Well folks, now you see why 430 at 43 was so important. It’s absolutely vital that I try to maintain my physical fitness level as I get older. Not that I’m the best or strongest because I’m surely not, but I need to be the best and strongest that I can be to live the kind of life I would like and do the things I want to do in the future.
I’m truly learning that 43 is no joke either. I decided to play fall softball with the church and the first week is always the worse. Unless you’ve been practicing the movement of that particular sport, the amount of soreness after those first two games is extreme (if you’re playing hard at least). Overall, I was a bit winded, but my legs felt really good, tired, but good. Then on one bang-bang play at first, I over-stretched trying to leg out and get an infield hit.
Yea, all I saw was my man Ichiro out running a ball thrown by the infield, but the final stretch to the bag came with a cost. I felt immediate pain in my right hip flexor upon landing (i.e. the eccentric portion of the stride where the landing force is at an extreme amount).
After the seven minute drive home from the field, both hip flexors were so sore, I could barely get out the car. Over the next 24-hours, I could barely pick my legs up.
However, this didn’t stop me from continuing my weight lifting and cycling! Yet, maybe it should have as today, seven days later, I found out that this was beyond just muscle soreness.
During warm-up, I felt “okay”. It was a hot 90-degree (yes, in September, love it!) so it didn’t take much to get my muscles up to a good warm temperature. The first ball I ran after in the outfield didn’t feel exactly right, but okay, I’m just loosening up. But I wasn’t prepared for what I would feel next.
I came up for my first at-bat, tried to swing and it was like my mind was moving, but my body was going nowhere! I hit a lazy-dribbler to SS and when I tried to run, my legs didn’t move!
No joke, I looked like Fred Sanford and was SO embarrassed.
Well, I wasn’t about to quit, especially since we only had nine guys, plus my sons were there to support me so dear old dad was just going to have to play the two games through pain and that I did. After all, what, I won’t be able to sit on my butt in the office tomorrow if it gets worse? That’s the main reason they are likely tight and weak in the first place despite all of the “stretch breaks” that I take throughout the day.
I have not hurt myself this badly in quite a while and I get asked about injury treatment on almost a monthly basis. Therefore, I’m going to chronicle my treatment and rehab to help others in the future. The goal is to be back to at least 90% IN ONE WEEK. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I know I do not want to go out like this because of an injury suffered in my first week of playing.
Therefore, if you always wonder, ice or heat? Stretch or rest? Massage or, well, is there ever a bad time for a massage…keep reading. My plan may not be the exact prescription you need (disclaimer: I’m not a doctor), but it may provide some general guidelines when you suffer acute injuries as well.
So I’m pulling out my old Athletic Training skills (I was a Sports Med major before I became a sociology major…after “My Lexi” was born, I had to choose between internship or making loot and I had to go the loot route) and I’m going to try some self-rehab to be ready for next week.
Self-diagnosis: Hip flexor strain
Pain level as of today (1 being none and 10 being excruciating): 7 – There’s pain when trying to walk or perform any activity that flexes my hips.
Mobility: 1 being none and 10 being “my normal”: 2 – Right now, I cannot actively lift my legs.
After showering, applied gel-ice pack to each hip (would have preferred real ice, but going the convenient route first so I can wrap my quad as well) – took off after 30 minutes.
Elevated legs for 20 minutes (following the tried-and-true RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation).
Ibuprofen: 2 x 200 mg
Almost 2 hours later, my legs feel a little better than they did this time last week when I did nothing and thought, “It’s just soreness and a few days from now I’ll feel fine.”
We’ll see what tomorrow will bring, so stay tuned.