So… I’ve had a bit of an adventurous week!
It all began on Monday night at the slow-pitch softball game. There’s a runner on third, and I’m up to bat. My goal for the game is to get on base (since I had yet to do so in the season). I hit the ball and leg it out to first, getting an RBI. Then, our big hitter is up to bat, and he knocks the crap out of the thing, and I have to run. About three steps out from first, I feel a pretty unfortunate tearing in my quad. But I keep running… I figure it’s just a normal pulled muscle; no big deal. I round third and our big hitter is right on my heals because I’m gimping a bit. We both score.
Now, at this point, I know that I’m at leas moderately wounded because there’s no way anyone should be catching me on that run, but, being an athlete, it takes serious damage to get my attention… usually there needs to be blood, and there isn’t, and I figure I’m just being a big baby about it because it’s been ten years since I’ve really been an athlete.
So I keep playing. I do alright in the field, although I’m awkward with bending at the knee.
Then I come up to bat again. And I hit the ball and run to first, and even though I’m taking it relatively easy, my thigh is hurting like a mother, and when they overthrow first, I refuse to run to second. I’m pretty sure the jerks on my team think I’m being a baby too, because they’re ridiculously competitive and feel like I should be infallible because I played at a community college. Nevertheless, one of the girls runs for me, and I try to stretch it out in the dugout.
And I keep playing.
Again, I come up to bat, hit the ball and run to first. I’m only at about three-quarters speed at this point, and when they overthrow first again, there’s no way I’m going to second. I get a runner and make it through the game feeling completely judged by my teammates.
Then I get home.
And my thigh is swelled up and hurting. I elevate it, ice it, etc…
Then I get up the next morning and I’m thinking it’s going to be fine. I WILL go for a run. You see, I’ve started a thing where I run to bible study and someone else drives me home. And I really want to do it.
But then, the day progresses, and I’m on my feet king of a lot since I’m a teacher. And the thing swells up again.
After three days of RICE and no fun, the swelling stops happening, and I can feel how loose my muscles in my quad are… because that tearing I felt while running between first and second was one of my quad muscles. Tearing. So when I massage it, I can’t feel one distinct muscle like I’m used to feeling. There’s more of a spaghetti-ish feel to it… except for the one, rock-solid knot that’s developed dead center in my thigh. Also, on the third day, the bruising starts to show. Who knew you could bruise yourself that way? I totally didn’t. Now, about eight inches of my quad is covered in yellow bruising, and I’ve got an avocado-sized purple bruise going too.
As the days have gone by, it’s gotten almost 100% better in the sense that it no longer hurts to use it. However, I’ve lost significant amounts of strength, elasticity and flexibility. And I have a 200-mile relay race to run next month. While I’m sure it’s going to be fine, I’m pretty nervous about my recovery time.
Moral of the story: don’t play slow-pitch softball. You always end up on the crappiest team in the league, there are tons of jerkwads who take it too seriously, and you might get injured.