Heads, hands and feet

The blogging muse has descended on me again. I am beginning to regret the title to my series of blogs. It seems to have become a bit of an albatross around my neck. “Master”, I may be in athletics terms. “Faster” I am definitely not at the moment.

My last blog ended with me approaching what I hoped would be a string of worthwhile competitions, fresh back from holiday and as raring to go as I’ve felt for a while. Unfortunately, it turned to pants at the first event. I had a small fall and rather nastily broke my right thumb. This was coupled with a fair bit of damage to the tendons around it. A week with my hand completely immobilised put paid to more training. That was a couple of weeks ago, and although I now have a rather more forgiving splint, I am still unable to make much use of the hand, and have now realised why the opposable thumb is one of the things that singles certain species of ape out from the rest of the animal kingdom! I am also very right handed. There are definitely times when my left hand seems incapable of doing what it is told. Left handed keyboarding for example. Try Ctrl-Alt-Delete with one hand!

As I write this, I’ve not long completed my first few training sessions after the latest mishap. I was initially reduced to cranking it out a bit on a static “spinning” bike, and doing a load of plyometric and agility work. I really felt the need to get some aerobic work going again, but the pain when I shake my hand about still rules out serious running, so much-needed track sessions are out. Mind you, it was nice and sweaty, and did me good in several ways. Ten days until the British national Masters Championships in Cardiff, and less than three weeks until I depart for the European Masters in Hungary. Even if I don’t run in either of these, I still need to find a comfortable way to hold my cameras. Upside down seems an option. Sense the desperation creeping in?

I’m not feeling very philosophical about things at present. Not unless you count simply accepting that “s**t happens” is philosophical. It’s basically just a case of getting on with it, isn’t it? An injury like this wasn’t on my radar. There are some things for which I think a Masters athlete holds a contingency plan in the back of his/her mind. You know, muscle strains, colds, etc. I simply didn’t have one for this. I think that’s good, though. If we all went around with every possible mishap covered by a “do this if…..” type of card tucked away in the mental filing system, there would be no room left for the cards saying “have fun”, and “be your best”. My wife is a psychotherapist and is studying “resilience” at present. Very interesting, and I have some theories of my own, though I sense I might be about to become a case study.  A potential future blog.

On the fun side, I succumbed to a pair of Vibram “Five Fingers” shoes, bought on e-Bay. These are seriously weird, and fantastically comfortable. I’d not ventured out in them but on the second time of wearing at home, the uppers began to split. My local running shop (which doesn’t stock them) told me they had heard of fake pairs being sold. This turned out to be very true, as seen here. And mine are exactly like one of the pairs pictured as fakes. I chased a refund, which has now been agreed, but once I have it, I will be straight off to buy a genuine pair. Fakes or not, the pair I had were terrific and I look forward to using the genuine, more robust item at the gym. They are the nearest you can come to having a rubber sole sprayed directly on to your foot!

Next blog will probably be just before the European Champs in Hungary.

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