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As I was contemplating what to write about for the March/April Issue of The Alaska Wellness Magazine the idea of the “weekend athlete” came to mind. Do you know who I’m talking about? Is it your spouse? Is it you?
You know the scenario: all week you work at your job, family obligations, and wind-down time. There seems to be no time for fitness activities. On Monday morning you see an announcement on the bulletin board at work. It states that a new softball team is being formed and everyone is encouraged to sign up!! You think to yourself… “Well, I played competitive ball in high-school so it shouldn’t be a problem now”. Of course, it’s been 16 years since graduation, but who’s counting?
You sign up with all the enthusiasm of a child opening her Christmas presents. You are so excited that when you get home you announce to the family that you will be practicing softball on Tuesday evenings and you will be participating in the games on Saturday mornings. Everybody is cool with it and they are excited because they want to watch the games each week.
You go to bed that night and dream of the way you threw that last out in the final game of your final season some 16 years ago.
The next morning you get up early and go out to the storage room to look for your old ball and glove… surprise, it still fits!! Now you are figuring that you’ll need to buy new shoes. The team will be provided with shirts and hats. You are imagining your self in your new duds and envisioning your first time at bat.
H-e-l-l-o!! Aren’t you forgetting something? Shouldn’t you get into some kind of physical conditioning course? Why is it that that is the last thing that you think of? Just because you were a great or even fairly good softball player 16 years ago it doesn’t mean that you can just pickup where you left off.
In my entire career, I’ve never heard of anyone having the ability to store fitness. Without proper conditioning, a wannabe athlete is setting himself up for injury!!
I digress. On Tuesday, you get your new shoes, your old glove, an old hat and sunglasses and you head down to the field. When you get there you see all your team mates and they are all just as excited as you! You talk about some strategies for this practice and then you all take the field.
You are all going to have a chance to bat, pitch and field some balls. You can’t wait until it’s your turn to bat… it’s time. WOW!
Your heart is racing, your body’s tingling, and your mouth is dry. The pitch is slow and low; but you swing anyway. You gave it all you had and you think you ripped something. OOPS! You can’t straighten up. “What have I done”, you’re thinking. Why didn’t I get some physical conditioning? Who’s going to drive me home? Should I go to the emergency room? Should I call home?
Next day you barely make it into the office. Everyone is quite concerned about your health and wellbeing. You made the decision last night to just sleep it off and see what happened by morning. Well, it might be a little bit better; but it’s not going away. You make a decision to go to the doctor and get a medical opinion (wise choice) and low and behold you tore a few muscles in your back and maybe even some in the shoulder.
When you told the doctor how you had injured yourself he wasn’t too sympathetic, was he? Maybe he’s seen this too often. These weekend warrior types are what keep our emergency rooms in business.
Reminder: If you decide to take up a summer or winter sport and you’ve been inactive for quite a few years… plan ahead. Get some expert advice about conditioning your body for the particular movements that you are going to be involved in and this will help to alleviate any debilitating injuries. How does the saying go… an ounce of prevention in worth a pound of cure?
write by Mervyn