I am getting old. There are several telltale signs, like finding hairs that are the wrong color, making old man noises when I get up and not having near the energy I had when I was younger. And then there is my body breaking down.
Before last week I had never pulled a muscle. Never. But there are firsts for everything I guess and much like everything I do there is no halfway. I couldn't pull a muscle in my finger or even in my knee. Oh no, I have to pull my groin muscle.
It actually hurts as bad as it sounds. I was running around third base in a softball game when I felt the pain. For those of you who haven't pulled a groin muscle, let me explain the pain. Take a sharp knife and hold it over a hot flame for a few minutes and then stab your groin with it. That should be close to the pain I was feeling.
Of course, most smart people would have stopped playing, but being that I'm an idiot, and that my team would have had to play one person short, I stayed on the field. And as I tried to move, it hurt worse and worse. Imagine that.
Unfortunately, the pain didn't go away the next day, or the day after that. Normally I am a quick healer, almost freakishly quick, but this wasn't healing so it was time to take measures. I talked to a friend of mine who is also an athletic trainer.
Once she told me how bad I injured it (something about pulling off parts of the bone or something) I realized that I was in jeopardy of missing my next softball game. For most people that isn't a big deal but that is about the only thing I do that isn't work-related. Softball is my escape and not playing is like taking away a child's "binky." So I asked what I could do to help the healing process. Her answer-- an ice bath.
That's right. This devil woman suggested I fill a bath tub with cold water, put several handfuls of ice in and then sit in the tub for 10 minutes. To me that isn't therapy but showing you need therapy.
But desperate people do desperate things. So I filled a bathtub with cold water. Gulp. Then I went to the refrigerator and took a few handfuls of ice and dropped them in. Gulp. Then it was time to get in. Gulp, gulp.
I learned from years of swimming that you don't ease into cold water. You jump right in, shock your body and get used to it quicker. And that is what I did.
Now, when a man gets into a tub of frigid water, it is not a pleasant thing. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a worse thing in the world. First your anatomy changes. Without being too graphic, let's just say some very close, personal friends ran for cover. Enough said.
Second, you lose your breath. I literally couldn't breathe when my body hit the water. I couldn't even scream because the breath just wouldn't come out of my mouth. I saw stars, or icicles, or something. But I will say at that point I didn't feel any pain in my groin. Nope, I felt pain everywhere.
Of course, I think I'm tough, so I had brought along a magazine to help pass the 10 minutes. But I couldn't read. I couldn't even think. I just sat there, trying to breath. I gripped the side of the tub so hard my fingernail scratches will be there forever.
My dogs kept taking turns peeking in the bathroom. I swear every time they left I could hear laughter. When it would stop, one of them would peek its head in again. Then I would hear laughter again.
After a little bit I looked at my watch to see how much longer I had, because I certainly wasn't spending an extra second in the frigid water. At this point I thought I had spent about eight or nine minutes in the water. The broken, piece of junk watch said I had only been in the water 90 seconds.
Seven hours later, at least according to my stupid watch, it was time to get out. At this point though it didn't matter. My body was blue, I was shivering and swearing that I would never play softball again. My dogs apparently had peed the floor they laughed so hard. But you know, my groin felt better. Granted my entire body was numb, but I'm on my way to recovery. Of course, softball may be out of the question since I can't stop shivering.