Monday, September 15

Getting old is hard to do...

In some respects I am getting old. Too old to be living at home (but I still don't care...), too old for my Abercrombie shirts, perhaps for my car and sometimes I think for Basketball (... courtesy of all the soreness on the day after) etc etc etc. This particular blog entry though is in respect only to about getting too old for my Car and Basketball (because "getting old" is a broad subject isn't it?)... I used to wonder about Larry Bird when his ailing back began to bother him in the late 80's and early 90's. He used rest his back on the sideline during close games and I would ask myself why he would bother resting at all. Perhaps even questioning his heart. Doesn't he love the game so much that he would be willing to play through the pain? I know I did... Back then of course I was in my teens, healthy as a horse. A time when a sprained ankle took a mere two days to recover from. The tides have definitely changed...

Nowadays most of the time it feels almost like I was beaten to a pulp the day after a ballgame. Every part of my body seems to hurt. It wasn't like this in my teenage and early 20's! Makes me sort of understand why some of the high profile pro athletes (or any professional athlete for that matter) took human growth hormones and or Steroids. I am beginning to be able to imagine what it would be like to take the kind of punishment aging athletes endure week-in and week-out. What it would be like for a guy like Randy Johnson (not that he has ever taken Steroids... Which is why he is such a wonder) or Roger Clemens to recover in 4 days to pitch again after having just pitched 7 to 9 innings in the Major Leagues. I am only 33 years old but after having played two 40 minute (running time) basketball games on Sundays, I could not play again for a few days if someone paid me to do it. My body just does not respond like it used to. In fact I am pretty much done for the rest of the week as far as physical activity is concerned...

And apparently I am a bit too old for my car too. The people I see on the forums and people that I run into in real life who drive the same car had either just recently graduated from High School, some still in High School, and or are just very young in general. I once made the mistake of attending an 8th Generation Civic Si meet. Geesh let me tell ya a lot of them kids that showed up look a lot like Pauli Bleaker from that movie Juno (... you know that 'still wet behind the ear' look?). And the Filipino one's that showed up were the annoying kind-- ya know the pimple-faced Five Foot dorks with spiky hair and baggy pants? LOL. And in a lot of cases it is a first car for these annoying kids (unfair right?). Of course the subject of choice at the meet was the all-important first modification for our cars. The proverbial go-louder exhaust system seemed to be the popular choice (Well ya!). And what about me? Well I went with the Rubber Mats, I proudly announced -snickers all around-. Because we all know that the first upgrade the real car enthusiasts goes for is always the all-important Rubber Mats right? lol. Followed of course by the Intake/Race-Header/Exhaust combination and Break/Tires/Suspension upgrades etc etc etc. But that's me. These kids went with Car Stickers Hood Scoops that neither make their cars look coolor nor perform better. It's the age old Form over Function syndrome... And for good measure 90% of the people I see driving Honda Passports (my other car) are either very old people or are women. Not exactly emasculating but mildly annoying all the same. Apparently I make bad choices with cars? But I should ask myself-- does it really matter?

The other day, not only did I feel like I was too old for my car but it started to seem like the car was no longer a unique choice. The car is somewhat unique because it is a limited production model. However in the 25 minute drive from my house to my Basketball Game in Eagle Rock alone, I saw Four Civic Si's on the road (... and two on the way back home. What the heck?). It used to be, on any given day, I would see more Porsche's than 8th Generation Civic Si's on the Road. That didn't seem to be the case that day. Not that they are very special, it's just that there are very few people in the compact-car market that are willing to fork out 22 Big Ones for a souped-up Civic, thus the small supply. And as if I hadn't had enough for the day a Night Hawk Black Si pulls up right behind me on the exit (Yes that's Honda's version of Black "Night Hawk"). So in an attempt to get away from him I jack-rabbit the green light and immediately change a couple of lanes over (not that i really needed to do that but I did... stragely enough). A couple of blocks later however he ended up right behind me but only for another block before making a right turn...

I was hoping that was the end of the Si' sightings for the day but little did I know it had only just begun lol. The same guy in the Night Hawk Si pulled up as I parked outside of the gym. I guess he took a different route. In these serendipitous Si encounters, these kids are somehow always compelled to chat. I always try to do it with just a quick nod of acknowledgment. But there didn't seem to be a way out because he headed right to me as soon as he got out of his car even though I tried my best at looking occupied. Apparently that don't matter in the 8th Generation SI encounters. At least he wasn't one of those annoying Filipino kids haha. He seemed a little shy too and asked if he were in the right gym. Though I think that was just a precursor to his real questions -- he did ask about my Exhaust and Fog Lights afterwards as I expected. So we walked over to the gym together talking about out beloved cars. The poor kid's car was all stock btw which isn't too bad in the the world of the cool sporty-compact-cars but more importantly it isn't too cool either. I wished him luck on his future mod plans before moving on...

It turns out this kid was with the opposing team. He even picked me as his defensive assignment right before tip-off. Rather confidently... Which made sense because he's my height though giving away probably 30 lbs. But more importantly he's about 12 years younger. Sort of begs the question though- if our cars had anything to do with his choice to stick with me hmm. Perhaps it was yet another attempt to interact with a fellow SI owner? Let's hope not... The kid probably could have ran circles around my old legs and perhaps even make jump shots over me at will. He seemed to be a smart kid so i'm sure he was fully aware of that advantage. But of course I wasn't about to let that happen... So before the kid had any chance to pull any kind of crazy moves on me, I fouled him!! And despite my age I am much stronger than the kid so I was able to post him up a few times and made my Team's first four baskets. But because I was handicapped with fouling him early and often, I had to sit down at some point before I used up all my allotted fouls. When I went back in the game in the second half I had to switch defensive assignments with someone to try to avoid fouling out. I wound up however in a far worse situation with a taller and lankier left handed kid. Sort of reminiscent of Detroit's Tayshaun Prince. Try to imagine Robert Horry trying to stay in front of Tayshaun Prince... Sadly that was me. But he is your classic lefty whose tendency is to go left. So somewhat predictable right? Well despite that I was still mostly a half a step behind. And in the only play that I was able to stay in front of him, as i attempted to block his layup (and i was very close to it), he threw out his right elbow. And my temple taking the brunt of the impact. It was kind of a hard hit because my vision was momentarily blurred...

5 to 10 years ago I would have gone after him instinctively. It wasn't intentional but my problem is the smug kid didn't bother apologizing. Yes Basketball is a compact sport and I am a rough player myself but it is also a gentleman's game. We don't just knock people down because we can. That pissed me off a little. However I had played over 70 minutes of Basketball at that point and my legs were about ready to give in so I just sort of let it go. After regaining my bearings I asked to come-out because my head was hurting a bit. I was done hahahaha.

And as I sat there dreading my body's soreness on the day after, checking with my teammates to make sure my head hadn't split open (because that has happened to me before btw...), I thought of Larry Bird and all those times I questioned his heart as he rest his back on the sidelines and said a silent apology (and yes I wear his # 33 to this day...). Because in his heyday he dominated and during his decline he was still pretty darn good. I wouldn't say I'm on my decline yet nor are my contemporaries, but these young bucks sure do remind us every once in a while....

1 Comments:

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Mel said...

I honestly delayed reading your blog one more day thinking it was going to be a nod to the SI...but that's hilarious! It's harsh being reminded you're getting older...but you keep on wearing your Abercrombie and driving around in your SI content in the idea that your carpets are safe from dreaded coffee stains '-) LOL Old Man.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home