I am not a sporty type. Trying to be sporty only ends up in misery for me and has long term repercussions. I am going to outline two examples of this in two posts this week. The first is to make the general point that I should always be let off games, even without a note from my Mum, and the second is directly relevant to events in the past week. Sorry for being so cryptic but I’m on some really hectic painkillers. Due to a sporting injury.
Case One: A few years ago I went to Finland with ten students of mine to visit our Finnish student friends in a student exchange programme. Many things happened on that trip, many bloggable things, but the people concerned are still alive so I have to be careful of lawsuits. However, one event lives with me still in the form of an injury that I imagine I still be complaining about when I’m an old lady grimacing and grunting as she struggles onto her Stenna Stairlift. In short I sprained the muscle attaching my bottom to my legs, I believe the medical term is “groin strain” although they only call it that so that they don’t have to use the phrase “Madam, it appears that you broke your fanny”.
The reason this injury happened is because I’m an idiot. An idiot who when asked to play in a Scotland versus Finland match of what is known in Finland and Sweden as “floor-ball” forgets that she is genetically ill equipped for such exertion. Floorball is actually indoor hockey, but the Finns are a really literal does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of bunch, so they like that name better because there’s a floor and a ball involved. Anything other than the name floorball would be fussy and ostentatious, which would be decidedly Un-Finnish.
So as I raced onto the court brandishing my big hockey stick, stopping short of smearing blue woad onto my face, not only had I forgotten that I was a good 20 years older than everyone else in the sportshall, I also neglected the fatal combination of being crap at sports yet still being fiercely and sometimes violently competitive. This common combination is why they invented pub quizzes; so the geeks had an outlet for competitive urges that didn't get them killed.
Despite my brain's protestations the game was on and I ran and I lunged for about an hour. And then I ran and I lunged for about another ten minutes even after someone told us that the little wiry blond beast that may or may not have been male or female and who kept on scoring goals against us was in fact a member of the Swedish national floorball team. The fact that we were getting brutally beaten only made me more competitive and especially determined to cause permanent physical damage to the aforementioned Swedish champion, who despite having been in the small town for two weeks we had never met before. I don’t know what the Finnish for “ringer” is, but the stench of cheating only made me more determined to get a goal against them, or at least send one of them off in a stretcher back onto the boat to Sweden that he had been smuggled in on only a couple of hours earlier.
But never mind goals, in a last ditch attempt to even get a touch of the ball, I lunged with my stick in a direction that the pelvic floor apparently wasn’t designed to go in. I don’t know whether I actually heard the sound of an elastic band pinging, but I felt that I did. It was like one of Barbie's legs coming off. Once the legs start coming off your Barbie, she's never quite the same.
My un-promising floorball career was cut short for want of a working set of pins. I hobbled off wanting to clutch my injury but painfully aware that it was in a indecently unclutchable area, especially in front of near homicidally shy Finns, who yes, may get naked in front of each other at a moment’s notice in a sauna, but recoil in horror if you look them in the eye when saying hello.
Three years on, whatever sinew tore, twanged and snapped during the floorball game is still quite bothersome. And how's this for pathetic and middle aged: it aches when there's wet weather in the post- it's become a flaming anatomical barometer. When there's a storm a comin' I'm hobbling about like Kaiser Soze when he's still pretending to be Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects.*
So that’s my excuse for not gearing up for 2012, what about you?
Next sporting event: I bugger up my teeth playing rounders. A game where you don’t even use your teeth. Well, you shouldn’t, anyway.
*Sorry if I've just ruined the ending of that film for you, but you have had over 10 years to catch up.