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So it will have been nine months tomorrow since the big 4-0.  I was not sure what 40 would look like or feel like for me.  I have never been accused of looking older than I am – quite the opposite – many times people have guessed that I am 5-7 years younger than I am.  As for the feel like – well, let’s just say that I actually used the Icy Hot I received as a “joke” gift for my 40th within a week after receiving it.

Since turning 40, I have had a fairly severe case of Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot, along with a very tight IT band issue in the left leg (the IT band was helped by a very sharp elbow on a great massage therapist – thanks Anna Beth!).  Note – the right side of my body is doing just fine.  Glad I‘m a Republican.

This 40th year has been an adventure.  I embarked on a 10 day backpacking journey with my son’s scout troop this past summer to the Sierra Nevada’s.  Needless to say I was a little apprehensive about the trip and my ability to lug 45 pounds over 32 miles.  One of my good friends who planned the hike believes that anything under a 6% grade is “flat.”  I beg to differ.  Up is up, no matter how steep.

I weathered the trip with no problems…not falling or injuring myself until literally the last few steps of the trip…in the hotel..as I was carrying a pizza up the concrete steps.  Yep – it hurt – the shin – the ego – everything.

A few more scout trips during the fall were just fine and dandy…and then the refereeing kicked in.  As you can read in a previous post, the first night was not pretty from the mental aspect.  The physical side – just fine – until that first game I mentioned.

Just into the start of the 2nd half of my first official paying game as an official…my left calf cramps up.  I can’t run – I can barely walk.  I hobble over to the corner of the court where another set of officials is watching the action – this being opening night and all.  Within a few minutes one of them had relieved me.  I limped over and started to stretch.  Eventually coming back for the fourth quarter.  Embarrassed doesn’t really begin to describe it.

So that coupled with the plantar fasciitis has made for a rough few months.  I found a fantastic stretch for the PF issue (go buy the $25 book on Amazon) that has allowed the situation to steadily get better.

Then came last Friday and an opportunity for my son and a friend of his to earn some money for Troop 33’s excursion to Emerald Bay Scout Camp on Catalina Island this summer.  As we were out completing the work, I took a step – a normal step – and hyper-extend my left knee (see a pattern here?).  Immediate internal swelling – immediate pain – immediate drive home to ice the knee.  Two Aleve with an Advil chaser seemed to help.

It is now Sunday night, just over 48 hours since the incident.  The knee is much better and I think I am good to go for the games I have on Monday.

All this to say, I think women have the right idea when it comes to these milestone birthdays, “39 and holding,” or “the 3rd anniversary of my 29th year.”  I believe they are on to something.

As I shared my woes with a fellow referee, his words of advice were, “Keep on plugging away, John.”  I plan to, I also plan to keep a healthy supply of OTC pain relievers and Icy Hot in my travel bag.