After years of hiatus, my hands reached out for the bat once again last month. The palms felt overjoyed, as if their long-pending wish had been granted. In fact, the whole body enjoyed as fingers ran over the rubber grip around the English Willow’s handle. The walk to the pitch was majestic.
Heart beat rose as the pacer came charging to deliver the first salvo. As if it had eyes, the bat sensed an opportunity on seeing the ball pitched short and wide on the off. It made a natural dash for the cherry but missed. The reflexes had weakened… but only slightly, I realised. But this loss could be made up by being a little more attentive, I reminded myself. The second delivery too was on the off, but the outcome was different this time. The Willow didn’t miss the target. As the cherry raced to the fence amid cheers from teammates, I realised that the old touch was not all lost. The world hadn’t changed much all these years. The ball and its bounce, the bat and its flow, the ground and its magnanimity, the cheers, excitement and vibrancy all around – nothing had changed. The mirror did show some changes in me like the rise in grey strands in the stubble & receding hairline; however, the Willow didn’t care about them. Then why had I been on the self-imposed retirement for so long?
George Bernard Shaw had put it succinctly: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” That day, I realised this saying’s true meaning.
Fitness problems are often attributed to sedentary lifestyles or old age. The earlier job needed me to spend most of my duty hours on the desk, staring at the computer screen. However, that never stopped me from padding up and hitting the ground on my off days. But I chose the couch. The true culprit had been my lethargy. Now I realise why sloth has been listed as one of the seven sins in Bible.
There are infinite benefits of good fitness. The topmost being that one feels really comfortable in one’s own skin. Exercising and playing regularly keeps heart, lungs, bones and muscles healthy. And in a healthy body lives a healthy mind.
My experience tells me that one must make exercising and playing outdoor games a habit if he has to enjoy his life in true sense. In today’s competitive world, man spends most of his time
either earning money or figuring out how to earn more, and in the process, he neglects his health and fitness. And later on, he spends that hard-earned money on treatment of his lifestyle ailments. Two minus two equals to zero. And in matters of health, the outcome could go in the negative as well. So beware, before it is too late. Remember… health is real wealth.
Sunil Kr. Kumawat
Biyani Group of Colleges