Goodbye For Now

Just 3 months ago, I wrote this: “Blistering 115 hr/yr pace so far, and all I wanna do is keep ‘er floored.” I felt great, was playing reasonably well, and saw a great summer season of footbag ahead of me. 
Today, I’m saying Goodbye, for a while at least. My knee is FUCKED. I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll ever be back. I didn’t want it to end this soon, or end this way. I’m sorry. 
There was a lot more I wanted to write about, up to and including a towering rage-rant about my whole camera situation. But, it all seems so meaningless now. 
0:50 / 53:00 – Thank you all so much for your interest and support over the last 3 years. 
I want, I hope, I’m gonna try to fix my knee, I want more than almost anything to be back again someday, soon. My goal is to be back in action for my the start of the fall semester and my 49th birthday. In the meantime, with tears streaming down my face as I write this… 

Knee, Good. Camera, Bad.

Short but sweet video from City Hall this evening: 

…and yes, the blog readers DO get the fish story behind the already-broken new camera. One of the small bonuses, eh? 
I’ve been stretching the heck out of my hamstrings. 2-3 big sessions throughout the day, plus little stolen stretches here and there. It seems to be working. My knee feels way better than last week. It still hurt, and finally stopped me from kicking at the very end, but… I was able to kick without too much pain for over 2 solid hours. 
Even better, I was able to keep a few guiltless strings going today. I got quite a few 3-add strings of 10 or more, and this video shows a 14 contact one. Yes, it’s pathetic from an absolute sense, but it’s a huge improvement over the last couple of months, for me. 
One of the best “compensations” I’ve found for the knee is to really stay up on my toes. When my heel strikes the ground, it’s like “jolt-of-pain” city. It’s still causing me to play way too high overall, but this week has seen incredible improvement. I’m hopeful I can get more difficulty back into my game for the first time in weeks. 
2:00 / 52:10 – Thanks for tuning in! 

New Camera “Foot”-Age at City Hall

Cold, intermittent drizzle, new camera, and knee pain: 

It was this warm – and sunny – in January. Today, barely 60ºF and cloudy with intermittent drizzle. And, did I mention my knee hurts? I almost pulled the plug on the session, but I’ve only got one Thursday a week. I either kick no matter how much it sucks, or, I don’t kick at all. 
The big news is my knees; mostly my right knee. Pain in the kneecaps from bending down has gotten a hundred times worse over the last few weeks. Now I’ve started favoring it, causing other weird things to happen, including a really poor footbag game. 
It’s my understanding that this is the knee’s equivalent of “Tennis Elbow.” The problem is the hamstrings get so tight, they pull on the kneecap too hard, pulling the kneecap out of proper alignment and causing tendon and cartilage pain. The “treatment” is to stretch out the hamstrings. I’ve been doing that – gently – over the last week. It’s obviously not enough; the pain has just gotten worse so far. I’ve got to quadruple, or even quintuple, my stretching efforts. This much pain is debilitating. The term “Foot”-Age is really hitting home right now.
I did actually do a lot of stretching during the session, with the idea that lots of stretching while warm and in use is probably most effective. It seemed like my knee got just the tiniest bit better towards the end of the session. Is that a ray of hope?
Since I was only able to put in a scant hour today, and because of my knee problems and other footbag session issues, I’m thinking about trying to change my kicking schedule to shorter sessions more times per week. This is a huge problem though; I’ve been locked into my once-a-week “free” evening schedule for over 10 years, and expect to be locked into it for another 5 years, at least. 
While school is in session, I take vacation time from work during the day to kick on Speakers Circle, then take my weekly “evening off” for other personal activities. I was hoping to go to evenings while school is out, and build up a little vacation time again. But, if I want to kick twice a week for now, I’m going to have to take regular vacation time from work to do it. Maybe Mondays? I wouldn’t mind a standing weekly 2-3 hour Vacay Monday afternoon to go play footbag. That’s about how much vacation I earn each week.
Time to assess my options, and make some decisions… 
1:00 / 50:10 – Thanks for tuning in!