Slightly Off Center: November 2012
He’s got spear-it.
by Dennis Hinkamp
It started like most great ideas; drinking a little too much and having access to an Amazon one-click account; but first some background.
Depending on the sports you chose when you were young; you are always going to be up against precise measurement of your former self contrasting your current self. For instance, I ran 10 marathons when I was young. Fast forward 30 years, I don’t even like to drive that far; and worse yet, I can’t even run two miles at the pace I once ran 26.
Masters team sports can be self deluding because your standard comparison can be the people around you who are also aging ungraciously. Sports with scores but no measurement such as tennis, racquetball, horseshoes and the like you can play relatively well for a life time only if you play against people in your general age rage.
That’s why you should take up a sport that you have no history in and that’s how I ended up having a javelin delivered to me in a very long package five months ago. I picked up javelin for the first time in 56 years; literally I have never touched one. I reasoned that I had always been better than average at throwing things and this was just another thing. I also chose the javelin because almost anything I do with it, including throwing it sideways, will be a personal record.
I guess I could have chosen another track and field implement such as a shot put, discus or hammer but they have little to offer in the real world. I chose the javelin also because it may be the most elemental of any event other than running. Throwing a spear a long way probably actually had life sustaining value at some point in evolution. Being able to fell a gazelle on the run at 50 meters could have fed the tribe. In current terms, I think it might help me survive the inevitable zombie apocalypse. When there is no more electricity and all the bullets are used up, I will survive.
I also like the looks I get carrying it around. Nobody would ever be able to confuse it with a concealed weapon and nobody is really going to try to harass even an old guy carrying around a seven foot long pointed metal object. I fit the profile of the quiet middle-aged guy who keeps to himself until he doesn’t keep to himself and goes berserk; though a javelin is hardly an automatic or even semi automatic weapon. Even an old lady with pepper spray could probably defuse me.
So here I am at the Huntsman Senior Games in St. George with the rest of my geezer friends throwing a pointy object as far as I can which isn’t too far yet, but it is further than I have ever thrown though not near as far as I will fling it in the future.
Dennis Hinkamp would like to encourage everyone to try something for the first time (except maybe smoking, drugs or politics).