I’d always heard how the older you get the faster time goes. That youth is wasted on the young. That football is a young man’s game. That time waits for no man. And that there’s nothing in this game for two in a bed (Bullseye circa 1986). And so as the years have passed I began to notice that my body didn’t recover as quickly as it used to. That training and playing regular football meant I spent more time with aches and pains than without. I started to get used to rising in the morning and grimacing as I got out of bed before my legs started working. I accepted that playing football meant having niggling injuries in my ankles, groin, thighs, hamstrings and a host of other body parts. I kept saying “one more year and I’ll hang up my boots”. Time was marching on.
My good lady hurt her knee and went to a local physio to get it sorted out. It turned out I have medical cover with work so she got her sessions paid for. Sick of hearing me moan about being stiff and sore she suggested I get a sports massage to loosen off these tired legs and booked me in. I’d been warned that if they found anything wrong they wouldn’t be able to help themselves trying to sort it out. I sort of imagined a relaxing, sensual massage where I’d walk out feeling loose and on top of the world. Instead what began was a series of fabulously painful sessions where I discovered just how much physical pain one woman (my physio) can cause. Remind me never to fall out with a physio.
Much to my surprise everything was wrong! Pretty much all the muscles in my body were as stiff as a board. My flexibility was non-existent. My posture was terrible for many reasons including the muscles on the left side of my body were even tighter than the right. Joints barely moved and I was only going to get worse the older I got. Things had to change.
So each week my physio would work on a particular area of my body then give me a list of stretching exercises to try in an effort to loosen things off and increase my flexibility. Gradually, week by week I noticed things starting to improve. I could move in ways I couldn’t before (and hadn’t even noticed that I couldn’t). I wasn’t feeling stiff and sore after playing football any longer. I was waking up without any pain at all. Suddenly I started to feel years younger and realise that old age wasn’t getting to me just yet!
And since I’m relentlessly (or tediously) disciplined I’ve continued doing about 20-25 minutes of stretching every night and continue to get more flexible. I feel years younger and realise if I keep up the regimen (which I will) I should be able to extend my sporting days many years further than I thought I would. So if you’re in your mid-30s wondering how long you can keep on being active – get yourself down to your nearest sports physio. You won’t regret it!
Next on my list is finding a way to get rid of all these wrinkles… 😉
I’ve found a great Physio which has helped me no end, and this week I’ve got a sports massage booked in, so once I’ve been tortured I’m looking forward to feeling better….
In fact my physio owes me a favour (sorted out his computers for him) so I might check myself in for a couple of sessions to get that feeling younger feeling back, I need it!
I never appreciated the value of a good physio before but it does make a hell of a difference when trying to do sport at our old age! No wonder premier league footballers effectively have their own sports physio!
I’ve done physio a number of times due to a back problem, and I’ve found that a lot depends on who your physio is. Some are great and really know how to get to the heart of the pain, while others don’t seem to know anything about what’s causing it.
Yeah, a ‘sports’ physio is what I’ve looked for – they realise you’ll be active so are more likely to get to the root of the problem rather than just tinker around.
Agreed – physio is fantastic, or even therapeutic massage. Works wonders, especially after a long haul flight 🙂
Yup, I’ve done physio many times for back problems and the root cause is always flexibility (er.. lack of). In fact the first time I did physio was for knee pain, and they fixed it (which I thought was going to be impossible w/o surgery) with a technique called “astym” or something, basically scrapping my joints and bones with a hard plastic shiv. I screamed. A LOT. But it worked.
I now think PT stands for physical torture, not physical therapy. But I don’t complain because it works!
Haven’t heard of that before – but knowing physio I’m not surprised it’s extremely painful! No pain, no gain eh?! 😉
A few years ago I started feeling a strange pain in my lower back and my spine was stiff and the joints started cracking. I went to a physio, and she told me it was all due to stress (I was 19 years old)
I guess it’s not always because of aging that you body gets messed up. 🙂
Yeah, since going to a physio I’ve learned all about myriad things that can cause you to hobble around before your time – ankylosing spondylitis (which I call ‘ankle sponge’ – it’s easier to remember) being a particularly nasty one I’m glad I don’t have!
Keep up the good work John:)
Heh heh, I always do my best! 🙂
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I start physical therapy on Christmas eve for an unkown knee injury and i flippin hope it works because I have been in alot of pain every day for the last year
Oh dear. Well prepare for even more pain! However it’ll do you good! 🙂