The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Cooties could have put me in the backfield


For the most part, the pains of age haven’t had a major impact on She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Made-Mad. Always a very limber and very athletic person, she never fails to smile and shake her head when I tell her about places on my body that ache, including some places I didn’t know I was born with. .

Here’s the deal. SWMNBMM and I decided recently to begin exercising in hopes it would help us be more active. So last week, we decided to jog 2 miles. OK, it was only 6 blocks, but they were (in my defense) really long blocks with more than a few rocks and potholes. By the time we were finished, I admit it, I was give out and my legs felt like someone had tied one of sons to each leg.

“I think I’m too old for this,” I said.

“Tommy,” SWMNBMM said with a hint of sarcasm that only a wife can deliver as she helped me climb the stairs after we had jogged from one end of the state to the other. “You aren’t that old. You just need to move around more and loosen up your muscles. You just need to be more mobile and you’ll be better,” she said as I sat down in the recliner and she started applying about 5 pounds of muscle ointment to my thighs and calves – intentionally (I’m pretty certain) digging her fingers into my sore calf muscles in an effort to rub my heart out my back.

“Another few weeks and you’ll be running around and trying to impress the girls just like in junior high.

I don’t know about you but “junior high” and “impress” never go in the same sentence with me. I mean, there only three things I was thinking about during my days at dear old Crockett Junior High. First and foremost, I was determined to make sure I was never in position to tackle Robert Hernandez, the team’s running back. He was 6-foot-2 and weight 185 pounds. I wasn’t scared to tackle him, but I really didn’t have a death wish, either. Secondly, I was busy finding a way to strategically place ink marks on my face to hide the latest acne mark from the girls and, finally, I was far too busy staring in the mirror for hours on end waiting for that first hint of facial hair so I could “be a man.” I’m pretty sure facial hair is like a boiling pot of water. It won’t boil if you watch it.

“Somehow, I don’t think I remember junior high the same way you do,” I said, after I had convinced her to stop massaging my legs by showing her a Wal-Mart circular that had been left on the table. Seriously, sometimes you have to do drastic things to end pain.

Trust me, that life-saving trick will end up costing me money soon.

“You were athletic in school,” she said. “I’ve seen all the photos you mom has,” she said.

“You’re using the term ‘athletic’ liberally, “ I assured her. “Babe, I was the junior high field goal kicker. Kickers aren’t athletic. In fact, I was the kid the coach would sent onto the football field only after the season ended, hence I never kicked. In basketball, I played guard … as in guard the water bucket and towels.”

“But you were limber,” she retorted.“Don’t you remember back in junior high school when you worked out to impress all the girls?”

Uhhhh … no.

Working out in junior high meant running. I already spent more than 2 hours every day running after (and never catching) Robert. It meant lifting weights next to Robert, who at 13 looked like Conan the Barbarian on steroids. I looked like a skinny Mini-me. And, just in case you forgot, the junior high girls weren’t choosing a skinny Mini-me who couldn’t grow facial hair – or even hair in his armpits.

“I’d have chosen you, dear,” she said, who had returning to massaging my legs gently - probably because I had already played the Wal-Mart card.

That got me to thinking, though. Age must be affecting SWMNBMM’s mind in the way it is affecting my legs.

My wife, just so you know,was one of those uber-athletes as a youngster. Track, basketball, volleyball. She had colleges wanting her to wear their jerseys. There are trophies in her school with her name on it. The only thing in the school with my imprint is the paddle Mr. Koch used.

“Ummm … probably not,” I said.

“Why do you say that? I chose you right out of high school and have never regretted a single day,” she said.

“I think you’re forgetting, I wasn’t the athlete I am now way back then,” I said. “Besides, you’re a girl, and back in junior high … you had cooties.”

To all of you young guys, let me assure you once you let something slip like that, you will find out just how quickly you can move. If I would have had the speed I needed to get away from here when I was younger, I might have played for the Houston Oilers ...

(Tommy Wells is the editor of the Seward Phoenix LOG. Everything in this column is true, except for the parts that have been fabricated, exaggerated or just plain lies.)


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