Had a busy schedule set for Saturday, ending the day taping the “Hard Times for the Big Easy” benefit in Floyd. But the schedule, and I, collapsed in an inglorious heap the second I stepped outside for my morning walk.

My right knee went numb during Friday night’s football game. Twice while kneeling I had trouble getting back up and it buckled a couple more times while running to keep up with the action. On Saturday morning, it gave up, sending my coffee cup flying and me into a painful lump on the cold, wet grass.

Runners call this “hitting the wall.” Others say “crash and burn.” I’ve been there before. It’s exhaustion – mental and physical: Total, complete and unavoidable.

I saw this coming a few days ago but tried to ignore it. Too many things to do. What, I rationalized, was a little weariness compared with the tragedy on the Gulf Coast? I could work through the sore muscles, the dizziness, and the inability to focus. Working long hours on various projects to help victims of Hurricane Katrina sapped my physical strength but I was sure I could press on.

Wrong. The wall came out of nowhere Saturday morning and knocked me on my butt. I crawled back into the house knowing the day was lost. Time to surrender to the realities of age, physical limitations and mental overstimulation.

Time marches on but, on this Saturday, I could not march with it.