Thank you, Andrew Luck, for putting retirement into perspective. Today, I am a much happier, and more goal-oriented, individual.
Luck, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, shocked the sports world recently by abruptly quitting the game just shy of his 30th birthday. The announcement devastated Colts fans, who watched Luck take his team to the playoffs last year, leading many sportswriters and bookmakers to pick the Colts as a Super Bowl contender in 2020.
Fans booed Luck as he walked off the field after news of his decision became public during the Colts third preseason game. Twitter, naturally, went haywire with the news. Even O.J. Simpson chimed in, posting a video bemoaning that he had picked Luck as part of his fantasy football draft just 90 minutes prior to the news.
“Andrew Luck, what did I do to you?” Simpson asked, a question made even more incredulous seeing that it was coming from the mouth of a convicted armed robber and kidnapper, and an accused murderer.
In an emotional press conference following the game, Luck explained his decision, saying the cycle of “injury, pain, rehab” has “taken my joy of this game away.”
That’s all I needed to hear. For my life has recently been filled with several components that no longer bring me joy; some involving injury, pain and rehab, although maybe not in a continuous cycle. Nevertheless, using Luck’s logic, I am hereby announcing my retirement from the following activities:
Since turning 50, I have been stuck in a never-ending cycle of reading, or hearing about, foods that I should no longer be eating. That includes beer, coffee, red wine, steak, chicken wings, loaded Tater Tots, Dairy Queen blizzards and any item ensconced in a glass case at The Cheesecake Factory. Eliminating these foods did not cause injury or result in rehab, but was surely painful. As of today, I’m putting them all back into my stomach. Thank you, Andrew.
This one has definitely caused injury and pain, just by doing it. Once I heard Luck’s press conference, I realized I do not receive joy by slogging three miles on a treadmill, swimming 50 laps in a pool, biking up steep inclines or chasing a tennis ball lobbed over my head by a player half my age. All of this has resulted in numerous trips to my friendly physical therapist.
So yeah, Andrew, I can relate.
While I’ve never been chased around by 300 pound, yet surprisingly nimble, opponents or suffered a “posterior ankle impingement” in the process, I’m going to head to my couch while I still can. Your press conference gave me all the incentive I need.
I still have one teenager living in my house. And while she has never physically injured me, I no longer find joy in waiting up for her until 1:30 a.m. on weekends. Come to think of it, I never did; but, seeing as my preferred bedtime is now around 9:30 p.m., I think it’s best I step away from the “wait up” game and focus on sleep. Doing so will cause me to feel less pain the following morning.
4. Home maintenance
I used to find joy in a freshly manicured lawn or a driveway free of snow, achieved via manual labor, courtesy of me. But this summer I have found myself stuck in a never-ending cycle of “weeds, weed killer and more weeds.” I’m not sure why this is happening, but I think it’s nature’s way of telling me I can no longer compete with dandelions, quackgrass and purslane. From this point forward, I vow to sit on my patio and stare at my backyard only after nightfall.
Andrew Luck, come over any time. While gorging myself on a big pile of loaded Tater Tots, let’s enjoy retirement together.