Saturday, July 25, 2009

Old Fart

Lance Armstrong, in an interview after today’s penultimate stage in the Tour de France, referred to himself as an “old fart,” claiming that, for a man of his advanced years, coming in third place overall in the general classification isn’t so bad.

Old fart? Old fart? Old! Fart!

If he’s an old fart, what does that make me? Some sort of ancient flatulence of the highest order?

Dude’s only 37 or 38 and, as was pointed out to me in the comments on an earlier posting, isn’t even the oldest (fart) in the race. That honor goes to Inigo Cuesta, who’s actually 40, born in the 1969, when I was already riding my Schwinn Varsity all over Pittsburgh.

Age, of course, is only a number, even if, as is increasingly the case, it’s a number divisible by double-digits. You’re only as old as you feel, they say, and while I’d love to encourage nubile youngsters to poke and prod me in an effort to see how old I feel, it’s probably better for everyone that I refrain.

To tell you the truth, I don’t really mind getting old, especially since the preferred alternative, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is already out of the question, anyway. At this point, I’m hoping to live long enough to be one of those shriveled old men who look kind of like newborn infants all over again—although I’ll wear my diapers under my pants, if you please.

In any case, whether or not Lance is indeed an “old fart,” it’s pretty impressive that he’s done so well in this year’s Tour. Barring the unexpected, he’ll finish on the podium in Paris, ahead of more than 150 of the top cyclists in the world. Many riders are just happy to finish; he’s done a lot more than that.

Besides, he can console himself with my technique when I “race”: subtract your finishing position from your age.

Highest number wins!


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