I felt it snap as it left my hand. A little tingle in my shoulder was felt as the horseshoe flew away. As soon as I felt this seemingly little discomfort, I knew that within the next few hours I would be popping Advil like a 6-year-old would pop candy. The feeling also showed me that the summer of discomfort was about to begin.

Some of the other horseshoe-related injuries include the pesky thumb blister that never heals until the last horseshoe is thrown on Labor Day weekend, or the shin knob, which begins after an older uncle’s horseshoe flies out of the pit and directly onto your shin. Its deep purple sheen never fades, and the horseshoe-shaped swell becomes a permanent part of your leg.

Horseshoe injuries are not the only ones suffered by those of us who love to play in the sun. There are also the “owies” caused by beach bocce. Bocce injuries include back spasms after a 12-hour marathon competition and the second-degree burns caused by staying out in the sun even though you thought that your Italian skin would never burn.

Tennis is a game that one attempts to discover every five or so years. There must be something in the air around this time of year because even though you know you are getting older, the warm spring breezes and longer days makes you think that time simply forgot about you. But the game reminds us that we’re getting older by causing a loss of most of the skin on both knees and elbows and a few dozen cramps that rearrange most of our internal organs.

Golf never quite understands that it is supposed to be played during the warm days of spring through fall. Many golfers have a tendency to start too soon and have to swim their way through most of the courses of southern Maine. Injuries include massive charley horses and pneumonia; every now and then, one hears about a case of ringworm.

Frisbee seems simple enough. All you have to do is throw the thing and then attempt to catch it. The problem is that the Frisbee never goes where you want it to go. This means when the toy is thrown to you, you have to run to where you think it will go. This generates one of the more famous early summer season injuries: the three-month groin pull that you are reminded of every time you have to mow your lawn, pick up a newspaper or simply breathe.

Another spring is slowly yielding to summer. Hannaford has probably sold out of Bengay, Band-Aids, Neosporin and Advil – all bought by those of us who are over 60.


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