Monday, September 03, 2012

How Can It be September Already?

September rolled in to stay awhile this weekend.

Politely enough it brought a three day weekend with it – like it does every year with Labor Day – like the friend that always brings you a coffee when they stop by.

A nice gesture – but not enough to offset the symbolism of September as the true end of summer.

In my books – September sucks.

How mature of me, eh?

Perhaps – but the end of summer always brings out the spoiled little boy in me – spoiled by long lazy summer days of no school – sleeping in late and staying up even later.

But I don't get summers off anymore – not since I grew up.

I think my little girls get robbed every summer myself. They have to keep going to school all the way to the end of June. When I was a kid growing up outside of Atlanta – June was the BEST month of summer vacation. Here in Ontario – summer vacation only lasts two months and not three.

Maybe the kids here are smarter? Well, they are very nice kids – but I don't know if I could say they are smarter. They don't even know they are missing a month of summer vacation.

This summer was really extra special at our house this year.

There was lots of fast pitch softball at the Turtle Club; and lots of Detroit Tigers baseball on the radio; and tons of Olympics to watch when they were on. And there was lots of barbeques and tons of swimming and the girls had more than their share of sleeping in until ten in the morning – except for when ball practice started at nine.

Poor Darlene. The basic law of physics as they relate to time in the summer is that the fun time gained by my daughters is exactly proportionate to the loss of fun time extracted from my lovely wife.

This summer – for myself at least – seemed exceptionally deceitful as it always seemed to be on its way – as I worked from one small block of vacation days to the next. Now that the last of them are gone, I ponder if I spent them wisely?

And I did. Most of them were spent helping out at the girls ball practices. Catching batting practices – infield practices – you name it – this fifty year old man felt fifteen all over again each time we stepped on the reddish dust of a Turtle Club infield.

Life is so grand.

Me and the girlies made up a game in the pool that was our version of baseball – where the ladder is first base and other landmarks on the side of the pool were second and third. We played that game for hours and hours on the hottest days of the year – days when the pool water was tipping ninety degrees Fahrenheit (or 30 degrees Celsius depending on your tolerance for metrics). As soon as you stepped out of the pool you were dry and just wanted to jump back in again.
My little girls force me to stay younger than fifty. Thank God for them.
We travelled a little bit – for ball tournaments and to visit – but more than all else – we just stayed home this summer – because with the pool and the deck and the gardens in our own yard – and the Turtle Club ball diamonds just around the corner – a driver and a wedge shot from the house – how could anyone ever want to pay money to be someplace else that you don't have to be?
Did I ever mention that I love summer?
And summers living in Canada are much more dear because for the other nine months of the year, all you can think about and wish for are these three months of June, July and August.
Like a cruel joke.
I think that when all is said and done – and those final moments of one's life flash before their eyes, my own visions will be of summers from days past – days when I was a kid – and days when my kids were kids and
I was a kid right there with them.

So this year I will start a new tradition – I will call it the September Resolution – the one promise that I make each year that I will work all through the non-summer months to achieve ready for when next summer gets here again.

I will get back in shape again.

I will do more than to continue not smoking – I will exercise and get my body back to a state where if I had to, I would be able to slide into second base, so that when my foot hits that bag I can pop back up and be ready to run for third. I could even slide in face first on my batting gloves again. Even better yet, those first two strides I would take after hitting the ball and exiting the batters box on my sprint to first base – I will work hard so that I don't pull a thigh or hamstring or calf muscle in the process.

And I will work on my running stride too, so that when I run in the outfield to track down a fly ball – that the whole world doesn't shake and bounce with each stride causing me to lose sight of the ball – instead I will regain that smooth stride one masters by running on the balls of their feet and toes – to simply be able to once again glide underneath the ball.

Are these things possible after three knee surgeries and a back surgery and thirty years of voluntarily sucking tar and nicotine into my body?

Maybe – it's sure worth a shot, don't ya think?

What's the worst that could happen?

Well, yeah, there is the whole heart attack or stroke thing to worry about – and Jim Flick did die while jogging – the Grim Reaper cared not about how many books he wrote about the joys of running.

But what if I did it in moderation? A little bit here, a little bit there. I am fifty you know – it's not like I'm trying out for the Tigers. It's just so I can be a better coach in the summer. So I can show it, not just describe it.

Easier to say than to do though.

But now that it's September, I have a whole nine more months to work on it.

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