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Let the bodies hit the ground

November 19th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

walkerAging sucks.  That’s not saying anything that people don’t already know. I myself am in my mid-30s and I still get carded buying smokes on a regular basis.  Hell, one of the reasons I really like going to my regular drinking holes is that I don’t get that suspicious stare when I order a drink.

Like I said, I’m not old.  At least, my mind isn’t old. My body, on the other hand, has different ideas.

I’m put together funny. Yeah, I know that sentence alone sets me up to a bevy of grand insults (most of which I’d laugh my ass off at), but it’s an undeniable fact. Almost all of my joints have way more give than they should. This can be exploited in good and bad ways (if you haven’t seen my “elbow trick,” you are missing a show of shock, wonder and potential revulsion) depending on how I apply myself.

Recently, that application has been recreational soccer. “What,” you say to yourself, “that wussy Euro-sport?” Yes, that wussy Euro-sport. My hatred of soccer haters will definitely be addressed in another posting.  Either way, I play soccer on a lovely little co-ed team and get a fair amount of exercise while I’m at it (before negating that exercise after the game at the bar drinking beer). In the course of the two and a half years I’ve been playing with this group of people, I’ve noticed that I cannot play without two knee braces if I intend to walk in the three days immediately following a match. In the past eight months, if I have a lot of cross-field passes, my right ankle feels like it wants to fall off the next day, and I won’t even go into how bad my hips hurt if I’ve got to move across the field quickly when I play defense.

I still play pretty decently, so I keep it up.  This week, however, I think I finally discovered the limits. This week, I took one hell of a header right into the ground, and by header, I don’t mean I hit the ball with my head, my face hit the ground well before my body. To quote the wise sage Yogi Bear, “It’s alright, I landed on my head.” Unfortunately, the rest of my body followed my head (like it does). Not smart enough to throw my hands out to catch myself, I landed with my hand pinned between my chest and the ground: injuring both hand and ribs. Apparently I also slid cartoon-style with my legs swung up behind me. Two days later and that’s not doing any favors for my neck. Squeezle (who doesn’t attend my games due to the violence of amateur sports and the potential for amphibian sightings), to say the least, was not pleased: she’s been waiting for me to seriously injure myself from the first day I walked out on the pitch.

This wasn’t unexpected.  I’ve broken a few toes over the past several seasons, but that’s close to the most serious injury I’ve obtained during a match, and I almost always have broken toes (another piece of evidence that I’m put together funny: I have scary-long monkey toes). Several of my friends have jacked up knees, ankles, etc. from this league, so it was probably only a matter of time before my clumsy self got taken out with something serious.

Now for the worst part about all of this: I suck at standing on the sideline not being able to play. When I last had a broken big toe, I hurt it worse by being on the sidelines “ghost playing.” I know, right? That kind of crap qualifies me to be picked up by the short bus to go to work, but it happened. At this point, I’m guessing I’ll be sidelined again this next week (if squeezle has anything to say about it), and I’ll probably aggravate something worse by fidgeting around “encouraging” my teammates.

Add on this situation the fact that continued injuries are pretty much inevitable as I get older, and it’s almost downright depressing. Then again, I’ve got good meds for that, and I do like to drink away my sorrows, so bring it on.  As soon as I can I’ll be right back on that pitch to get ready for the next round of hurt.

I’m smart like that.

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