‘That smile makes me feel way too young to be so old.’
Parent of athlete brings out relation to country music
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — I was driving home from one of my daughter’s basketball games one evening and for these trips, when my daughter does not take over the radio, I always listen to Big Country 99.5 FM.
Anybody in the listening area knows this station plays a lot of country from the 50’s all the way to the 90’s.
I used to hate country music growing up. The songs were always about a guy singing about losing his dog or another truck in his driveway.
Eventually, I started to like them.
One song in particular, sung by a Native Oklahoman and award winning singer Garth Brooks is one of my favorites, ‘Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old).’
When the song came out, I was nine-years-old so the meaning of it did not quite concern me. Now at the age of 38, I understand more clearly.
If my readers do not know this song, it is about a cowboy who is constantly travelling to various rodeos. He would love to rest but he is always on the road.
He also notices that all his competition is getting younger. Regardless he still keeps pressing on.
It is a great song.
The song starts out with:
This ol’ highway’s getting longer
Seems there ain’t no end in sight
To sleep would be best, but I just can’t afford to rest
I’ve got to ride in Denver tomorrow night
As the song was near the end, I thought of so many days, evenings and nights that I have been on the road, but not as a cowboy (trust me, I am far from that).
It was being on the road as a parent of a student-athlete.
Looking back to when I played (late last century), my mother always watched my sister and I at our games.
A smile comes across my face because it is our turn to do what she did.
My daughter’s basketball team recently finished their season a few weeks back and fortunately for me, I was able to make every single game. I think since she was in fourth grade, I have only missed three.
So making those drives to the games and back home is very tiring.
And that was in the season, what about off-season? A lot of us moms and dads can relate to a similar situation to the cowboy in Garth Brooks’ song.
We wake up at 5:00 a.m. and get our children up to get them ready. Drive a few hours and go to an all-day tournament.
If it is a weekend tournament, there are chances you have to do that again the next day or stay in a hotel.
For the adult, it does get painful being in the vehicle for numerous hours. There is a lot of stretching and slow walking to wake up the muscles, or maybe that is only me.
The part of the song that always gets to me is ‘I’m much too young to feel this damn old.’
I’m going to be honest though, through all the soreness and the popping of my knees and ankles, I love every minute of it. The best thing about it is that I get to see my daughter do what she loves.
She gets to be with her teammates and battle against other teams whether during the season or off-season, she is having fun.
Academic parents, I know you all do this as well. I know the drives to get to meets or band competitions are just as crucial on the body.
Those parents would not change it for the world. They hurt but press on.
Let me leave everyone with some quotes.
First quote is from Henry Ward Beecher.
‘We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.’
The next quote is from former National Basketball Association legend, Kobe Bryant.
‘My parents are my backbone. Still are. They’re the only group that will support you if you score zero or you score 40.’
Even though the lyric stays on my mind, and the aches and pains, I do not care at all. It is no longer about me, like it was no longer about my mother when she had my sister and I. It is about my daughter.
Her being tired from playing as hard as she could and still bringing a smile to her face makes the aches and pain go away.
That smile makes me feel way too young to be so old.