At age 58, my body has good days and bad days. I have famously damaged much of my body. Spare parts are hard to come by, and the lubricants of my youth are now counter productive. Preparing for the start of the new polo season, which for me begins in March, takes up all of the off season.
I was on the road last week, to Singapore and Thailand. I had two workouts while on the road, the first at a good gym in Singapore, and the second at AB Paluso, the hotel the umpires and I were at in Pattaya for the Thai Polo Open. Both times I managed to do some exercises, and running on a treadmill.
Watching my friend and President of the Royal Malaysian Polo Association and Royal Selangor Polo Club, Dato Mohamed Moiz struggle through his match against Axus in the first game of the B Grimm ~ BMW Thai Polo Open that afternoon, I felt for him. Mohamed was playing while trying to recover from a post Umrah ‘flu. We are the same age. I am sure it is the same for him, that there are good days and there are bad days with our bodies.
Dato’ Mohamed’s new look La Familia team took a little while to settle. Gines Bargallo had a Dennis Webber type break of this left ankle – both tibia and fibula, the same break I suffered in 1999. We both have 14 screws and assorted metals in each of our legs. Chile’s World Cup star Matias Vial Peres took over Gines’ spot in the team, a very able replacement, but new to this team.
La Familia again borrowed Agustin Andrada from La Sarita, who did not make the trek to Thailand for a third year. Shaik Reismann and Dato’ Mohamed Moiz added age and wisdom to the team, but experience comes with a price on your body. La Familia are not the sharpest, fastest team in attack.
It took three chukkas for La Familia to take control of the match. They were playing comfortably, in charge, but each time they got ahead, they allowed Axus back into the game with a silly penalty or an easy play. It was not till they got to 5-4 up till La Familia put the game to bed, drawing away to an 8-5 win.
Dato’ Harald Link’s Thai Polo had no such problems. Facundo Fernandez Llorente combined well with Carlos Pando right from the start. Although a new combination in the International League, they got down to business right away.
Flaco Garcia Grossi wasn’t quite as dominant as he has been in recent years, for 22 BR. Perhaps his hand injury will take some time before he is back to his awesome best.
Thai Polo were easy 7 – 5 1/2 winners.
I returned to Kuala Lumpur the day after, and continued my preseason training here. Though I have recently discovered Spin Cycling, I remain a runner at heart. In my school days, I was a champion middle distance and cross country runner. I still like to put on my Asics once in a while. Saturday’s run in the TTDI park was hot and tough and I struggled all the way.
Meanwhile, in Thailand, La Familia struggled with their goal shooting, losing their second game 8-7 to Thai Polo. Axus recovered best from Saturday’s defeats to beat 22 BR by half a goal.
This morning, I went for another run in the TTDI Park. I covered 4.5 km with a sprint finish. There are good days and there are bad days. Today, mine was good.