This weekend, I went out-out. It’s been 597 days since my last memorable out-out outing, and boy does it show. I say does in the present tense because the evening itself was great, a friends 50th birthday party. Good company, not too busy, lots of dancing and drinking, and a post ten o’clock adventure which ended at around 1:30 am, I’ll have you know – a record for the 2020s for me.
It’s the after-effects that tell the story!
Before we left home, I had said to my girlfriend that she might want to ask me to dance during the evening and that I would no doubt say no, so can we get that out of the way now so it’s not awkward – all good.
Except for the fact that after an hour or so, I had obviously had the perfect cocktail of alcohol and party food to think that – for one night only – I was in my 30s again. On I rushed to the dancefloor, knocking running children over like skittles and flailing around thinking I was oh-so-cool. You always hope in those situations that no one has a camera, and twenty years ago, they probably wouldn’t have. But, in 2021, every Tom, Dick and Harriet not only snap away but also stand holding their phone up, so you know, with a sinking heart, they are videoing you.
I saw a photo of myself this morning from that evening. I look like Oliver Reed in the he’s-gone-too-far-this-time stage.
Now, I know I am not the only person, but it seems, whenever I’m dancing (and drinking), I get this sudden urge to think I am one of the extras in the video of It’s Like That, the Jason Nevins v Run DMC classic.
Before long, I’m bouncing around, up in people’s faces as if I have a genuine breakdance move coming up. They get excited and start clapping, ready for some windmills, obviously blinded to the fact that’s it’s an overweight 50-year-old doing this.
But on I go, whipping them up into a frenzy until I feel I have to actually do something otherwise I will let people down. Which is when it happens. I still remember bobbing around, thinking for a good two minutes, ‘Don’t do it, Craig; you are too heavy and too fucking old for this shit – It will not end well.’
Then 18-stone of bulky old-man-who-should-know-better swan dives and begins to caterpillar.
Now bearing in mind, in my 30s, I could go across a dance floor doing this, I managed a single push before I realised, ‘How the fuck am I gonna style this out to finish it’. I lasted two more pushes and managed to just about lift myself on my knees. A triumph, I think you’ll agree.
No one reciprocated, so I won that battle. That said, they didn’t end up looking as much of a twat as me, so I guess no one was really a winner.
In the moment, I had a great time – the best time out for a long, long time.
Then I woke up the following day. I placed my feet on the floor and felt a shot of agony in my left heel, remembering like a flash the plantar fasciitis I’ve had a problem with this year. I stood, then proceeded to limp so much that I went in a full circle and ended up falling on the end of the bed, tripping over my inside-out jeans that had been left on the floor from the night before (complete with the shoes still jammed inside the leg).
Eventually, I started to get my bearings, put on my comfortable slippers that made my foot not feel like someone was bashing it with a ball hammer and went to go downstairs for a much-needed litre of coffee. Jesus! My upper legs started to burn with every step, and one of my knees felt like it had been dislocated.
The day was a delight of rediscovering aches and pains in various parts of my body, including my poor shoulders, which had born the brunt of my ill-advised caterpillar.
Now, all I remember doing the night before was laughing, drinking and some dancing, and here I was, I felt like I’d woken up the day after a workout with Arnold Schwarzenegger in his hay day. Jesus, what have I become?
It’s taken me two days for my body to start feeling normal again. With 18 months of lock-down, it’s not the drinking I can’t handle, I’ve got quite good at that (I didn’t even have a hangover) – it was the aches and pains from bloody dancing.
Maybe, I will just need to leave it another 18-months before I hit the floor again!
It was worth it though, a great night out at last. And, as for the dancing injuries, I guess it’s like that, it’s just the way it is.