Striding from building to building can bring unexpected moments. Friday was no exception. In the burning afternoon heat, I stumbled over to a concrete beach and sat. I gazed up toward blazing blue backdrop and unto the white-hot orb piercing through my eyebrows.
Briefing supporting my upper body, my arms gripped my knees. I peered down, peered upward toward the heavens, and peered down for a long moment. A deep sigh breathed back into my face as it succumbed to breeze pushing against my face.
Arching left. “Crack. Pow. Bang,” echoed from my spine. Arching right, fared better. Only, “Crack and bang.”
A few may have presumed I derived some benefit from the afternoon heat. Indirectly, that would be true. Truthfully, I stopped because I had to. I couldn’t walk further. I simply couldn’t move. Looking between my feet, I reflected upon what Tiger Woods said after his round at the British Open.
“I’m going to take a couple of weeks off and get ready for the play-offs,” he said. “After that, have a break. I just want to go home.” Exhaustion dripped from every word.
And to Tiger, I can concur. There are many days when I simply want to go home.
Pain has been my companion for four decades. When I was 20, didn’t think about it. In my thirties, pushed past it. In my forties, roughed it out. And in the last decade, maybe I’ll succumb to it.
Every person must deal with their own moment. There are those moments when we’re fable to do with natural God given talent. And then there’s what we our body to endure. Former NFL pro-bowler Chris Carter said “My mind was mentally sharp, but I couldn’t get my body to respond to what I thought.”
In the movie ‘For Love of the Game,’ Vin Scully had the best quote on aging.
“After 19 years in the big leagues, 40 year old Billy Chapel has trudged to the mound for over 4000 innings. But tonight, he’s pitching against time, he’s pitching against the future, against age, against ending. Tonight, he will make the fateful walk to the loneliest spot in the world, the pitching mound at Yankee Stadium, to push the sun back into the sky and give us one more day of summer.”
After nearly forty years of travel, bad hotels, cheap bad food and long nights, I looked up into the afternoon sun . . . my body said ‘enough.’
Like Tiger, “I just want to go home.”