Confined to the couch with the cats when I expected to be downtown enjoying the festivities and cheering on my friends that are running in the first Savannah Rock’n’Roll Marathon & ½ Marathon. My son’s girlfriend is running and he is down there, texting updates on Summerly’s progress. I was playing tennis last night. I made a good return, moved up a couple steps, good volley from no-man’s-land, and saw the floater coming back for a winning shot. Then 4 things happened instead of 1: a loud pop, a stab of pain, hit the winner and sack to the ground shaking. I knew right away that I had torn my calf muscle. It hurts so bad I couldn’t even touch it, just sat trying to dig my fingers into the court (doesn’t work) and thinking “please don’t anyone touch me yet”, waiting for the first wave of pain to subside.
It was great to be playing with ladies that knew what to do. Marge, waited patiently until she saw that I was ready to move and helped me to my feet, proper lifting technique. Mary Ellen and Carol put together an ice pack while I hobbled over to the bench. If I had entertained the thought that maybe it was just a really bad cramp and I’d be able to continue, that short trip disabused me of the notion. A second ice pack to the back of my neck so that I didn’t pass out and waves of nausea made the next couple minutes seem like hours.
I did this 4 years ago, when I first started playing tennis, but then I was out of shape, over-weight and didn’t stretch or warm up properly. I learned my lesson then and I had gone through my routine was wearing pants to start until my muscles were warmed up. It shouldn’t have happened. And I was enjoying the match. I was playing well, new partner but we were working well together, the opponents were good. It was just going to be good tennis, I could tell, enjoyable win or lose. Summerly and Jacob were meeting me at the court to watch the match and then we planned to have dinner. Not to be. Summerly got dropped off (my lovely ladies all refusing to leave me at the court alone). We called Jacob and told him to just meet us at the townhouse. Ordered pizza and then the poor kids had to go grocery shopping for me. It was a day of unexpected issues and I had not gotten any food in the house.
RICE is working and I’m periodically walking and gently stretching it. I remember from last time that my doctor said if I didn’t stretch it while it was healing, the muscle would be slightly shorter and just tear again. But why? I guess it was that old physics nemesis, stopping time. I remember Mr. Macke, my high physics teacher, telling us that it wasn’t the impact that killed you when you fell from a building it was the lack of stopping time. I need to work on my timing. I didn’t have to get there that fast. I ended up having to stop short, all my weight on the ball of my foot and obviously not enough time to spread the force. When I close my eyes I can just picture the diagram, more force coming up from the ground than going into it.
I have to be smart. I really need to play next Saturday, last match and first place on the line. I can’t do it if it’s not healed. Not worth making it worse. When I got my cast off, after breaking my right wrist, my doctor cautioned me not to pick up a racket for 2 more weeks. I tried to sweet talk him out of that and he said “Monique, you want to be able to play tennis for the next 30 years, not the next 30 days”. He was right and I’m glad I listened to him. I’ll be able to catch up on some correspondence and should be able to make 4 dish clothes while watching football, ignoring the beautiful weather and my bike and tennis racket calling to me.