Column: Line Drives — Injury brings doubt

[This is my column in the May 8 issue of The Commercial Review.]

The countdown is in single digits.

Although the training for Fort Recovery’s Mad Run on May 17 has taken back seat to work and other things in the last four months, my excitement over the race next week was starting to build — even if my counterparts had slowly and one-by-one backed out of the deal.

In December I took stabs at those in our group at The CR who were going to participate along with me. The joy to participate in the obstacle course as a team was through the roof.

The willingness to get off the couch and start preparing, however, was a different story.

I had nonchalantly been active over the last six months by playing basketball up to three days a week. I knew the biggest challenge for the race was going to come down to conditioning. I figured the obstacles themselves wouldn’t necessarily be the hard part — the distance between them would be the toughest hurdle for someone like me who doesn’t do very well with running distances.

As of today, I currently stand as the only registered participant from or group. I signed up for the 8 a.m. wave. I chose the earliest possible time in order to get it done and over with as early as possible, but also because I have a baseball game to cover later that day.

Managing editor Ray Cooney mentioned in his November column I didn’t do much training for 5K races and I was a “get-off-the-couch-and-pray-I-survive kind of runner.”

It’s a statement I still stand by today and a tactic I was going to employ in Fort Recovery.

The deal we made as a team was to complete the race together, with a no-man-left-behind attitude. If someone gets caught up on an obstacle or needs help, the whole group would wait and led a hand to whichever one of us needed it.

But in December, I wrote a column calling out my teammates, saying the pact between us was likely to be in jeopardy. I was doing what I could to try and stay active to get ready for the race, maybe shed some pounds and get in better shape in the process.

The others, not so much.

Playing basketball as often as I did was all the conditioning and training I needed right?

As it turns out, it was basketball that put the agreement we had and my participation in the race at Ambassador Park in danger.

Near the end of practice Wednesday night with the Jay County Special Olympics basketball team, which travels to Princeton, N.J., next month to compete in the USA Games, I went up for a rebound and landed awkwardly.

I wear a brace on my left ankle when I participate in sports to protect an injury I suffered in 2009 playing softball. As gravity brought me back to the floor after failing to grab the rebound, my right foot — the one without the brace — landed on someone else’s, sending me tumbling to the floor shrieking in pain.

When the ache finally subsided enough to rise to my feet and hobble over to the bench, a few thoughts raced through my mind: please don’t be broken, am I going to be able to play softball this weekend and the chance of participating in the Mad Run is pretty much gone.

I rolled my left ankle in a somewhat similar fashion trying to avoid a tag, and from what I remember it was sore for the better part of a month or two — my body doesn’t heal very fast.

The anticipation of being in the Mad Run quickly changed to disappointment. It was something I was really looking forward to doing.

At least I have a valid excuse as to why I can’t be in the race.

It’s too bad others can’t say the same.

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