– The realities of playing sports as we grow older.

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Before graduating from college, I played my fair share of contact sports, including football, baseball, hockey, and rugby. Like a lot of kids, I got pretty beat up in the process, such as cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, and a particularly nasty knee injury which sidelined me for the remainder of a season. Nonetheless, I loved playing and think back fondly on those years.

As I entered the workforce though, I came to the sudden realization my playing days were over. I could no longer afford to become sidelined from my job due to a broken bone, sprain, or some other serious injury. Plain and simply, it would affect my livelihood. It’s hard to give up such sports, but it became clear to me it was time to find something less brutal to do. This explains why activities like golf, tennis, racquetball, fishing, etc. are popular among those in their middle age or older, there is less of a chance to suffer a serious accident.

Some time ago I helped establish an “Over 35” coed softball league in my area which has since become rather popular. I found our games to be a great stress-reliever and the hub of social activities for the many people who played the game with us over the years. I admonished my players not to get injured. I wanted them to have fun, but if it was a matter of losing a game or facing an injury, particularly at our ages, let’s take the loss. While others played as if they were in the World Series, we played smarter and survived the games with no significant injuries. We may have been beaten by other teams, but they paid for it in injuries, or should I say their companies did.

Young people typically find it difficult to accept the fact they are getting older, and occasionally you come across someone who has seriously injured themselves foolishly. I remember one young man in our print shop who broke his collarbone playing touch football (not tackle). This obviously hindered his effectiveness as a printer. He may have thought the injury was funny, but we made it clear that it was not.

Contact sports is for people who can afford to be injured, such as youth. It is certainly not for adults who have to make a living to support a family. Risking injury in some frivolous game is just plain stupid and should be rebuffed as opposed to celebrated. An injury sets the company back, your workload, your coworkers who must pick up your slack, and your family.

As I warn young people entering the workforce, let’s leave the contact sports to the fond memories of our youth. For example, one day I’ll have to tell you about the Sycamore game in 1971.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

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