"You know, Steve, you get the feeling that Billy Chapel isn't pitching against left-handers, he isn't pitching against pinch hitters, he isn't pitching against the Yankees. He's pitching against time. He's pitching against the future, against age, and even when you think about his career, against ending. And tonight, I think he might be able to use that aching old arm one more time, to push the sun back up in the sky, and give us one more day of summer."
Vin Scully, as Vin Scully in the movie "For Love Of The Game" (1999).
This one feels different. This one is leaving a mark. This one is my 65th birthday.
I don't really celebrate birthdays, let alone mark the passing of conventional milestone years. The number of times I witness the earth orbit the sun always seems such an artificial construct from which to view a life. I always looked to what I was doing and planning to do and, more importantly, what I hoped to do. More recently, I work to focus more on who I am and who I can be, especially to others.
So, I don't know why this one is different.
Maybe it's that time passes more quickly each year.
Maybe it's the harsh reality of mortality hitting home.
Maybe it's the first card I received in the mail, a couple of weeks before my actual birthday, from the U.S. Government Department of Health & Human Services. In big, bold letters, it proclaimed "MEDICARE HEALTH INSURANCE." So, I guess I've officially moved up to the Medicare Division for cycling events.
I don't race anymore. But I do continue to ride. And I'm especially grateful to be heading back into the remote reaches of the Black Hills to ride another week long bikepacking trip with friends.
Together, we'll suspend time for awhile, and share at least one more day of summer.
Vin Scully Announcing the Beginning of the 9th Inning.
For Love Of The Game (1999).