By PAUL DAVIS, Staff Writer
A couple weekends back, I learned a hard lesson when I got tasked with helping a local landowner in trying to catch a young piglet he was hoping to sell.
I had been in a tree stand 300 yards away, watching through binoculars for a half hour as the landowner and a few others tried to get about eight or nine pigs into a horse trailer. It actually was quite comical as the routine went on and on, and I kept thinking, “what can be so hard about it?”
As luck would have it, I shot a deer with my bow and packed my gear back to my vehicle, conveniently parked right next to the hog pen, where I was asked to help. I certainly didn’t mind pitching in to catch the little porker because the landowner has been so good to me for two-plus decades. However, I learned a valuable lesson: at my age, I can’t pretend to act like I’m 20 years old.
I had the little squealer cornered along a fence, and when it tried to run past me, I did my best impression of an NFL linebacker and dove for it, rocks and all. Big mistake when you’re into your fifth decade. It all happened in a flurry of flying dust, rolling rocks and loud squeals, and within a couple seconds, it was over. I had pinned the little pork chop to the ground with my left hand and managed to get my other around it as well.
Then, I realized I could barely move, and I needed help getting up off the ground. I laughed at the situation then and can still laugh at it now, but looking back, I think some of the squealing may have come from me.
The left knee of my brand new camouflage pants was torn, and I was bleeding under them. My right elbow also was bleeding, and my ribs on the right side were sore.
I tried to play it off as if it were nothing, but man was I hurting. I’m mostly healed now, except for the nagging rib pain.
When you’ve been able to do whatever you want for so long, it’s easy to forget Father Time has a different agenda, and now I have to remind myself I’m not 20 years old any more, and I’m no spring chicken.
My wife jokingly calls it “Old-Man-Itis,” and I suppose it’s something I’ll have to embrace, even if I’m not happy about it. Such is life.
Paul Davis is a writer, photographer and outdoors editor for the Daily American Republic. He can be reached at email@example.com .