It was not so long ago when I was indestructible. Now I am not talking about the arrogance of youth that makes them believe that they are indestructible, I actually was indestructible. If only I had realised at the time!
That is the only way that I can explain how I managed to play rugby for nearly 20 years with no injuries worth noting. Sure I would ache on a Sunday, but there was something noble and satisfying about aching that said that I must have put everything into the game.
That however was before turning 30. Everyone asked me the “is it weird”, “do you feel old now” type questions on the big day, and genuinely I didn’t. However, unbeknown to me this must have been the expiry date on the indestructibility. It would seem it was only valid for the first 30 years as now I seem to be falling apart. I feel like Clark Kent, in Superman II, when he gives up his powers and gets battered in the cafe. Only I don’t have a crystal castle in which to regain my powers.
Let me explain. About half way through last season I got a smack in the face, and bizarrely the whiplash caused me to have pain in my left shoulder. Bad enough in fact to make need 2 weeks off, this had never happened before. Injuries just aren’t meant to last 2 weeks!
Then at the end of the season I tweaked my knee, so innocuously that I actually do not remember doing it, but again this caused me (or at least gave me an excuse) not to train over the summer.
The thing is, I am still carrying the effects of these injuries up to this day! Now I will admit that I have not had any proper treatment on them, but how would I do that? I can not go into the doctor and say my shoulder and my knee ache a bit, but not enough to stop me running or playing rugby … just a bit.
In fact I did go to the doctor about the knee, and her advice was to stay off it! How exactly am I supposed to stay off of it? Is she really suggesting that I stay at home, or should I request a wheelchair for my slightly aching leg?
The reason I mention it now, is that I am finding it increasingly difficult to find a position in which I am comfortable enough to fall to sleep. This caused either of 2 things, I either go to bed at a sensible time and spend ages rolling around trying to get settled (which isn’t helping the popularity with Mrs Geek, I am obviously doing it just to annoy her), or I stay up until I am so tired that I fall in spite of the discomfort. Neither of these sound like an ideal solution.
So why not just give up rugby? Well …
To look at me you might, if you were being polite, say that I am somewhat robust. What can I say, some people eat to live, I live to eat! Rugby is the main thing that stops me from ballooning into Pavarotti (apart from the lack of singing talent … and the continued breathing)
And the fact is I am only 31. My dad played until he was over 50. I really enjoyed, as a young man playing alongside my dad (or even better for the opposition against him). I would hate to think that my son will not get to do the same. But what chance have I got of that? 10 more years of not sleeping properly? I could be mighty cranky by then.