Chris Graham | Graybeard

“Extremely blond.” That’s what I’m looking at in the mirror as I wake up for the beginning of my 37th year this morning.
“It’s gray,” says the missus, like we’re on a school playground or something.
As if to say, You’re old, you’re old, you’re old and gray-y-y-y.

But I’m not. We’re on vacation this week – a rare time for people who work upwards of 80 hours a week, being able to get away for five whole days at the beach.

“That’s what’s causing the, you know, extremely blond hair. All the sun I’m getting,” I protest, futilely.

Honestly, I’d noticed my first, er, extremely blond hair a few months ago. I tried to cover it up by keeping my hair ultrashort, the thinking being, well, if I don’t have any hair on my head, it can’t go gray, right?

So when the gray started showing up in my beard, I was toast.

I’m 37, mind you, in the best shape of my life, can do 60 pushups, I run wind sprints at the track a couple of times a week, kickbox three nights a week, etc., etc.

“And you’re old now anyway,” Crystal says.

“Just deal with it.”

She’s a spry 32, for those keeping score at home. Might as well still be a baby. She got carded at a restaurant when she went out with friend a few weeks ago.

“I never get carded when I’m with you, though,” she points out for posterity.

Because I’m old.

They probably think I’m her lecherous department head from the office or something.

“Look at that old dude with that hot chick. As if, right, man?”

Funny thing, I feel as young as ever, even if I catch myself saying things like, I remember when that stoplight wasn’t there, and that stoplight has been there for 20 years.

“It’s because you’re old,” my young wife repeats to me, over and over and over and over.

But still young at heart.

 

– Column by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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