Injury Time

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Last night, I played badminton again (doubles, with the same personnel as last week), not to fulfil anything from the Olympic list, just for fun and to increase my overall level of fitness. At one point I lunged to pick up a drop shot and my left kneecap hit the floor slightly harder than I would consider ideal. It hurt a bit at the time, but quickly wore off as I played on. This morning, it’s a bit stiff and a bit bruised.

Last week, my right wrist, elbow and bicep ached a bit for a few days after we’d played. This morning, they’re all sore again. The bicep is sore in a good way – sore in a way that suggests that my arm is building muscle mass – but the elbow and the wrist are sore in a niggling “I’ll snap if you push me too hard” way that is slightly unnerving.

I had to see my doctor a couple of weeks ago about something else entirely, but I told him of my Olympic plans while I was there. He visibly winced. I was surprised by his reaction, which I interpreted at first as an indication that he didn’t think I was up to it physically. I'm no Lance Armstrong, granted, but I'm not exactly hugely out of shape.

It turned out that his concern was based more on my propensity to get injured than on my propensity to eat too much junk and not exercise. He cautioned me, quite gravely, that I ought to warm up very thoroughly before every event. He reminded me that even the best athletes in each of the sports get injured regularly and that, as a novice in most of them, I’d be even more at risk.

It struck me then that my timeframe for getting this done is probably tighter than I tend to imagine. I think of myself as being on schedule at the moment. This is day 32. After tonight, I will have completed 3 events – just inside my required rate of one every 11¼ days. But that rate makes no allowance for time I may have to spend recovering from any injuries I suffer – and, given my track record, it’s probably safe to assume that I’ll do something to myself at least once a year between now and 2008.

So I’ve revised my schedule a bit. My new goal is to complete one event per week. This is week 5 of 206. Once I’ve thrashed John at table tennis tonight, I will have 201 weeks left in which to complete 125 events. If I manage one a week, that would give me 76 weeks (or just over a year and a half) of injury time – almost as long as Manchester United get to score an equaliser at the end of a home game.


the narcissist said...

I enjoy reading your blog immensely. Smart, hilarious and really strange. In fact, if you don't mind, I just have to link this 'cos this is really good stuff, wot!

John said...

Glad you like it - I read some of yours, but the words were too big for me, so I gave up.

Anonymous said...

John, your Olympian challenge was much discussed in the pub last night. One of the major elements that came out was a strong desire to watch you get hurt, preferably running full pelt into the horse or missing the parallel bars (BTW have you considered how you're going to learn to parallel bar, if there is such a verb?). So can you guarantee some amusing mpegs? Snez.

Grum said...

If you are getting injured while playing table tennis, I fear for your safety during pole vaulting, yachting and the steeplechase.