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A Mighty Victory! (Athletic success for the aged)

My friend Alex and I recently played in a Screenshot 2016-03-16 07.33.21tennis tournament. I know. I know. You’re asking, “What’s a 66-year-old guy like me doing playing in a tournament?” Losing, that’s what.

Actually, although Alex and I did lose our initial match on Friday night, we wound up in the “consolation” side of the bracket. This is the side of the bracket for, uh, losers. But that’s not the end of the story.

Our next match (with other losers) was against a father and son-in-law doubles team that was pretty good. We won that match and then awaited the other winner (of the losers) for the final match on Sunday.

We waited five hours for the final to take place. The other team won their semi-final match (after a grueling battle) around 4 pm. Then they agreed to play the final match against us almost right away.

Screenshot 2016-03-16 07.37.24Most of the other competitors had already left the tournament when the big show-down took place. Our battle was watched by about eight people, including one young lady who had become quite intoxicated and cheered every shot, and one dog who seemed bored with it all.

Anyway, Alex and I were down 5-1 in the first set and — then a miracle happened! I’m not Pentecostal, but it was a true miracle! We came back and won the first set 7-5! A revival almost broke out amongst the spectators!

Then we were down 4-1 in the second set and we came back and won 6-4!  Another revival almost broke out!  We were now the winners of the losers!

Just thought you’d want to know that, even at my ripe old age, I’m not letting any moss grow under my feet.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2016 in tennis

 

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What Animals Are Thinking! #36 (scroll down)

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Posted by on November 17, 2014 in funny animals

 

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A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations!


Never has Clint Eastman said something so TRUE!

You would think that a sixty-four-year-old would know better. I’m not talking about Clint; I’m talking about me.
A month ago I played competitive FirefoxScreenSnapz590table tennis with an undergrad student who usually beats me pretty good. Now, dear friend, don’t think basement ping pong. This is serious, go-for-the-throat, intense, semi-professional level table tennis. And I beat my Indian student friend seven games to three! (you should be gasping in admiration now).

The next night I played three sets of doubles in tennis (the big court variety).  The next night I played three more sets of doubles tennis with three other guys.  My left knee was pretty sore, but I had no idea what would happen.

FirefoxScreenSnapz591I didn’t tear my ACL or anything major, but my left knee has essentially checked out on me.  It throbs constantly.  I over-strained it.  Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the famed RICE therapy) has helped some.  But I’ll be going to an orthopedic surgeon next week.  I imagine I’ll be going through physical therapy for a while.

I’ve had injuries before, including surgery for a torn meniscus.  I’m pretty sure my issue is a “simple” knee strain.  Two serious, competitive sports over three days in a row?  A man’s got to know his limitations.

What are your limitations?  Many of us hardly ever push against our self-imposed FirefoxScreenSnapz592parameters.  Perhaps there is a great deal that God could do through us, if we would only truly give ourselves to Him.  A.W. Tozer put it this way: “God is looking for [people] through whom He can do the impossible — what a pity that we plan only the things that we can do by ourselves.”   I’m sure he was not referring to knees that are six-and-a-half decades’ old!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2014 in limitations

 

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RAIN-PLAGUED SECTIONALS’ TENNIS TOURNAMENT!!!

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Well, my friends, we were glad to be able to go to the Sectionals, held in Columbus, Georgia, but the rain prevailed!  We got swept in the 1st round by a very strong Atlanta team, then only won a few sets in our other rounds.

Because of the rain delays, we wound up having to play 4-game pro sets!  I had never heard of such, but we were not able to play two full sets (with a tiebreak if necessary).  The first team to four games would win the match!  Very unsatisfying.  It was really a test of which teams would make the mistakes, and the matches were over in 15 minutes!

But I am so grateful for being a part of this team.  We had a great time, despite the rain-shortened tournament.  Many thanks to our captain, Randy Watts, and to my doubles partner, John Alexander.  I believe we came in third among four teams.

Thanks to those of you who prayed for me and the team.  SECTIONALS TEAM PICTUREHere’s a shot of some of the team as we left the hotel this afternoon:

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2013 in sectionals tournament

 

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We won the Seniors 3.5 South Carolina State Championship!

PreviewScreenSnapz020We had a total blast this past weekend — and WON the Championship!

Yours truly is on the far left.

We go to the Sectional tournament in Georgia the first weekend in December!

Will keep you posted.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in championship

 

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Are you wasting away? Join the club!

FirefoxScreenSnapz262FirefoxScreenSnapz263Within one week I have developed three problems with my right leg. FirefoxScreenSnapz261 I have a weak hamstring, the beginnings of plantar fasciitus, and a serious case of athlete’s foot!  Really.  My whole right side is a mess.  This on top of occasional stabbing pain from arthritus on the top of my right foot.

I played a tennis match last night and during the very first point of the match I felt my right hamstring tweak a bit.  I prayed that I could make it through the match (that hamstring made me FirefoxScreenSnapz264retire in a match months before.  It was followed by weeks of physical therapy), and I did.  So I spent some of today looking up exercises for a weak hamstring (’cause I have a weak mind and had forgotten the exercises I spent over $500 to learn months before).

I like being active.  I like playing tennis with guys 20-30 years younger than me.  My body disagrees with my likes.  I can hear the conversation my hamstring had with my foot yesterday:

Hamstring:  “Hey.  Foot.  Let’s show this old guy who’s in charge!”
Foot:  “What do you mean, Hammie?”

Hamstring:  “I mean he’s always acting like he’s 30 and he’s over TWICE that!  FirefoxScreenSnapz265Tell you what:  I’ll tweak him just a bit to scare him some and you can do, well, whatever it is that you do!”

Foot:  “Deal!  Maybe we can convince him to buy a rocking chair!”

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

There’s a lot in this passage that I don’t understand.  How do you not lose heart when body parts are conspiring and physical therapists are plotting to separate me from my money?  I don’t understand why we have to “waste away.”  I don’t understand why it is I ache where I didn’t even know there were places which could get sore, or pop, or get strained.

But I do understand a few things:  (1)  This world is fallen and broken and in pain (like my body parts).  I should expect some effects of the Fall in Genesis 3 in my own life (thanks, Adam & Eve).  (2) This world is not the only FirefoxScreenSnapz266one that is.  There will come a new world and I will get a brand-new resurrection body without plantar fasciitus or athlete’s foot or weak hamstrings.  So I need to think a bit more about that new world that’s a-comin’.  (3) I need to focus more on allowing my inner man to be renewed!  This is not to say that our bodies are the prisonhouse of our souls or that we shouldn’t exercise or take care of ourselves.  It is the simple truth that we are more than our bodies, more than our athletic abilities, more than our energy and stamina can produce.  And lastly, (4) I must take a comparative view and somehow recognize that the issue really is between “light and momentary troubles” versus “an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”  Meanwhile, I’ve just got one question for you:  Got any Ben Gay?

Questions:

1.  What physical exercises do you regularly do?

2.  What spiritual disciplines do you regularly practice?

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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My Physical Cliff!

This is not me. But it did hurt.

I think I am fast approaching my own physical cliff.  I know.  I know.  The debt crisis that all the news outlets are reporting has to do with the “fiscal cliff,” but those dire predictions got me to thinkin’.  And that’s not always a good thing.

I looked up the word “cliff” and I found that it is sometimes rendered precipice, rock face, crag, bluff, ridge, escarpment, scar, scarp, ledge, or overhang.  Some of those actually apply to me.

I started thinkin’ mostly as I was driving today to my seventh physical therapy session.  It’s a long story, but I’ll keep it short.

I play tennis.  And I pulled my hamstring.

Wait.  That’s too short.  I’ve left out too many incredible details.  Here’s the longer version:

About a month and a half ago my doubles partner Chip and I were playing a regular season match against Chris and Chris (they both have the same first names, but don’t look at all like each other and aren’t related as far as I know).  They are a strong team and I anticipated that Chip and I would get beaten pretty badly.

Imagine my excitement when we won the first set on my serve!  It was a glorious victory with the last point being decided by our hitting lobs and their hitting overhead smashes which we miraculously returned!  The stronger of the two Chris’s (or is it Crises?) tried to smash the lob I hit to him and he completely missed it.  We won the 1st set — on my serve!

The very next point was composed of Federer-like down-the-line drives, a couple of drop shots, and then a deep smash down my forehand alley.  I sprang into action, chasing down that shot, and felt like I got shot in the buttocks.  Actually, it was my upper right thigh, but I wanted to use the word “buttocks.”

I knew almost immediately that I had “pulled” my hamstring.  Now, I like bacon and pulled pork and sausage, but I’ve never eaten hamstring.  I just know that IT HURT!  I could hardly walk up to the net to shake hands and, as they say in the pros, “retire” from the match.

At my ripe old age of 62, I try not to use the “R” word, ‘cause I want to keep teaching ‘till I’m in my 90’s.  But I had no choice (kind of like a supralapsarian Calvinist) — I had to quit then and there.  Bummer.

Here’s the irony.  I had faced that same team of Chris and Chris about two months before with a different partner (Gil) and I had had to retire with severe tendonitis.  Imagine my embarrassment of having to retire a 2nd time within two months to the same doubles team.  You can’t, can’t you?  Did you at least try to imagine?

Hence, my seven sessions of physical therapy for my pulled hamstring.  Today’s my last session.  Physical therapists are great people — and excellent torturers!  They were widely used in the Korean war to victimize the Allied troops when they ran out of bamboo shoots.  Rumor has it they also were deployed during this country’s last presidential election.

All this to say:  I think I’m going over a physical cliff.  I’m learning from my tormentors — I mean my physical therapists — that I need to warm up my muscles before I play a match.  But first I have to find them — and that’s not always easy.  I have found that my muscles and tendons are a lot easier to find once they are strained, or pulled, or torn, or broken.  THEN I know where they are and can take medication and do weird, almost kama sutra-like exercises to stretch them.

How about you?  How’s your physical cliff?  Just don’t forget to stretch before you go over that precipice, rock face, crag, bluff, ridge, escarpment, scar, scarp, ledge, or overhang.

— Today’s blog is dedicated to the diligent and kind staff of Columbia Rehabilitation Clinic, Inc.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in fiscal cliff

 

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SC STATE CHAMPIONSHIP — Missed it by that much . . .

Friends:

Just got home from the 7.0 Mixed Senior SC state tennis tournament where we almost made it to the semi-finals!

My partner played well.  My right arm was a bit sore which provided a ready excuse for many shots dumped in the net.  Thanks go out to Bob Marchi for captaining the team!  Here’s a team picture after our 3rd set tie-break loss which dumped us out of the semi-finals.

Aren’t we a handsome group? The Good Book says “Laughter does good like a medicine,” and there were plenty of occasions provided by yours truly to give the team a good laugh. Sorry I couldn’t hit more water-cooler shots, guys!

You guys (and gals) have been a huge blessing in my life! Thanks for having me on the team.
Larry

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in tennis

 

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