Aging gracefully, but not without a fight

I’ve recently become concerned about my weight.

And I’m really hoping that one of my friends read that sentence while drinking something and did a spit-take.

Okay, seriously. I’m not worried about being overweight, because there is no world in which I am overweight. But, over the past year I’ve noticed that the scales are tipping a little heavier, after being pretty stable for the previous 15 years. And that’s got me thinking.

You see, I’ve put almost no effort into physical fitness over the past 18 years. Like, zero. Like, less than zero. Aside from being tricked into joining a gym (yep, I have one of those stories) and getting into yoga a few years ago, I haven’t done much to stay fit (golf doesn’t count). Instead, I’ve pretty much relied upon my ridiculously efficient metabolism (which has done a pretty fantastic job over the years) while knowing that the day would come. And I told myself that when the day comes, I’ll make an effort.

And whatdya know? Turns out that I’m actually making an effort.

I’m not going to rush out and join a gym, but I’ve started doing more exercises at home (mostly push-ups and sit-ups), and I joined a couple of spring leagues in the Victoria Sport & Social Club. In fact, I just had my first slo-pitch game earlier tonight, with a team formed from people who signed up individually. We lost. Badly. But it’s a really great group of people, and it felt great to play ball again after years away from it.

Playing infield is still my strength, an it turns out that I can throw a softball more accurately than I can throw a baseball. I played shortstop and made some great throws over the course of the game. Not that I wasn’t without a few errors, of course, but whatever.

Batting remains my biggest weakness (which is no big surprise), but I got at least two decent hits. All in all, a good start. The only thing I didn’t do is stretch before the game, so my hamstrings are pretty sore right now. Mind you, that would likely have happened either way—that’s how it always is when you exercise muscles that you don’t normally use. I suspect that my throwing shoulder will be stiff tomorrow.

The other league I’m in is dodgeball, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s also an individual sign-up deal, so every week we’ll just play with whomever shows up. Even better, the gym where we play is maybe five minutes from my house, so I’ll be able to hop over on my inline skates.

I’m reasonably confident that I’ll be decent at dodgeball for two reasons. First is that I’m “quick”. I’m not a good runner and I don’t have fantastic hand-eye coordination, but I have a pretty fast reaction time that has served me well over the years. That’s why I like playing infield in baseball…I enjoy reacting to and tracking down ground balls.

The second reason is that I spent my entire childhood being the small kid. That, combined with being quick, made me very hard to hit, which in turn made me a favourite target whenever we played dodgeball in gym class. So, I’m hoping I’ve still got some of that left.

Of course, if my hamstrings don’t loosen up by Thursday, then I suspect that I’ll be a very easy, and immobile target.

Good times ahead…

Russ