So that's what it feels like to pull one's hamstring. (Hint: Not Good.)
After a week off since my old team won our consolation game (against a team that had previously beaten us 6-1), today was a beautiful day to switch from the fetid air of a dome to a field under the big sky — at Carleton University, as it happens.
Warm, sunny and with just enough wind to make things interesting, I met my new team of more-or-less randomly-assigned individuals. Five girls and six (or was it seven?) guys — a pretty big squad and I think more women on it than I've previously experienced.
On the whole, this team is not going to be a world-beater. There's not a ringer in the bunch and I definitely consider myself among the top half in terms of skillz and energy. Which means that, if winning was the primary objective, this would look like being a really long season.
But rec soccer is, thank god, primarily meant to be recreational, and everyone on the field seemed to be more worried about having fun than in whether or not we were going to win. In fact, the half-time pep-talk consisted mostly of a general agreement that we should try to keep the ball away from the other team as much as possible.
And we did considerably better in the second half. I believe the final score was 5-2 against, which is better than the Montreal Canadiens did against the fucking Lightning later on this evening.
But that hamstring. That fucking hamstring. Came with only a minute or two left in the game, and I was playing centre D. I'd pinched a little and suddenly found myself running like hell — sprinting, in truth, and not for the first time that game (so happy I can do that!) — to catch the opposing forward. I managed it, too, but as we jostled one of my cleats caught something in the turf and I felt a sudden, searing pain shoot up the inside of my right thigh.
I went down like I'd been shot, and I stayed down. Wasn't quiet about it, either. Jesus god, but that hurt!
Still, after probably two minutes, I was (with two people supporting me) I able to get to my feet and off the field. And a little while later, managed to hobble to my venerable bicycle and clamber aboard the saddle, to gingerly and slowly pedal my way back to Centretown and home.
Will I be able to play next week? Dunno. In fact, I don't even know if I'll be able to drive a van at work on Tuesday, though I'm hopeful on both counts. I'll have a better sense of things tomorrow, no doubt.
I'm not complaining. It's been a at least a good three years or more since I've managed to hurt myself on the pitch, and a pulled muscle is a hell of a lot less serious than a stretched tendon or (got help me) a blown-out knee.
So, cheers! Raven and I are going to catch up on an episode or two of Scott and Bailey and then I'll see how and whether I'll be able to sleep.