What Reclaiming Your Youth Feels Like

So there I was. Lying on a bench, the world looking like a bad acid trip, but without the acid. My thoughts were slowly becoming a bowl of mush until the voice of my friend began to fade in as if someone was turning up the volume in my head. “I’m going to need some kind of response or else I’m going to have to call 911,” he said as calmly as he could. And though I wanted to respond, I realized that I couldn’t make words just yet, so instead I mustered a soft hollow moan. This was enough for my friend as he went back to talking about what it is to grow old, while the only thought currently running through my mind was, I am so glad that cute couple isn’t still around.

Getting old is an odd thing, because it doesn’t just happen. You don’t just wake up one day, thirty pounds heavier, bitter against the world, and have no idea what the kids are listening to these days. It happens while you’re living life, you just don’t come to realize it until you try to do something that your youthful self once did, and the outcome is no where close to what it once was.

In high school, I was moderately athletic. I played tennis and wrestled, and by the time I graduated I could run a solid mile in under seven minutes. Thing is I still had a lot of horrible habits back then, but that’s okay when you’re young, because your body is still developing new stuff to replace the old stuff. It’s science. This process slows down though as we get older. Only problem is no one ever informs the mind of these changes. So the habits don’t change either. Not until things start falling apart.

This was why I was lying on a bench at a public tennis court, fading in and out of consciousness, as my friend expressed his surprise that the situation wasn’t reversed.

It started out harmlessly enough. I was on set shooting a scene with an ex-tennis pro. Just being on the court again made me think of my high school days. Made me realize how much I missed playing the game. So I did what everyone in their early thirties do when feeling nostalgic. I shared it on Facebook. A few replies later and the next thing I know I’ve got a tennis date for the upcoming weekend.

Now for those of you still in your twenties and might not know, once you hit your thirties a little voice begins to pop up to question yourself anytime you’re about to do anything extraneous. This can be anything from mountain climbing, to a heavy night of drinking, or even when deciding you’re going to carry all the grocery bags up in one trip. Most of the time, the body will dismiss the voice with an “I got this”, do the thing, and everything is fine, but sometimes the body will “I got this”, and it won’t. These are the moments sitcoms are based off of.

First off, I don’t do much cardio anymore. I go on hikes and stuff, but an intense cardio workout has been out of my exercise routine since the last Olympics. Secondly, I normally don’t eat anything in the morning. This is a horrible habit in general, but one that has minimal effect on me since I’m not usually all that physically active in the first half of my day.

So there I was, two in the afternoon, doing some casual rallying on an empty stomach. I had chosen a tennis court that was a bit more private. It only had two courts to play in and another couple was already there, enjoying themselves. The male was shirtless and the woman was in her sports bra and sports bottoms. They both looked like they had just walked out a fitness magazine shoot and now I was suddenly self-conscious about being in a tank top.

I brushed them out of my mind and focused on just remembering how to hit the ball over the net. A little side note: A few months back I decided to live life like a video game(a topic for another blog), because of that I’ve began creating challenges for all my daily activities.

For this particular activity, I had one goal in mind and that was to get back my topspin return. I was known to have an unpredictable one in my youth and was eager to see my opponents confusion as I did. It happened quickly enough, so I began pushing myself harder. I put more oomph into my swing, chased after long shots, and just started pretending I was playing an actual game with a rival.

I was feeling good and energized, I was so pumped my vision began to blur.

“It’s just the sun,” said my Physical Self.

But then came that voice, full of rational and logic. “Hey, maybe we should take a little break?” suggested the Intellectual Self.

“No, we’ve been here before,” replied the Physical Self. “We know what this is. It’s just like the good old days. We can work through it. Besides Abs and Legs will think we’re a pussy if we take a break when we just got here.”

“I have a bad feeling about this,” said the Intellectual Self.

“Do you have to be so lewd?” asked the Spiritual Self.

“I think they’re pretty too. We should say hi!” cheered the Emotional Self.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”

It would take about two hours from the moment I nearly passed out while trying to make it to the bench, before I was capable of standing and making it to my car. Luckily for my ego, the couple had left before my episode. That still left me two hours of sitting and thinking. About my ego, my life, and all the things I’ve been meaning to do but not making the time for. Working out more consistently suddenly becoming a much higher priority, but other things as well. One of the things on the list was to start up a blog to share my thoughts and to record my upcoming adventures.

So I guess if anything, this whole experience just gave me a place to start.

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