Did you know that we only get about 4,000 Saturdays in our entire life? At my age, I only have about half of those left. Once I figured this out, I started to make as good use of them as I can, especially in the summer. It means avoiding spending the whole day in bed atoning for Friday. It means riding my bike, playing a rewarding softball game, shopping at the Farmers Market, or going to the beach or country.
For this past Saturday, I had signed up for a club ride into Ulster County, up to the Ashokan Reservoir, with the New York Cycle Club. It was a ride that I had anticipated for weeks. But I missed it. At a softball game on Friday, I strained something in my lower back. It was unprecedented pain for me, enough to drop me to the ground as I ran to first base on a clean single. A couple of teammates helped me off the field, and I began stretching my back to help with the pain. I blame it on sitting in an office chair for nearly thirty hours each week.
The pain lingered into the next morning. I was moving slowly around all morning, and it caused me to miss not one, but two trains. First, I missed the 7 train from Long Island City to Grand Central, and then the 7:44 train to Poughkeepsie departed as I was looking for Track 10. When I missed a spring training ride in May, I was able to catch them by riding the route by myself twenty-five miles in. Because we were taking a train, there was no way for me to do that. I either had to catch the 8:44 or just bail out.
Instead of joining the group for a ride around the Catskills, I decided to bail out. Whatever I did to my back on Friday was still bothering me on Saturday. Riding for almost eight hours with a questionable back would not be wise. Instead, I came back home, slept in, and rested my back for Sunday’s semi-final game with the Ball Busters in Central Park. The ride leader was nice enough to pass along a photo of the group.