350 Days Later – Get me on the Court and I’m Trouble…

Happy Friday to all, and to all a Happy Friday! It’s not quite time for a weekly training recap yet and I’m sure you’re all tired of those anyway, but I wanted to post something about how I felt yesterday. I was in a glass case of emotion, as Ron Burgundy might say.

I even have his mustache now. More on that later.

As you may or may not know, my Achilles tendon ruptured on December 14, 2017. You can read about that here, if you like.

It happened playing basketball when I probably shouldn’t have been playing basketball. I had run 2 marathons in 3 weeks and gave myself about 11 days rest (not enough). Both marathons went poorly. I was dealing with soreness in my left calf and had been for at least a month(I tore the right one, ironically).

It happened on a perfectly innocent play. I took a shot and knew right away that it wasn’t going in. I tried to cut left to get past my defender and get my own rebound. As I cut, I felt like the guy guarding me hit me in the back of the leg with a crowbar. I looked up for the foul haha.

I knew pretty quickly by the faces of the other men in the gym and by the pain and “weird softness” that was my right calf that this wasn’t good. That was it for me.

There was surgery 2 days later, followed by lots of time in a boot and lots of time in rehab and we fast forward to 5 months later. I started running again. I knew I’d run. I wasn’t afraid of that. Now basketball on the other hand…

I talked about playing again. Some people asked me, “Are you going to play basketball again?” Other people asked more like, “You’re not going to play basketball again, are you?” Big difference, right?

Well I’m stubborn, so yes I AM going to play basketball again, thank you very much. I changed to a team that I thought could accommodate my middle aged body by allowing me to play less. Last night, that didn’t happen haha.

Yesterday, I was pretty excited about getting back to a competitive sport, until I thought about it. The reality kicked in. My calf felt tight. I hadn’t been moving much laterally. I hadn’t jumped much. I got scared. I was sick to my stomach scared. I don’t like admitting it, but it’s the truth. I showed up to the court where 350 day before I was a changed man. Then we started playing.

The fear melted away. The joy returned. I was still a little nervous, since every move I made felt new to my repaired tendon. As somebody said to me after, “You didn’t play like you were scared.” I played more minutes than I’d intended. We lost 58-55 and I only scored 6 points, but I didn’t care. I’d never played a better game.

I felt this good, minus the money…and the championships.

I thought my first run back from the injury was the best feeling I’d have, but playing basketball again was that times a thousand. I feel more confident that I’ve felt since before the injury happened. I’m smarter now and more aware of the fact that I’m a 40 year old man, but I’m BACK!

Thanks so much for reading all of this. I do it mostly to get my feelings out and to be able to go back and remember things (both to learn from and appreciate), but it’s also great to hear from any of you with advice and encouragement. It’s nice to know somebody out there is paying attention. 🙂




8 Replies to “350 Days Later – Get me on the Court and I’m Trouble…”

  1. Yeeeesssssss!! As a friend who never sees or talks to you in person, I can certainly sense the change in tone of your writing! It’s so nice to “hear” that happiness and how elated you are! Obviously err on the side of caution when needed, in regards to the b-ball, but HAVE FUN! Just make sure you can run Rehoboth next weekend or I’ll come over there and kick your ass! You creepy-mustached giant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s huge Randy! I am so happy for you. I also have a love of basketball, but made the decision to stop playing competitively when I realized my body was not able to play the way I want to play the game. I miss playing in the league and always enjoyed competing against you on the court. Enjoy the game as long as you can and leave it all on the court.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So exciting, Ralph! Glad things are really starting to look up. One of our good friends ruptured his achilles playing basketball a couple months ago too- not fun at all, but I love your determination to get back to the court. And great Anchorman reference hahah.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You know I never would have thought that returning to basketball, the activity that wrecked your running, would be so momentous. You’re a new running friend to me so I don’t know your history but did you ever have Achilles’ problems before that day playing basketball or was it completely out of the blue?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love running more, but I think it was the joy of beating the fear and being back with teammates that made it special. I started having Achilles problems while training for Richmond last year. My big mistake (I think) was playing basketball on my lunch days even on running days. I played in the wrong shoes too (Altras, definitely NOT basketball shoes). Lesson learned. 😬


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: