Sunday, November 23, 2014

Funeral for a Friend!! Retire or Detour?

In 1973, my freshman year in college, a friend of mine from the track team, Dale (Glump) came and found me at a party to tell me that a very good friend had died.  That friend, Frank McMurray stays with me today.  He was one of the nation's top pole vaulters, who dropped dead on the track of a heart defect at the end of a relay.  Gone at 17 years old, a 15'6" junior!!

Those emotions returned to me today as I again, with no warning, popped that thing in my leg after a 20% warm-up sled run.  I had just vaulted two days ago with no issues and here it is again.

The last time this happened I was so distraught and emotional that I sat in the stands and cried for 10 minutes before I could leave.  Today Nancy was out there running when it happened so I didn't have the luxury of letting my pain go until I got in my car and headed to the gym.

In the parking lot at the gym I felt myself about to start sobbing and couldn't even make myself get out of the car to go inside.  This has been going on for eight months and there is no reasonable explanation what could possibly be wrong.  Bubba Sparks the pole vaulter lies dead.  Well if not dead then unconscious with no desire to rise.

As the day went on it dawned on me that I have misdiagnosed this all along.  It's behaving exactly as a tendon irritation, and we keep treating it as a muscle.  How else do you explain that I will be able to do full weights tomorrow on leg curls?  It's a tendon fascia FLARE idiot!!  It goes away in 2-3 weeks and you can return to activity until you reach a certain point and then BAM!!!  The problem is that the flare now happens sooner and sooner. 

I jumped 11'/3.36m jogging in from 3 lefts/6 steps and felt nothing Thursday.  WHY THE &$%* is this *$^*#^ thing keep coming back?!  It's a flare!  Scar tissue settles while healing, and then gets jerked away reopening the initial irritation.  Cortisone dissolves this scar tissue clump.

MY plan was to come on here and tell you that I was retiring from vaulting, would start back over from ground zero and work my way back up.  See you all in 6-9 months.  I need the training but I don't have the will to fight the disappointment of vaulting any longer.

Then I got an idea.  Today I emailed my physician in Houston and he will inject me two weeks from Monday.  He has figured out and fixed every other weird thing ever wrong with me and thinks my reasoning makes sense. 

So maybe I'm not quite dead yet.  But I certainly know how a cat feels.  I just have no idea how they survive those 8 deaths to have 9 lives.  I gave up today.  I was dead.  I quit and I am grieving severely.  Then somehow I got this little ray of hope that I think Dr. Rand can turn into a beam of light.  For once I would like the light at the end of the tunnel to be healthy freedom and not the headlight of a train.  Have a good evening and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Here is the song I played the night Frank died, and today when I did - Elton John - "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" -
I may be dead but I'm hovering above the body in spirit waiting to be called back in.  Do your stuff Dr. Rand!

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