Sunday, December 11, 2005

Careers: When to retire? Part II

For the last month or so, I haven’t been in the mood to post on Setshot. I’ve been too worried about my knee. In mid-October, I played in the most intense game since my return from ACL surgery three years ago. Not only was the game tough, but I was overmatched, and to make matters worse, my wife happened along--compelling me to exert myself well beyond my capacities. It turns out she wasn’t even watching. It seems they never are (see Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble).

After the game, my knee hurt differently than it ever had before and was a little numb. The pain didn’t go away for weeks. I made an appointment with the doctor and joined the injured list. Retirement seemed imminent.

Every other night, I sat down at the computer to write a new post, but I couldn’t do it. Jeff wrote posts about trash talking and scoring on an NBA player and old man moves, but I just couldn’t match him. I wrote a few posts about stuff I found on the web, but I couldn’t bring myself to write anything personal. Jeff suggested I write about being injured, but I just couldn’t face it. Part of it was that I wasn’t having many hoops experiences in my street clothes. But most of it was that it just made me too damn depressed. Could it really be over?

Earlier, I had hoped that Setshot might be a place that both current players and retirees could enjoy, but if I was typical, retirees would avoid the site like the plague.

This week, I finally got to the doctor. He told me it wasn’t my ACL, but probably just a meniscus problem. He advised against surgery because the meniscus is serving a purpose. Instead, I should just play with the pain (which really is quite minor) and keep building up my quads.

I could have kissed him. He saw how happy I was and said “Keep on playing. Keep on playing. It’s good for you. We’ll work through this.”

"I play too,” he said with a grin. I immediately told him all about Setshot.

“I’m 58”, he said. “I’m always the old man of the court. But I can shoot a hook with either hand and nobody can stop me.”

If you’re reading, Dr. Old Man of the Court, thank you very much. Jeff just e-mailed about a regular run at Strawberry Creek Park. The guys are at our skill level (me, moderate-to-bad; Jeff, awesome) and “more importantly, they seem like polite and considerate young men.” I’m so ready.


Anonymous said...

congrats on the news old school, hopefully i'll be joining you and dr. old man on the courts next week.

Jeff said...

Wonderful news! And this post was great. It brought a tear to my eye.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up. Don't ever give up. Over the past four years I've played a lot more 28+ baseball, and I've been pitching for three years minus the ulnar collateral ligament (see: Tommy John) in my pitching elbow. Sure, I've got crazy lateral flexibility in that joint now, and it hurts for weeks after every outing, and when pulling a lawnmower across the lawn and it hangs on a stump or something my right arm seems to lengthen dramatically, but competition on the diamond or the hardwood is like crack and someone is going to have to drag me kicking and screaming from either before I stop wrecking my body. At least until next time something hurts so bad I want to cut it off.