Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Playing Hurt

The only American sport that I follow at all regularly is baseball. My wife is somewhat disdainful of my interest in baseball, and even more disdainful of how baseball players come out of games and miss games for the most minor of injuries (in her view.)

"Poor diddums. He has a sore pinkie. He can't throw the ball any more."

"Ridiculous! He earns $10 million a year and he can't run because he has a bruised leg?"

"What? He pulled a muscle so he takes 15 days off work? What is an "oblique" anyway?"

Apparently, modern day baseball players are not made in the same mould as Cal Ripken Jr. who played 2632 straight games without missing a single one. That's more than 16 seasons. He must have played through injuries on numerous occasions.

If you want to read about a Laser sailor who has been playing through an injury, check out the blog of top flight Australian sailor Ashley Brunning.  Since June last year he has been battling a serious problem with his lower back, originally triggered by cycling but surely related to all that Lasering too.

But Ashley didn't give up. He missed some regattas last summer in Europe as he worked to rehab his injury. He was still "managing" his injury when he placed 7th in the Laser Worlds in Fremantle last December. In January he was receiving some scary sounding treatment for his back and then after getting back into training (gingerly at first) he placed 13th at the recent Laser Worlds in Germany.

Reading of how Ash has been "playing hurt" over the last year made me think that if I ever had that serious a back problem I would probably give up Laser sailing. But his perspective as a young guy with so much talent for the sport is probably different from mine.

Last Tuesday, after that epic Laser play session in  30 knots Bristol with my friend, my back was hurting a bit. To be expected, I thought, after not sailing for a month. While gardening at the weekend it hurt a bit more. Then while doing something totally crazy and dangerous (sitting at my desk using my computer) it started hurting a LOT more. I hope I haven't done in my back like Mr. Brunning did.

I'm too old to play hurt. I'm placing myself on the 15 day disabled list.


JP said...

On the subject of sport, wasn't Sunday afternoon's Premiership twists and turns leading up to the end of season totally sensational?

Baydog said...

It's just what you gotta do sometimes. HTFU, right?

Tillerman said...

JP - I thought that chubby boy David Cameron was Premier?

Baydog - I hate Rule 5.

O Docker said...

We are two nations divided by a common football.

Mrs. P said...

I feel your pain.


Tillerman said...

Thanks Mrs. P. Lots of good sense about treating back pain on that post and the sites to which it links.

The good news (I think) about my current back problem is that I'm pretty sure it wasn't caused by an overdose of Laser sailing. It actually came on bad while I was sitting at my desk, and my wife always say I have really bad posture when doing that, and (as usual) she is probably right. If anything I am out of shape right now after a winter of little sailing, yoga or core strengthening exercises. I've had similar issues (although not quite as bad) triggered by pulling up a little weed in the garden and putting my socks on!

As you can see, I'm trying to talk myself into the idea that the solution to avoiding this problem in the future is MORE Laser sailing, not less.

Mrs. P said...

You know what they say ... use it or lose it. I'm a believer that the Laser will keep you young.

O Docker said...

"...came on bad while I was sitting at my desk..."

This sounds like a Facebook-related injury.

Try limiting your Facebook sessions to two per day at most - once in the morning and once at bedtime - if you can stand it. Your goal should be to go for an entire 24 hours without Facebooking, although this will probably prove impossible at first.

Begin rehabilitation by reaquainting yourself with non-virtual spaces, such as the park or the beach (you can Google these for more details). They are easily recognized by the accompanying sky overhead - a blue or gray-colored canopy which is sometimes dominated by a bright light source called the sun (also explained on Google and Wikipedia).

Note: the sky will darken considerably beginning in the evening hours, but do not be alarmed by this.

Too much Facebooking has also been known to directly weaken the spine, as one begins agreeing with anything anyone else says just to attract more 'friends'.

Take two walks and text me in the morning.

O Docker said...


Tillerman said...

Thank you O Doctor. Can I sue Mark Zuckerbeg?

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