09 December 2009

Plumber For A Day...

If you have read my blogs you will recall that I am not a mechanic. I do well with tools but don't know a motor from an engine.

Unfortunately for me, plumbing is a similar category. Again, the tools are no problem and I have most of what I need. However, spending a couple of hours bent over working on frozen pipes, or on my knees repairing somebody's haphazard under-sink work leads to a severe increase in the pain level of this body.

It isn't a bad body for a 52 yr old with years of accidents and worn joints. And it was never a bad body, just average physically and not pro-sports. It has had its moments. Good moments. I ignore the bad moments.

Back in North Warren Regional High School I was on the wrestling team. Most times I was JV because I couldn't beat long legged Ralph and his long legs during the weekly wrestle-off for the Varsity spot. He was just probably better than me, but I did wrestle varsity in one very important match. Before I can go on about plumbing I just have to relate this match.

Ralph didn't make weight the night we wrestled Belvidere (I think). He was a few pounds over, or sick, or maybe he didn't want to face the undefeated state champion. I can't remember his name, and I should because he went to Blair for a post-grad year. I'm sure I met him on the mat again during my short-lived Blair wrestling career. But its been more than 30 years and I have forgotten some details of those ages. (If somebody can refresh my memory I'll edit this and correct it.)

Anyway, Ralph didn't make weight and I was moved to the Varsity team. This was only my second year of wrestling. Just a mere sophomore. Suddenly I was matched to the undefeated state champ who was a senior with many years of experience including preschool, gradeschool, junior high and high school, and dozens of wrestling camps.

He was good. I didn't win. He was very good. And, although I lost on score, I was not PINNED by the state champ. A proud yet somber moment for me.

I remember being stuck in a back-bridge unable to see anything except one light on the ceiling and the time clock ticking down from 1:04 in the third and final round.
Tick...tick...tick......tick...........tick...............tick and each moment took longer and longer.
He was unable to break my bridge, you know with feet on the mat, bent over backwards to top of head on the mat, twisting and turning trying to toss him off, trying to stay up so he couldn't get my shoulders down on the mat.

The referee warned him about delaying, and I think I got a point on the second warning...but that could just be wishful thinking. Eventually the time ran out before I collapsed. He had the win. He was still undefeated. I was JUST a two year JV wrestler that he couldn't pin.

This was the only match my father ever attended. And there was a very cute girl on the cheer leader squad that I wanted to ask to the next dance. (She also later attended Blair Academy.)

So why tell you about this? Because it is proof that the old body was never that bad, and still isn't all that bad. Yet, bending over working on rusted, corroded pipes behind the tub, or kneeling and working on fouled up plastic pipes under a sink -- they just don't fit me.

However, the work got completed. The leaks are gone and everybody is happy except for my back, my neck, my knees, my knuckles, and my pet gorilla.

Uh, sorry, there is no pet gorilla. And there was no plumber's crack either. So the body is still holding up even when I have to be the plumber for the day...

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