Archived Story

Michael Bennett: Out of shape, 60 and still sledding

Published 7:38am Thursday, January 31, 2013

With all of the excitement for the Thrill on the Hill in Buchanan and the snow calling, I started reminiscing about all of the fun memories of sledding when I was a kid. Where could I find a Flexible Flyer? On a moments notice, it proved to be an impossible task.

After three hours of checking out local small businesses that may be prospects, I headed to the big box store and found that wooden sleds with metal runners seemed to have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Those round saucers were never for me. Spinning without control always seemed pointless. I settled on a sled, or is it a toboggan? It was a sheet of plastic with small plastic runners and handles that looked like they would provide control.

Now all I needed was a hill. I was told that behind Brandywine High School I would find something suitable. While not long, it was a fairly steep hill and the kids had already made nice flat runs.

My first run was conservative as I simply sat on my plastic sled. Not fast but getting my sled legs back as I’m guessing it may have been 25 years since the last time I ventured down a hill on anything other than skis. After two runs like that, I figured I’d go down on my stomach and I gained a little more speed.

Then I remember that I used to get a running start and flop down on the sled for real speed. Unfortunately I forgot to remember that I was 60, out of shape, and that I had an off-and-on issue with a pinched nerve in my neck. Flopping on that sled and the electric sense of pins and needles that shot down my arm reminded me of that old injury.

Was I deterred? No. I got back up and made a few more conservative trips down the hill until I was satisfied and gasping for breath. I gave my sled to a kid in need and went home. When I woke up the next day the pains in my arms, back and legs reminded me of the shape I’m in at this point of my life.

It made me realize it was time to join the Y. Monday morning I packed a gym bag and put it in my car. Baby steps. One of these days real soon I will actually venture into the Y.

I’ll report back here when I begin that adventure.

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Editor's Picks