Aging Ain’t For The Weak

Aging Ain’t For The Weak

I usually aim to add a card-related essay in this space, but with my work travels all week I didn’t have time. So I’ll whine about aging instead.

I turned 45 on Friday. This isn’t really noteworthy, but I’m going to note it anyway. I was always an athlete; I grew up playing pretty much any catch/hit/shoot sport you can imagine, and really excelled at basketball, which I played competitively until I was 35 and couldn’t keep up with the 23-year-olds fresh out of D2 anymore.

I took up running at 32, and cycling at 37. I stayed in some semblance of decent shape until the pandemic hit in 2020. Then I took it up a notch. With 90 minutes back in my typical day because I could stop commuting, I allocated most of that to family, but also jumped into running more than I had since college. I ran trails almost daily, and lifted and did core workouts several times a week. I got extraordinarily fit at the age of 41, which I never expected.

And then it was all gone. But it took me a while to realize and accept it.

On September 26th, 2020, six months into my new running life, I was 3.5 miles into a 4-mile trail run when I felt a little pain in my small toe. It didn’t feel serious, so I finished my run, and even dialed up the pace for the last quarter-mile. When I got home and took off my sneaker and sock, there was nothing visible wrong.

But it still hurt a week later. And a week after that. I went to see a foot doctor and he was clueless. I got x-rays and an MRI and they showed nothing. I wore a walking boot for weeks. Still no improvement.

(It was at this point, incidentally, that I pulled my childhood collection out of the closet and ended up getting immersed back in The Hobby.)

All the while, I kept doing all of my exercises to keep me in shape. I felt like I could be a competitive trail runner when races came back, and I didn’t want to ruin my opportunity.

After seeing 2 different surgeons over 4 months who gave me completely different treatment suggestions, I saw a third who said surgery on my foot would solve it easily. It was an easy decision for me. In mid-March 2021, I underwent foot surgery, and within a couple of weeks it was obvious that it was a mistake. It exacerbated the problem and made it clear that the problem had been nerve-related all along.

I spent the next six months depressed, working on my YouTube channel, and keeping myself fit without cardio. Then in October I was able to run again, and all the work I’d done paid off; I was still fit and fast! But the foot pain came back without warning. And it would last for weeks.

2022 continued the challenge, and I ultimately gave up on running at some point early in the year. Running might happen again, but not soon. Running for a week or two isn’t worth the pain experienced for weeks afterward. My YouTube channel thrived, and it officially took that passion over that I had had for running.

2023 saw me let myself go. I didn’t exercise at all, cardio or weights or core. I’m now at my heaviest weight ever. And at 45, my body lets me know. I sit all day for work, and then sit all evening watching tv or doing stuff with my family.

2024 needs to be the year I find a better balance. I’m hoping to be able to walk on my treadmill, but walking more than a quarter-mile hurts. I picked up rollerblading (or inline skating, if you prefer) in 2023. I played a ton of street hockey on blades in my teenage years, and I found that the skating came right back. (Side note: I mentioned this in a video and someone who had never commented on my channel before made fun of me for rollerblading. I hope that guy is never forced to find a no-impact exercise.)

My blood pressure and cholesterol are high now, and I suspect I’ll need to go on my first prescription(s) this year. I don’t want to continue on this path. I need to focus on my diet and moderate exercise.

Starting tomorrow.

YouTube Comment Of The Week

Nothing really funny this week, so I’m sharing one that made me feel good.

That’s the good stuff

Upcoming Videos

I honestly don’t know. I don’t have anything specific that I’m looking forward to, but I always find something good.

Channel Highlights From the Past Week

I was in Dallas Sunday-Friday, so I only put out two videos all week. It was probably my lowest output in a couple of years!

I finally put out my video sharing my viewers’ grails. Pretty good reception!

On Tuesday I took an Uber to Baseball Collector Mike’s house and spent 3+ hours going through his insane personal collection. And then he took me out for legit Texas bbq. Spectacular. Unfortunately I forgot to include the photo of me eating when I edited the video:

Railhead Smokehouse

My Pickup Of The Week

See my video above from my visit to Mike’s house to see my only pickups.

I decided to list my Caitlin Clark autograph for sale on eBay. I really don’t want to sell it, but I will for a big offer. It’s tough to tell what it might be worth. A clearly-inferior one sold for around $650 in early January. The autograph on that one, while graded a 10, is in black ink on a black background. Mine is yellow on the black background and really pops. And now Caitlin is about to pass the NCAA scoring record.

I have offers open.

Sick card

Subscriber Pickup Of The Week

A lot of people nominated cards this week! Mark’s is amazing and you can see it here, but for the story I’m choosing Jake’s:

I stopped by my LCS this last weekend and always head to the $1 cards first. I've seen this Ichiro card in the past and have always liked the colors on it. Just thought it was a cool looking card. Brought it home and couldn't find card #320 in 2008 Topps checklist with this image. I thought maybe it was a variation or something. I kept finding the image of it under 2007 Topps Walmart exclusive #WM15. After about an hour of research I finally noticed there were two different cards in the top Ended up getting two for a buck!

To nominate your card for next week, reply to this email and include why it should be included and a photo. Please don’t be offended if I don’t reply.

I didn’t read much Hobby-related this week, but I always enjoy Courtney Recklein’s writing for Hobby News Daily. I thought this article about The Hobby being an episode of Jerry Springer was very good.

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