Visit any sports rear on a Sunday, and you’re likely to hear at least one group of 20-somethings discussing successes of glory days past.
Whether it’s who scored the game-winning goal, how close they were to a championship or how out of shape they have since become, the conversation is always rich with, let’s say, nostalgia.
It may be a sad state of affairs, but unfortunately, there comes a point in every athlete’s life when “hanging it up” is simply all that’s left to do.
And, while saying goodbye to time on the field is an inevitable reality, some athletes know all too well what it means to no longer feel like the all-star he or she once was (even if Mom still tries to argue otherwise).
Acknowledging that your most vigorous endeavors, and likely, your fittest years, have come and gone can be a tough pill to swallow.
But, luckily, with the end of athletic pursuit comes the promised excitement of new adventures: the stable and rewarding career, the freedom of adulthood and, of course, the growing inability to run two miles, just to name a few.
So, for those of you out there who are struggling to navigate a post-athletics existence, here are 23 more indicators that you are slowly, but officially making your way over the hill.
And, more likely than not, you are coming out on the other side, tired and way less in shape than you were, say, four years ago.
Not to worry, though; consider these relatable truths helpful reminders that you are certainly not alone:
1. Having to take the stairs when the elevator is broken at work actually leaves you winded.
2. Men’s League is the closest you’re getting to an NCAA tournament...
3. ...it is also the highlight of your week and requires a seven-day recovery period.
4. Watching the new wave of athletes play for your alma mater brings about a need to mourn...
5. ...and convinces you of how much softer freshmen are now than you ever were.
6. A 5k is something for which you would have to train. (Remember when you could do those even after a night of extreme intoxication? Those were the days.)
7. A walk home from happy hour on a busy week qualifies as exercise.
8. Pulling a muscle from raking leaves and shoveling snow has become your sad, sad reality.
9. Too much braking during rush hour gives you calf cramps.
10. Your credit card statement has far more dress pants and grocery purchases than athletic wear.
11. An “ice bath” is something in which you would now only consider cooling your beers.
12. You’ve swapped protein bars for snickers bars.
13. Waking up with body pain is no longer a symptom of a hard practice or even a trip to the gym.
14. The concept of a squat comes to mind only when related to restroom activities.
15. You sport old championship tees like the badges of honor they are. (Even if there have been four champions since.)
16. A full week of the 9-to-5 grind is your latest version of pre-season torture.
17. You’re more likely to jam a finger flicking through Netflix than rebounding a basketball.
18. What you once considered a warm-up is now a complete workout...
19. ...and it hurts.
20. The idea of having to spend money to stay in shape is frightening. Are they kidding with these gym membership prices?
21. Sometimes, you wonder if Springsteen’s line, “And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it, but I probably will,” was actually written about you and your buddies.
22. You’ve already planned at which schools your children will play.
23. When you look back on college, graduating is your greatest accomplishment, only after your best game.