It’s All Fun and Games Until You Fall On Your Ass

Last week, the games for the kickball league I joined began. I had been discussing my past kickball abilities in a slight braggish tone because I remember tearing it up on the blacktop way back in elementary school. It didn’t seem to matter that that was about 15 years ago because it shouldn’t be hard to kick, catch, or throw a ball or run the bases.

I felt confident going into the game, but I was thrown off by the ball’s size upon arrival. This was not the standard sized kickball I remember in my past. Part of me wanted to commandeer the game and throw in the size that I am used to, but in the end, I decided that it shouldn’t make too much of a difference.

We were up to kick first and I got up in the first inning. As the ball rolled slowly towards me, I took a slight running start and I’m actually not sure where the ball went because I was running. All those home runs I envisioned kicking cleared out of my mind pretty quickly because the ball was heavy. Yes, I’m strong, but I don’t think I will be knocking it out of the softball field anytime soon no matter my strength. That might be the point of the extra-large kickball.

Regardless of the weight, the ball flew, somewhere, and I took off running towards first. I’m happy to report that I was safe and ready to run those bases. The guy kicking behind me sent out a nice line drive, but the fielder was too close to second base for my liking and I was nervous that I’d be thrown out. That would just be embarrassing. I revved it up and stepped on the base, safely, and then all of a sudden I was on the ground.

Listen, I’m a klutz. I fall all the time, on my own, completely unassisted, but this time it wasn’t my fault. The base was not tied down and the way I stepped on it caused it to go flying, which means I went down, hard, budging my shoulder. I think I jammed my shoulder so hard that my wrist didn’t hurt when I think it should have, neither did my leg all that much. My shoulder took the brunt of the fall. A small spot on my hand remains the only physical indicator of injury, but let me tell you, I was in pain. At first, I sat in shock and thought I had broken my shoulder or collarbone. No one had noticed though because there had been a play at the plate that was far more important.

My wound:

photo 1

I limped off the field, terrified that I had somehow managed to break myself in a game of kickball and opted not to play the field. It definitely hurt, but I could still move it and feel my fingers, so I decided it wasn’t broken. I even made a catch in the field later on that sort of bounced off my chest and there was this terrifying moment when the ball was just bouncing around in my arms, but I held on for dear life. I also kicked two more line drives that were easily caught and I’ve realized that in order to succeed in this league, you need to kick it on the ground because it is immensely hard to throw and fielders will be more likely to make a mistake that way.

The next day, I took a nurse-mandated rest day (my mom) and though the pain wasn’t sharp, it was nagging at me the entire day. I took another rest day on Saturday just to be sure, but also mostly because by the time I got home for the day, it was raining outside and the gym was closing. On Sunday, I met my workout buddy, Nouha, for a strength training routine, but we only did three sets of ten and I stuck to lighter weights than usual. Oddly enough, the only exercise that aggravated my shoulder at that point was the jumping jack. It was just the way my shoulder was angled that caused some pain, but it wasn’t too bad. After that, I took myself to the track and legged out four miles in the beautiful sumfall (summer-fall, ha!) air with little to no pain.

Workout buddy:

photo 2

On Monday, I went to the gym to swim laps, a little hesitant that it might hurt, but it felt fine for most of my swim. It wasn’t until the very end that it felt a bit sore, but nothing serious. Then I got home and read an article online about how a person must be in awesome shape if they can do a pull-up, which both my brother and sister can do, but I still can’t. I’ve actually never considered working on it, but with the article, and my brother’s pull-up bar taunting me in the background, I was motivated to try it.

I kind of just hung in the air for a little while, my core and arms aching, trying to lift myself up, which I suppose is some sort of accomplishment, yet not the big bang. Now I’m determined, except of course that I overstretched my ailing shoulder, preventing me from going to a hot yoga class that night.

The only exercise I have encountered that I cannot do in any way is the pistol squat. This means that you stand on one leg, squat as low as you can, with the other leg laying out in front of you in the air. My brother can do this. It is physically impossible for me to not fall on my behind attempting it. I’ve been doing split squats to try to get to that level, mostly so I can just prove that I can.

No fear about the pain as I was feeling just fine and back to my regular strength workout on Tuesday with no pain. I did go to the pull-up machine, but I did the half-ones where you hold yourself up and lift or swing your knees. I was going to attempt another pull-up, but that motion did flash warning signs of pain and stopped.

I was back to the track on Wednesday, but my body was feeling tired. When I finished at a little more than two miles, I walked one more and was wondering why it seemed so difficult to go further this time. Upon further inspection of my running app, I noticed that I had actually run a good 30-40 seconds faster than I normally do, which is a big deal in running. I’m not sure if I outpaced myself or what, but the speed didn’t feel bad, just my legs were tired (and I needed to pee). Let me tell you, if you have to go even a little when you run, you feel it. The moment I stopped, I was fine.

New fitness mission: do a pull-up and a pistol squat.

4 thoughts on “It’s All Fun and Games Until You Fall On Your Ass

  1. Tip for pistols: split squats are a good way to work your way there, but you can also do an assisted pistol by lining up your standing leg facing a doorframe or pole, and holding on with your hands as you lower. As you get stronger (and your body gets used to the position), you’ll be able to use less and less of a grip!

  2. Women are physiologically less inclined to be able to do pull-ups, so don’t worry too much. Does your gym have an assisted pull-up machine? I used one of those to inch my way towards a full pull-up. Basically, you add counterweight and stand on a moving platform, so you’re lifting a portion of your own bodyweight. If you don’t have access to one, practicing the “dead hang” that you’ve been doing (once you’re healed, of course!) is actually very helpful. After that, you can also try negative pull-ups: start in the “up” position and work on your descent.

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