieces of the bones I broke and to remove the feeling of walking barefoot on stones that I had for months. JUST FROM RUNNING TO FIRST BASE! Boy it sucks to grow old. I remember running ALL DAY at school playing ball, at home to escape my brothers, by myself just for the fun of it. Running and running some more, never having to worry about a broken bone.

Well I signed up for a softball team for the first time since that injury and we had our first game last night. After losing 65 pounds and triking 50-60 miles a week I was feeling pretty indestructible. Just had to get the swing back and work on the throwing arm a bit. My first at bat was a mighty swing and I popped it up to the first baseman but at the end of the swing was a silent pop and a lightning bolt of pain in my elbow. Hyper-extension. I grinned and bore it for the next few innings playing with just one arm but too many balls were getting hit to me and I had to concede to the handicap. Asked Coach to take me out of the game and probably out of the season. Man it sucks to grow old.

I had ice on it last night and heat on it now as I type. Luckily on my left arm I can still do most of the things I could before, just with more pain.

Pain has a way of making you aware of things around you: how good it was NOT being in pain; how I take my left arm for granted; how old I am getting; how I need to exercise more; etc.

In life we find that the more extreme the pain, and the closer to death we come; the more seriously we take life. NOT that there aren’t fun things when you are terminal but there aren’t PETTY things when you are terminal. Cancer patients will tell you how sweeter life can be when your recognize, because of the cancer, how special it is. Every moment with a loved one is precious. Every flower, sunrise, unseen-before sight, is now brighter and more colorful.

How great would it be to live life like that all the time? How great would it be to NOT take life for granted? How great would it be to drop all the pettiness and prejudices of life? How great would it be to live like you are dying?

I thought I was indestructible again and was AGAIN proven wrong. Now I appreciate health and life more because of it. I would encourage you to be smarter than me … appreciate it BEFORE the pain comes. Appreciate it NOW because you know, it really doesn’t have to suck to grow old.

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