Saturday, November 10, 2012

Writing Is a Non-Contact Sport

Like my day job as a programmer, writing is a non-contact sport. All day long I sit behind a desk, only to come home, eat too much, then slide into the comfy writing chair my wife bought me as a cave-warming present when I moved into my new writing digs.

Exercise is something I used to do when I was younger, and had time.

I used to do other things, too, like ride my motorcycle, peter around the place on my tractor, and watch a lot of television.

These days I work, and I write (I still haven't gotten to the point where I consider writing to be work). I haven't tried to start my motorcycle in a couple of months but I'd bet the battery is dead. I know my tractor will start because I had to use it last Friday night when my daughter's boyfriend ran the Firebird he had borrowed from his friend in the ditch. We ended up calling a wrecker anyway, but that's another story.

Today my son's Boy Scout pack hosted a Beltloop Bonanza. If you don't know what that is, neither did I until today. It's an event where cub scouts come from all over the area and sit through workshops on such things as photography, maps and compass, soccer, kickball, and lots of other fun things. They didn't have workshops on programming computers or writing novels so I didn't volunteer to teach anything. Upon arriving this morning, however, with a great deal of lower back pain (probably from so much desk time), I was "picked" to teach soccer.

Newsflash: my childhood did not involve sports. I was small for my age and as shy as they come. Just going to PE was traumatic for me. The only sport I watch on television is NASCAR (yes, dammit, car racing IS a sport).

Imagine me, a man who has never even seen an entire soccer game, teaching soccer to a group of kids (five different groups, as it turned out). Lucky for me my office was about a mile away from the meeting place and I was able to rush over and google "soccer rules".

I got through it. Heck, I even enjoyed it after that first class where I fumbled around like an idiot (I even dropped my papers and had to rescue them from the wind -- NERD!).

I learned the basic rules of soccer. I learned that third and fourth grade boys don't really mind that much if you don't get the rules exactly right. I learned that other parents, for the most part, don't mind pitching in and helping. But most importantly, I learned that kicking a soccer ball around a field all day is NOT the proper therapy for an ailing back.

I can barely walk (and by barely, I mean I can walk but it hurts and I have a low threshold for pain). But today was fun. One kid told me he enjoyed soccer class more than anything else he did today. Okay, that kid was my son, but let's not be picky here.

I'm home now. Back in my comfy writing chair at the desk in my writing cave. My back is killing me, but I'm glad I went today. Glad I "volunteered" to teach something to the kids. But more than that, I'm glad I stopped on the way home yesterday and picked up a bottle of vodka. I'm going to need that.


  1. I'm sure you're going to use that vodka as rubbing alcohol, aren't you?
    Carol x

    1. Yes, of course, Carol. I had to apply it twice, though.