Last night I pulled my hamstring muscle playing tennis. It’s a shame, too. I had won the first set 6-0 and was about to go 1-0 in the second set when it happened. My opponent instantly knew – I imagine the look of agony and near-tearful eyes were also a good clue. My game wasn’t the same after that, and I went on to lose sets 2 & 3 (1-6, 4-6). The gentleman I played was a great guy, and even offered to suspend the match a day so I could recover, but I opted not to. A win is a win.
So today I sit here in a little pain. It’s a grade 1 strain based on the hamstring injury grading scale, though I assure you it felt grade 3 during the match! Last night I made the mistake of applying moist heat after the match, but am now on rest, ice, compression and keeping it elevated (although I’m not sure vacuuming counts as rest). It seems whether your injury is from swimming/biking/running thousands of miles or from tennis, R.I.C.E. is the answer. I am able to walk normally and have maybe 75% of the range of motion before I feel the pain. My plan is to start walking 2-3 miles each day beginning today, ice every 2-4 hours for the next day and schedule a massage on Tuesday to try to break up scar tissue that may be forming while it repairs itself. Yoga and pilates may be in the not too distant future for me as I have chronically tight hammies.
If all goes well, I should be able to return to match play on Monday, October 10th. We’ll have to wait and see if that can happen. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
Image via Wikipedia
Last night was my first match of the Fall Season in Ultimate Tennis. Ultimate Tennis (also known as the K-Swiss league) is a flex tennis league where you are your own team. Match schedules are posted and you have an entire week to get your match in. This is a great way for busy people who can’t commit to a fixed time every week (usually Saturday or Sunday) to play a match on a team like ALTA or USTA.
This is my second season playing singles in that league, after taking 20 years off from playing tennis competitively. I’m starting this season about 6 pounds lighter than I finished the last, and I have been practicing pretty consistently with a group doing drills weekly.
Last night’s match felt good all around. My first serve percentage was high in the first set. It fell some in the second set, but I started going for bigger serves then and winning points off my serve. My backhand was in pretty good shape, although it was weaker than my forehand. I mixed it up occasionally and threw in a slice backhand instead of topspin whenever I felt out of position or just needed a mental reset on the point. My opponent played well. We broke each other a few times through the night, and had a few of his service games play on for decades of deuces. In the end, I came out on top 6-4, 7-5.
Overall I’m feeling really good about my game, especially since it was only mid-May of this year when I decided to come off the bench and play. I had to get my groundstrokes, serve and net play all back in line – not to mention my racket was OLD and desperately needed upgrading. I’m really looking forward to playing Doubles in this league starting in mid October with my buddy Jason. We played a LOT back in the day, and I have a feeling we are going to have a blast!