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Amongst other things, this is a love story.... the theme changes occasionally... this year it is fitness and learning to love yourself.

12 September 2013

Injury shame and bragging rights.

When I was a kid I used to exaggerate and fake injuries.  If I had one or two mosquito bites I would cover my legs with pink dots of calamine lotion. I used so much lotion that I would refill  the bottle with shampoo, so Mum wouldn't know how much I wasted. Then there was the time a faked a sprained left wrist, so I could bandage it before a 'know your left from your right' test.

Sports injuries were something to be proud of. The more swollen, black and blue the better.  A slight tap to the eye would have me staring at the mirror to see if I was going to end up with a 'shiner.' People don't really care about other people's invisible pain, evidence of injuries bought me a type of nurturing I craved.

Growing up, I had my fair share of real broken bones, sprains, strains and enough stitches to make my Mothers skin turn a lighter shade of pale. In many ways sport was a form of self harm that gave me enormous satisfaction on many levels. Sliding into home plate was always celebrated but taking it to the extreme, risking injury, and going down for the team felt glorious, blood was a bonus. Better to be safe than sorry is advice I now give, but never once took heed of.

Fast forward, and I truly hate when I casually throw a ball and re-ignite a bicep injury, to the point that I can barely stir a salad for a few days. There is a glimpse of former glory but no-one will ever again see how powerfully and accurately I could throw a ball.  If I dare to run even a few steps without warming up, I risk tumbling over and my ankle harshly reminds me of the time I played a round robin softball championship on a sprained ankle, all day, and 'thought' I was a 'hero.'  My hips, shoulders, neck, knees and fingers will never fully recover... then there's my hamstring, but that can only be called a sporting injury if dancing in an underground night club on a Sunday morning is considered a sport (perhaps that falls more under the self harm label.)
Badminton stretching attempt.  Thanks Birdie events

At the doctors last night, after a playing our first badminton game of the season, I adjusted the ice pack on my calf because it felt good. I could feel it working to prevent swelling and I was hoping for the best possible outcome. I gave my leg lots of Reiki and kept imaging the two loud pops I heard earlier were just the tiniest insignificant muscle fibres that would only be sore for a few days and heal fast.  I remembered how  I used to fake putting ice on an injury because I wanted (everybody) to see the swelling. I also felt the irony of injuring myself, even though I had stretched more thoroughly than before any other game last season.  I even used to fake stretching once upon a time.  Instead of bragging I am humbled. I play with three men, I have to work hard to put us on an even par, was I showing off?  Would it really matter if I lost a point here and there, what part of my ego allowed me to get injured instead of just letting that bird drop? Then there's my new racquet, was that a waste of money? Is it worth missing out on a few games or perhaps even the season, for the sake of getting that one shot over the net?  And ouch, calf muscle injuries that go pop, pop really hurt.

The doctors verdict was positive.  He says I can play again in a few weeks, but he's also one of those old types that doesn't believe in physiotherapy. I'll get a second opinion, it's hard to trust doctors when you're and ex-nurse and a natural therapist living in a foreign country.  There are language, culture and treatment differences, and the horrific experience I had with a dentist here, is enough to make me very cautious of all medical specialists.  I am not going to complain about the forced rest for a few days, the Captain set up a dart board in the basement yesterday, so I should be able to get some practice in before Sunday's tournament.  I wonder if I can play darts while sitting on a chair bar stool?

In my efforts to find the perfect picture for this post I learned something new.  Static stretching can actually cause more injuries...based on my limited research I have to say it makes sense to me.  Here's the link to the article 'Stretching before exercise is counter productive.'

This post proudly bought to you by a 'I feel stupid and smarter at the same time' moment.


  1. My brother had his share of scrapes, bumps, and bruises as a kid, from getting into all sorts of mischief... including taking inspiration from Evel Knievel.

    1. Hi William, I my little red dragster bike pulled a few Evel moves over the years, and I paid the price too. I hope all his injuries are in the past. :)

  2. Ohhh hopefully you're back to yourself soon! Luckily, the worst I've had is a broken foot.

    1. Thanks for your hope Kate, a broken foot is a lot worse than the broken arms and ankle sprains I suffered. Not being able to walk is the worst. I'm just glad my new injury wasn't my archilles tendon.