Once upon time, I felt pretty invincible.    No seriously.  There was a point in my life where I had to start wondering if  I could possibly be part Terminator.    Despite being hit by two cars, crashing several motorcycles, falling off of a two story roof, and almost drowning more times than I can count, I always managed to somehow walk away. Being part cyborg from the future to who’s only mission was to find Sarah Connor seemed to be the only logical explanation.

But, like most people, age started catching up with me.  That motorcycle accident left a permanent ache in my back that just never seemed to go away.  One of the encounters with an automobile has left me with some weird foot pain that seems to flare up every time the weather turns.   Any thoughts that I was superhuman started to fade.

Of all the follies of my youth that have come back to bite me, none has been so pronounced as the years I played semi-pro and arena football.  Some backstory is needed here:

I had the desire to go back and play football ever since I got out of high school.  But for one reason or another, I didn’t get serious about it until I was about 25 years old.  I decided to workout, get in football shape and try out for a local semi-pro team.  In the span of 18 months, I went from a 225lb skinnyfat weakling;


To a 285lb hulking monster:





Gaining 60lbs of mostly muscle took a lot of discipline, a LOT of eating and hours upon hours in the gym throwing up weight.  LOTS AND LOTS OF WEIGHT.    Weight that puts a tremendous amount of pressure and stress on your joints.  Couple that with the impact of slamming into other equally large (or bigger) guys, and you could understand why my elbows would be soaking in ice baths after every single game.

No matter, I got my bumps and bruises along the way, but playing football again was great and I really enjoyed 3 or so odd years that I did it again.  When I was finished playing,  I changed my diet (ie, not eating 8000 calories a day), did more cardio and most of the weight managed to come off pretty quickly.

But the scars of those year of abuse on my body still linger.  This came to light again last night when I was at SportRock getting some climbing in.

Earlier in the day, during my morning routine of doing pushups and situps, I wanted to see just how many pushups I could do in five minutes.  Well, did that just that and 5 minutes later I managed to squeeze out the 115th pushup and run off to take a shower.  I noticed in the shower that my elbows hurt a little bit, and that pain radiated down to my hands, but it went away after a few minutes so I shrugged it off.

Later, at the rock gym, I had just finished my second climb and when I came down my elbows and hands hurt so bad I could hardly get the rope off.  I rested for about 5 minutes and tried to do another climb only to fail half way up because I couldn’t hold onto the grips anymore.

It took me ten minutes to get the rope and harness off and I headed out to my truck to go home.  The ENTIRE way home my arms throbbed with pain.    It wasn’t until I got home and laid down for about 30 minutes that the pain subsided.

Looking back, it was painfully clear that happened.  I inflamed the hell out of my elbows in the morning by doing all those pushups, and then made the issue even worse when I started using my arms while climbing.  I’ve had this kind of elbow pain before when I was playing football and I should have known that I was creating a perfect storm for inflammation.

So it’s a good (and painful lesson) to me and everyone who reads this.  Take care of your body.  Listen to those aches and pains, especially when it’s in your joints.   The older you get, the less forgiving it will be when you decide to be an idiot and overdo it.

I only have this one body for the rest of my life, and it’s got to last me for a while more.  That is, unless they find a way to build me a cyborg body….




Welcome to California!