Friday, September 21, 2012

times winged chariot, again.

Last night, as is typical on Thursday evenings, I participated in my regular Thursday night doubles game.  We started this quartet in 1995 or thereabouts and the same foursome played for fifteen years.  Then one of the four had to pull out because of some recurring ailments and we have now a new fourth for the games.  Last night one of the originals had to sit out with an injury, so we played with a substitute.

This need to find a substitute for one of us is occurring with greater frequency.  I was the youngest of the original quartet when we started and I am old enough to have been born during the Truman administration.(Second term, please note).  Given our vintage, it is predictable that regularly one of us each week might be prone to a physical setback.

I played fairly well last night, got to shots that were, as we say in the game, tough "gets" and made a number of shots at the net reflecting the quick hands which has always trumped other weaknesses in my game.  It was doubles though and I did not have to run a whole lot.

But last night when I got home my legs hurt when I tried to stretch them out in the recliner, and then when I went to bed.  The legs still hurt today.  Nothing permanently wrong, of course, just soreness.  Ninety minutes of doubles yesterday and today I am careful when I go up and down the stairs.  Just a dozen years ago I played in tournaments which required playing four singles matches in less than forty eight hours.  The last such tournament I won was in 2000. I played my first match on a Saturday early afternoon.It was a tough two sets.  Then a challenging three setter Saturday early evening.  I came back to win another difficult three set match on Sunday morning, and an hour later began and eventually won a three set final for the trophy--all before the sun went down that Sunday night. Four matches in a little more than a day.  I felt no pain the next day.  Today, after 90 minutes of easy social doubles last night, I don't feel like walking to my car which is less than a quarter of a mile from where I sit.

It's a good thing in a number of ways. I've referred to Andrew Marvel's famous poem "To His Coy Mistress" in another blog.  A key line in it reads:  "At my back I always hear, times winged chariot drawing near." Any notion that we are going to live forever can be trumped in a hurry when you sense that you are not especially resilient.  When it is tough to move, you have to know that it's time to start moving.

My physical tribulations, however, have no effect on what is necessary to play for the Raccoon Lodge, my brother and my entry into the NFL football pool.  Two years ago we won the whole season.  There has, alas, been some deterioration on that front as well.  There are forty teams in the league.  The good news is that after the first two weeks of the season we are ranked 38th.  The bad news is that we are tied with the teams that are in 39th and 40th place.

We are, nevertheless, looking forward to Sunday.

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