Spectator Sport

Grand daughter Abby gets some air.
Grand daughter Abby gets hang time.

I suppose I’ve shot my last three pointer, run my last mile full out, leapt my last leap higher than my ankles, and aced my last tennis serve. Ah well. It sure was sport while it lasted.

Alas, the Extended Warranty Package was not offered on the joints and bones. And the built-in obsolescence on the 1948 models is beginning to become apparent. No, it’s way past beginning.

And so I celebrate those who still can–like my 7-yr-old grand daughter Abby here, and remember how it felt–velocity, speed, acceleration, and impact; resilience, oxygen debt, and second wind.

More and more, life becomes a vicarious experience of watching; of fond and fading memories of belly rushes and bruises, of winning and losing and playing flat out. We pass the baton to the next generation and wish them God speed. We’re pleased, thrilled and a little jealous, more spectator than participant as time goes by.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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