i remember 18. it had speed, it had power. it was indestructible and beautiful. it's not like the decades since that time has made it less beautiful because i still really like me ... i just remember longingly the beauty of those days.
i used to run. i was lean and there was significant release of all that troubled me when i ran. there was occasion when i'd go go out and be gone for an hour as i ran and ran until i could run no more. i remember running in a light snowfall on the evening my college girlfriend dumped me. i ran full out until i could run no more and then i sucked wind and tried to figure out how i would get back home. i tell that story only for the anecdotal info within it ... i used to run and run and run.
i was into my 30's when i really started to note the aches and pains that age brings your way. mostly it was my knees and sometimes it was my back. my right knee has clicked and snapped at me for millenia now or maybe its less than that. when i complain about such things nowadays Wendy looks at me with a knowing smile and asks, "you ok there Grandpa?". yes she does love me, thank you very much.
my right knee is my worse knee and my left knee is my bad knee. i guess that tells you a bit about the lay of the land as it were. i've been told that i shouldn't worry about all the clicking and cracking in my knees ... so long as there is no pain. well, i reffed 2 football games since Thursday and my knee starting barking at me on Saturday afternoon. Wendy and i went for a nice bike ride together and i actually had to stop pedalling on occasion so that i could give my knee a rest.
i remember 18. i was a gunshot and boom, i was gone.
i eventually realized that none of us are indestructible and there are times when i need to remember to be smart about my path and the speed that i travel on it. i like to think that i realize my limitations now and in so doing i can cover more ground laterally than i used to cover as i blundered full bore in one direction.
i'm smarter than i used to be, i'm just slower. i have a clicking knee to remind me that it's ok that i'm not 18 anymore. i still get plenty done and i don't have to run full out only to end up in the middle of nowhere, completely gassed and wondering how i'm going to get home.
but there's no getting away from the longing beauty of what once was. regret? not really, i'm still smiling.