This getting old business is no fun at all. As I enter my mid-twenties, I am already starting to discover things that are harder now than they used to be. One of the most blatant things is my inability to stay in relatively decent shape with a minimum of effort. Even just a few years ago I was able to play a pick-up game of basketball or soccer, run around for an hour chasing a ball, and wake up the next day with but minor twinges. This week I played a few games of four-on-four soccer Thursday evening and I'm still limping around like my hamstrings are on fire.
The soccer game itself was quite fun, however. At the beginning of every month, the Ph.D. students at the Institute have an evening get-together of some sort. This usually involves going to a nearby bar, but the fellow who organized it this month decided a barbecue and soccer tournament sounded like more fun. I was a little nervous about making an ass of myself, as I am well aware that Canadians as a rule are somewhat lacking in the soccer talent department. While I have played the occasional game with my Argentinian brother-in-law and his family, those games have served more as a demonstration of my Canadian-ness rather than as training for making me ready for soccer games on the world-stage. Luckily, however, this was not soccer on the world-stage, but was rather friendly soccer with a band of easy-going academics. Although I was certainly still no star, I succeeded in not embarrassing my country too badly. I even managed to score an average of one goal per game, which I was quite impressed with. Of course, we were playing games of four-on-four on a shortened field with no goalies, so the number of goals scored each game was high enough that 1/game was not exactly a record to write home about.
In my own typical fashion, I also somehow managed to discover some of the most vicious biting insects of the area that evening. I did not see it happen, so I still don't know what exactly bit me, but when I got home I discovered two relatively large swollen patches, one on my knee and the other on the inside of my upper arm. In the centre of each patch was a dark red dot where the skin had clearly been removed, making the bites not only itchy but also quite painful. Today and yesterday the bites have somehow spread out into mottled purpley-red blotches similar to the bite patches I got in Peru. I asked the Ph.D. student I am working with about them, and he seemed rather confused. He was not aware there were critters who left such bites in Göttingen, so it might just be some weird allergy I apparently have to insect bites outside of North America.
Anyway, I know this has been mostly trivial personal stuff, but it's the weekend. My legs are viciously sore, and I'm nervous about the talk I have to give on Tuesday. Writing about trivial personal stuff is somewhat relaxing.