POP, Goes The…..

Calf Muscle.

I’m just going to jump right into this one (not literally though)…I’m injured. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the injured list and boy am I thankful for all those uninjured months. Sometimes it takes an injury to really appreciate what your body will allow you to do. I’ll back it up a bit and share what happened.

I was playing soccer a week ago (yeah, another soccer injury) and we were about 45 minutes into the game and I stepped with my left leg and felt and heard a POP in my left calf with instant pain. I hobbled off the field and everyone thought I got a charlie-horse. You know, those painful cramps in your calf muscle that EVERYONE dreads. And they are even worse when pregnant (talking from experience years back…not pregnant now). No, it wasn’t a charlie-horse. So, I sat on the bench the furthest away from my team’s bench because I couldn’t even walk. Eventually, I got some ice on it and was chauffeured off to the hospital by a team mate (and her family). So thankful for nice people out there.

I arrived at the hospital after 11 pm as it was a 10 pm soccer game and waited for hours. It wasn’t life threatening, so you gotta wait your turn, right. Eventually I saw the ER doctor who said I tore my left calf muscle. I can’t say I was a happy camper at that time but that was my new reality. The worst part – I couldn’t drive my car which is a standard for 4 weeks. And yeah, no running/soccer/yoga for 6-8 while it recovers with physio.

Note – this was Thursday night of Easter weekend…..so nothing is open. Certainly, not my physio guy. I took a cab home because I couldn’t drive my car and my husband was home with our girls….sleeping. No need to wake kids up at 4 am to go pick Mom up at the hospital. I crawled into bed, waking my husband and told him that we’d have to put off our planned weekend run together for a while.

Since I couldn’t drive, my husband has had to run around for me: picking up my car, crutches, groceries (which isn’t unusual) etc. Friday and Saturday were a bit of a right off and I became one with my crutches. Sunday rolled around and we had Easter dinner with my family in the city which was great.

It’s been a challenging few days as I can’t drive myself to work or for work meetings. Nor, can I get the girls from the sitters or to their soccer practices etc. I kinda feel helpless in the family department. And, 3 out of 4 of us are sick with a head cold in our house. We all just kinda feel like shit.

Enter good news: I got into physio Tuesday morning and my amazing neighbour drove me there and I cabbed it back. After a second physio session on Thursday (a friend drove me there AND back!), my physiotherapist determined I have a grade 2 sprain which is WAY better then a torn muscle. Agreed! I’m walking with the aid of crutches now and can ditch them by Monday! As for driving my car….it might be a while off.

I know all you runners are thinking…..it’s time to give up playing soccer as you get too injured playing it. I’ve actually had a few people tell me that to my face. (Which is really frustrating). Sure, I can get injured playing soccer, running or heck – cycling on the road or walking down the trail – but I’m not about to give them up because I get injured everyone once in a while.

So no….I don’t regret playing the sport I love the most. I am disappointed that this injury has other plans for me right now. And, that it won’t allow me to be a pace bunny at Bluenose this year (I was the 1:20 -10k bunny). This injury has definitely given me a greater appreciation for when I’m healthy and strong to not be lazy and waste my time doing nothing.

Life’s too short to not enjoy playing soccer, running in a race, hiking a trail or trying to break my fear of riding next to cars on the main road in town.

Has anyone ever told you to stop playing the sport you love the most?

Anyone else on the injured list right now?

What’s your favourite non-weight bearing workout to do at home?