Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Too Old to Play?

Is there any game or sport you feel you are too old to play now?

Good question.

I guess I'm probably not going to play rugby again. Had to play it at school. Hated it even then. Seemed to be all about bigger boys running at me and knocking me over. And I never quite got into enjoying that whole homoerotic thing about sticking my head between other boys' buttocks in the scrum.

American football. I might throw a pointy ball around with my grandsons one day, but I'm never going to play a real game of this strange and mystifying sport. Does anyone over 40 play it?

Scuba diving. Hang gliding. Parachute jumping. Never done any of them. Probably never will. Given my general clumsiness and propensity to make stupid mistakes when I am playing any game, I tend to avoid sports where stupid mistakes are likely to end in death of aforementioned clumsy, stupid individual.

Skiing. Used to ski a lot. Was totally crap at it but enjoyed it. I don't think I'm too old to do it again if the opportunity presents itself, am I?

Grand Prix motor racing? Round the world yacht racing? Tour de France? Don't be silly.

Marathon running. Did it three times. One was OK but it was really tough to finish the other two. But I did finish them. I proved something. Don't need to prove it again, do I? But you never know.

Half-marathon running. Have run a few. Would like to run a few more. Actually I am signed up for one this weekend but I hurt my back a couple of weeks ago. It's on the mend now but I don't think I'm going to be ready to run 13.1 miles on Sunday.

Laser sailing. Talking of the back injury, there was a day or two when I really wondered whether my back would ever be up to sitting on a Laser again. Which would have made that sail I wrote about at Scary Play my last time ever sailing a Laser. A big deal. The Last Time.  That would have been a sad way to bow out because I was freaked out by those 30 knot gusts and was sailing very defensively. I hope the last time will be a day when I give it my all, 110% effort, and go out with a bang. So I can't give Laser sailing up just yet. Maybe in another 20 years or so.

What about you?

Is there any game or sport you feel you are too old to play now?


O Docker said...

Messed up my back once a few years ago to the point where I couldn't walk more than about 50 yards. Lasted about a month and then mysteriously cleared up. Backs are funny things. Treat them with respect.

At my age, the only game I'm unwilling to play is the waiting game.

Tillerman said...

I couldn't even get off the floor on the first day.

Today I walked for about 40 minutes but Facebooking and Tweeting are still painful.

Sam Chapin said...

Doing the gym thing in 2012. will let you know in 2013 how it went.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...


Tillerman said...

By the way, the lady in the picture is Ruth Frith, who holds the world record for the shot putt (13 ft 4.2in) in the over-100 age group. She trains five days a week, regularly lifting 35 kg (77 lb) weights. She doesn't drink or smoke and she doesn't eat vegetables either.

There's hope for us all! Hold the veggies dear.

George A said...

My busted right arm says I'm almost too old and clumsy for figure skating but I don't plan to give it up just yet--I have unfinished business out on the ice. However an immediate re-injury would probably get my full attention so I plan to be safety geared up about like the Michelin Man when I next step out on the rink.

At age 65 I like to think that I've still got at least another 20 summers of Moth Boat racing left but probably in increasingly older and gentle designs (that's the beauty of a development class). Hard to imagine just sitting around waiting to fall off the perch.

Tillerman said...

Good for you George. I never really mastered skating. I suspect that I won't be doing that again, at least not at your level. Maybe I could be tempted out on the ice if one of my grandkids wants to hold my hand?

torrid said...

Cheat the nursing home, die with your head planted in some guy's buttocks. Yeah, that's not the way I want to go out.

Fred said...

Great blog entry for the above 40´s, ha ha. I am with George but doing the Foiler Moth, I do hope for ten more years in it. As I am right between yours and Georges age, it is n ambitous goal, don´t you think so? Skating is still one of my favorites (non sailing activity) and twice a year we have a hockey tournament, inviting marine trade companies and giving it all. OK, one game only lasts 8 min but we never get enough players to have a break. I had decided I am too old to take up kite surfing (dangerous) too old for a round-the-world sailing or more than one overnighter.
@ George: My right arm was kind of busted as well. Couldn´t throw a ball. Got it almost totally healed with lot´s of water massage in the Jacuzzi. Pulling a sheet is no problem at all. Go for it!

George A said...

Fred: I tip my hat to you if you're over 60 and foiling. I tried foiling once (several of the Classic Moth guys have built their own boats) but couldn't get over the fear of hitting bottom with someone else's expensive foils! Indeed at that same outing another foiler did smell bottom while in excess of 15 knots and had to swim the bigger pieces of kit back to shore. I find the tippier Classic designs to be enough of a handful, especially downwind in a big breeze.

As for my arm, I go see my physical therapist this afternoon. The only time I scream is when she shows me the bill!

Fred said...

George: with our long life experience we should´t hit the bottom, we should hit 30kn/h on the water. Go for it.

It is much easier (stable) on foils other than the traditional Moth. At least that is what the long time Mothies, who have all changed to foiling here in Germany, have told me. My last sailing background, before buying a Bladerider, had mainly been "Big boat" if you call 36ft big.

Tillerman said...

It doesn't look very "stable" in that video you posted today Fred!

NickySail said...

If you're 64 then you have more than 20 years of sailing left. Ray sailed until 86. In our fleet we tell potential new members that when we say age 8 to 80 we mean 6 to 86, especially on days when people at those ages are participating. Jack Shipman sailed well into his 80's and we are supposed to live longer now. I plan to sail and win well into my 90's, and to sail at least once after 100.

Tillerman said...

Good for you Nicky. I hope I can do the same. My back is pretty much back to normal now (end of August) although I still feel the occasional twinge from the back injury I was writing about back in May.

I sail regularly with a friend who is about 10 years older than me and he is still faster than me most of the time in Lasers.

George A said...

Ditto Merv Wescoat--he's 85 and still racing Moths and last winter bought a Harpoon 5.2 so he and one of his daughters could continue to race during the winter when he's down in Florida. He's my hero. I tell myself if he can do it I can do it. As for the back pains, core strengthening, like Pilates is good.

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