I am blessed in so many ways and I thank my God for those blessings every day. One of my blessings is also a curse, though; the FIRE to compete.
I have been like this since I can remember. Since I first put on a football uniform, or a baseball uniform or wrestling singlet when I was 7 years old. I always loved competition. When I say competition, I mean in sports. I was not really competitive in school or any other area of life. I probably should have been.
And although wrestling is the ultimate one on one competition, my fire was and always will be with football. I loved playing that game. I loved the contact. I loved hitting my opponents. I loved talking trash! I was certainly not the biggest person on the field, but I felt I played big and definitely talked big. My talking was probably very annoying, but it kept me fired up throughout a game. I was told to stop by many a referee and even a few umpires when I was a catcher in baseball. But again, it was the fire that was coming out of me.
So why is this a curse now? Why at the age of almost 52 (my birthday is in October) do I have this burning desire to compete?
If I had a wish, it would be to play football again. Of course, I know my body couldn’t take it. As good as in shape as I keep myself, there is no substitute for youthful joints, muscles and bones. Realistically, if I trained for a complete year to get back on the field for a real game, I could probably be in three plays for an entire game and then have to take the next 7 days to recover! That’s probably why there are no over 50 football leagues. You couldn’t field a team from week to week and nobody has health insurance that good!
When I was 43 or 44, I actually tried out for the area arena football team. I took my daughter to a few games and it started another fire in me. I got an email saying they were having open tryouts and I figured I’d give it a go. I had a month or two to train for the tryout. I felt I was in really good shape. Maybe I was just kidding myself, but halfway through the tryout I thought I had a chance to make the team… and then the agility portion of the testing happened. It was not good. What I took for granted when I was young was now gone. That and balance had left me. A big part of athleticism is balance and agility. If that is sub-par, you cannot compete with guys half your age or less! Hell, I was older than all but one coach! In the end, even though I was a bit dejected and the slap of reality of my true age, I was glad I did it. I competed on a football field one last time.
In the last 25 years I have done powerlifting meets, bodybuilding, bicycle racing (both road and mountain), wrestled in and old-timer’s tournament, played on an over 40’s softball team, and even did a biathlon. I had a great time doing them all, but none of them really quenched my thirst for competition. I love bodybuilding as a lifestyle, but the competitions, not so much. The prep for bodybuilding is awesome, seeing your body transform. I prefer competitions where, at minimum, 2 competitors are competing against each other and not being judged by a few people sitting in chairs below a stage. I have the utmost respect for every physique competitor. I know the extreme effort it takes. I’m just not crazy about how the winner is determined.
So what am I supposed to do with this fire I feel to compete? Seriously? Any suggestions? Or am I just done? How sad is that?
Thank God I have the gym. Being away from the gym during this COVID19 quarantine was brutal, both physically and mentally.
At the gym I am competing with myself. I have been doing this for years. I really believe if people could hear what I am thinking when I am at the gym, they would think I’m nuts! Calculations, rationalizations, and motivations all at the same time! And listening to my music too. It’s very loud inside my brain during a workout!
Again, like I said in the beginning, I know I am blessed. Blessed to be physically able to do the things I have done all these years. Maybe any hardcore competition is over for me. Maybe the fire I feel is really just like looking at pictures from your past. It’s great to reminisce. I’m grateful for what I was able to accomplish, but it’s time to move forward and realize this fire was never a curse. It was a gift.
I am very grateful for all my customers/friends out there. Any comments or suggestions are always appreciated.
The Beast Life