The problem with the ageing process is that occasionally, just occasionally, you forget that your body no longer responds to the instructions it is receiving from your brain.
Such was the case yesterday evening when, in sultry
conditions in tropical Chesham during a Touch Rugby match against the Tight Head
Pops, I stepped inside one would-be tackler, swerved inside another and then
threw a dummy to burst (well, kind of) through the gap.
For one brief and exhilarating moment anything was possible and all that was required was for the after-burners to kick-in
to carry me the 20 metres or so to the tryline. And the response from my legs?
Nada, zilch, nothing whatsoever. One overly ambitious and desperate attempt at
an overhead pass later, the chance was lost.
Fortunately my humiliation had no bearing on the result as
other, younger, fitter members of the team ran in a number of tries to see 'Billy
Who?' record our 3rd win out of 4 matches. I even contributed a late
try myself when all I had to do was catch the ball and stroll over from 2
metres – which I clearly need to understand is more my kind of distance these
Here's the thing - when I think rationally I know full well that
that the days of me outsprinting anyone are so far behind me it’s just not funny
anymore. In the heat of the moment, however, something inexplicable happens and more often
than not instinct will kick in and the right side of my brain will drag up memories
from 30 years ago and delude itself into thinking that there’s still some pace left in the old legs.
I really must introduce my legs to my brain.