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Getting to first base isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Seth experiences the aches and pains of arthritis after taking advantage of his good days.

To me, my arthritis is defined by unpredictability and seemingly inexplicable aches, pains and soreness. I’m thankful that it doesn’t feel that way all of the time, but a majority of my life is spent with something hurting. Usually it’s the kind of hurt that I can efficiently ignore, but sometimes it’s the kind of hurt that sidelines me entirely.

Here’s the catch: whenever I don’t feel any pain or soreness, I want more than anything to play ball or do something physical and fun. But inevitably, afterwards I am saddled with soreness and a type of pain that really puts me in a bad mood, makes me hobble (at best) and reminds me that I’m no athlete (or fit to be one). London 2012 ain’t happenin’.This past week is a good example. The first softball game of the season! In Central Park at dusk, against a team of accountants (read: not that good). I love smacking the ball really hard, and then trotting to first base, but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. Instead I’ll hit a ground ball up the left side and need to run it out. Accelerating to a sprint is not advisable when you have the kind of arthritis that I do, but if you ever met my softball coach, you’d know that there’s no room for excuses. So I put my head down and I ran like Forest Gump was actually being chased.After the game I “walked it off” and made my way home, but by the time I put my feet up in bed, I had already calculated the amount of pain that was to follow: lots. Three days and counting I could feel my hips, ankles and knees really pissed at me for what I did, and, like a good Catholic boy (don’t tell my arthritis that I’m Jewish), I’ll ask for forgiveness.Until next game, that is.

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