This Wednesday I played another pre-season game with my soccer team. I got to meet a few more folks and it was a gorgeous evening. We were playing against the same team as the week before.
We decided some warm up passes, shots on net and stretching should be part of our pre-game routine. During the first half I noticed we were all moving a little slower than the week before, keeping effort in the 60-80% rather than the all out 100% peaks.
Near the end of the first half I pulled my left calf and it snarled into a visible knot. I joined another teammate who had pulled his groin, we were both feeling grumpy about being injured and on the sidelines.
I tried stretching it out, massaging and got to the point I could walk a bit but there was no way for me to get back I the game. I left early feeling pretty bummed out. In the shower I tried some static calf stretches and I could feel the knot starting to unfurl.
I read up on cramping and, of course, it’s due to demanding more than what my muscles can do. The solution, more activity!
The next day I hobbled the 2 km walk into work, gingerly exploring the edge of my range of mobility. It hurt but wasn’t debilitating. I didn’t take the stairs. That night I walked home, put a hot water bottle on the knot then rolled it out with a narrow roller.
Friday morning my gait had smoothed out, with just a mild limp. I could do the stairs. I stretched when I thought of it. It occurred to me that while cycling, walking, gardening, yoga and sometimes running are not specific enough to the movements in soccer to prevent injury they certainly have meant a speedy recovery.
There’s a risk inherent to any activity. I think the couple days of discomfort are nothing compared to the suffering associated with not being active (like chronic pain,heart disease and type 2 diabetes).
It’s pretty amazing how easily I can get hurt AND recover, bodies are amazing.