I'd like to know at what time in my 32 years I degraded to the point that activities I found exhilerating as a child now make me feel as though I'm ready to be put out to pasture.
The hubby and I went bowling last weekend with some friends. Granted, we hadn't been to a bowling alley for at least eight years. We bowled four games, and my leg and back muscles screamed in agony for two days hence.
Since when does bowling hurt? I guess tossing around an 8-pound ball about 80 times (yes, twice per frame for me) could be considered a workout. Especially for someone like me, who doesn't work out.
I guess it didn't help that the following day, before my poor body had a chance to recuperate, we went on an outing to Wagon Trails Animal Park in Vienna.
It was worth sweltering in the 90-degree-plus heat for a chance to sprinkle feed right into a camel's mouth, and it was the first time I've ever been close enough to a bison to reach out and touch it.
It was a good thing that most of the outing took place in a motorized vehicle - less chance of my rusty, weak body collapsing from underuse. (How much time do I now spend on the couch?) It's nice to know that there's a safari right in your own backyard - and people say there's nothing to do in northeast Ohio.
The trip had me reminiscing about other outdoor activities I used to do when I was younger. Among them:
Skateboarding. I never did flips or spins, but I remember sitting on one and rolling down the slope of the concrete walk in front of our house. I'd do it for hours, and it never got old.
Cowboys and Indians. My sister and I would chase each other with our awesome, plastic shotguns (they made an authentic-sounding bang) - I'm not sure who was a cowboy and who was an Indian, or if we even cared.
Roller-skating. I remember how much fun it was when I finally learned how to work them by shifting my weight from side to side. Then roller blades came out, and the "plain" skates got tossed for the newer, faster ones. I doubt I could keep up in a rink with either version these days.
Bicycling. I remember it being way more fun and a lot less difficult. My husband and I got mountain bikes several years ago, and I think we've ridden them twice. (And he used to race BMX bikes in his younger years.)
Hunting for four-leaf clovers. I was content to sit in the grass and stare at the little plants - now whenever I sit down in the grass, I am more worried about what bugs might be crawling on me than I am excavating clovers.
Catching bugs. The best place to look was under the garbage cans - especially the metal one - or the brick edging of the flower bed. I'm not talking lightning bugs, although they were fun to catch, too.
Pine cone harvesting. OK, so it's not a game per se, but my sis and I got paid 10 cents for each cone we rounded up. I now see why my parents came up with this ingenious arrangement.
Taekwondo. I took classes when I was in high school, and I remember it being a ton of fun. I somehow doubt I'd be able to kick half as high now that my tendons have had a 15-year vacation.
Catch, whiffle ball, badminton. The list goes on and on.
I don't want to be inactive, but I like being in pain even less. It seems the older I get, the less energy I have for all that moving around.
And now that I have to pay my own doctor bills, an infected spider bite or sprained knee cost me more than just pain or discomfort.
Being a grown-up is just not as fun as I thought it would be back when I was busy playing house.