Only one word to describe how I've been feeling this week: bloody exhausted.
OK, two words.
After a weekend of way too much cheap red plonk (courtesy of Chesham Rugby Club's annual dinner) and subsequent hangover in 30 degree heat at my son's 7-a-side football tournament (that's association football - I know, I'm sorry) , I then spent 6½ hours in the car on Tuesday driving to and from my aunt's funeral, a day which was both physically and emotionally draining.
So I was obviously in great shape when I turned up for Tuesday evening's Touch Rugby and my contribution to the game was consequently minimal (although it was kindly pointed out that I contributed to at least 3 of the opposition's tries!). Despite my best endeavours, however, we scraped an 8-7 victory - our young speedster, Tom, proving the difference between the teams.
What Tom's performance has done is to cause me to reflect on something I lost many moons ago. Although possibly better placed as the subject matter of a fascinating, self-indulgent and melancholic entry in the "Whatever Happened To" series, a few words here about my lost youth do appear to be appropriate.
You see, whereas today I may be known as a confirmed member of the esteemed order of sad old farts, once upon a time I was imbued with youthful vigour, fitness, enthusiasm and stamina. For much of the 1980s I played or trained 6 days out of 7 and even well into my twenties I'd train twice a week, play for my club on Saturday, get up and play social rugby on Sunday and squeeze in a game of football for my firm midweek. No wonder I struggled to get my weight UP, tipping the scales at a puny 13½ stone despite my best efforts to bulk up, both in the gym and in the pub where I would usually stay until last orders most nights of the week.
Nowadays of course the ravages of age and a more sedentary lifestyle mean that my body's still suffering nearly 48 hours after a game of Touch Rugby, I fall asleep well before the pub closes and we no longer talk about my weight.
Youth and talent no match for age and treachery? Bollocks.