When I went to bump a pass in my co-ed recreational sand volleyball match three Thursdays ago, I did a rather awkward thing with my right leg—like I was stretching out to make a save, a la former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
When I performed this move, my foot got stuck in the sand for a second, and I heard this tearing sound in the back of my leg, like I had just ripped my boxer shorts.
Were they my boxer shorts?
According to the shooting pain I felt immediately, nope.
The sound I heard was my hamstring tearing quite extensively.
I tried to continue in this, my weekly co-ed recreational sand volleyball match, but I couldn't—at least not right away—and had to sit out for a few minutes, while I unsuccessfully tried to stretch the hammy.
I eventually re-entered the match, but I took it easy. I didn't jump or dive for any passes, and I made sure I didn't make any sudden moves that could have worsened the situation.
An hour or so later, it was off to my Thursday night recreational bowling match, where I informed my teammates of my injury. They assured me that I didn't have to bowl in this Thursday night recreational bowling match if I didn't want to.
After all, my health was the most important thing.
I gave it a go in this recreational bowling match, and while my scores suffered, I was proud of my resiliency and bravery, gosh darn it.
Two days later, against all odds and the advice from my friends and family, I decided to participate in my Saturday morning spinning class, even though I knew it would be taxing on my injured hamstring. However, I played it smart and avoided such maneuvers as "hovers" and "jumps."
Excuse this interlude, but remember Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who had 57 sacks in a seven-year career in Pittsburgh--including 44 over a 55-game span during his prime years?
Speaking of those prime years, Woodley played in seven playoff games during that time and recorded 11 sacks--including a pretty impressive six in three victories during the 2008 postseason, as he helped the Steelers capture their record sixth Lombardi trophy.
Unfortunately for the Steelers and their fans, Woodley signed a huge contract just before the 2011 season. After lulling us into complacency by recording eight sacks over the first half of the season (like he wasn't simply satisfied with his new $61 million deal), he decided to get lazy and suffered a career altering hamstring injury in a Week 8 victory over the Patriots at Heinz Field.
Anyway, back to me.
Just hours after my spinning class two Saturdays ago, I, against all odds and the advice of my family, decided to mow my sister's lawn, which included lots of uneven hills and dangerous slopes.
My brother-in-law, who, too, was dealing with an injury, came over to me and said, "Wow, man, you're playing hurt."
Yes, it was tough and painful, but I managed to get this grass cut.
A few days later, I was sitting on the Tenth Street Bridge, watching Pittsburgh's spectacular Fourth of July fireworks display, when I said to myself, "Ouch, sitting is painful! I need to stand, so I can be okay for work in the morning."
I can't help but digress again to Woodley and his laziness that prevented him from maintaining his top physical peak at 266 pounds which would have enabled him to overcome his hamstring injury and engage those 300-plus pound NFL offensive tackles on a weekly-basis.
I mean, it's a hamstring. It shouldn't be too hard to overcome an injured one if you're not lazy.
Anyway, back to my heroics.
The Thursday before last, I decided I owed it to my bowling teammates to really give it my all in my match. So, despite the pain I was in, I averaged a 152 in three recreational games.
The next day, however, I noticed some severe bruising behind my right knee and did what any sane person would do in such a situation:
I took a picture and posted it on Facebook, where comments such as "Ouch!" "OMG!" and "Feel better soon, my friend!" came pouring in.
A few days later, at my weekly Tuesday running group, I felt some slight discomfort in my injured hamstring, so my running friends said, "Look, Tony, you don't want to overdo it. You run when you're ready."
Anyway, I can't help but think back to Woodley and how, today, the fans are well within their rights to sort of forget about his accomplishments that also included a strip-sack of Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner on the final contentious play of Super Bowl XLIII that preserved an historic victory.
After all, it was only a hamstring injury, one that may have been prevented and/or healed properly had he not been so lazy.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I must get up and walk around a bit.
Sitting in my computer chair for too long is so painful, what my hamstring and all.