One Jump Forward, Three Steps Back - Learning Not to Do Stupid Things


Something I don't mention much is my involvement in a local youth track and field organization. As part of that involvement, from time to time I volunteer to help at local youth track meets.

Last Saturday I worked the long jump pit at the Ventura County Youth Track Championships. Although the meets take up a large chunk of a Saturday, they are a lot of fun to watch the kids compete. Working the long jump pit makes you feel like you're part of the action.

In any case, after all of the kids were done at the long jump pit except for two that had to return to the pit after being called out for other events, there was a lull in the action.

We were joking around a bit and I came up with the brilliant idea of - hey, who wants to jump?

Sounded fun at the time. I wasn't wearing sneakers and hadn't sprinted for years or long jumped for probably 45 years.  But hey, let's see how far we can go. Why not.

So without any warmup or stretching, I ran down the long jump runway towards the long jump sand pit. Having not practiced or thought through in advance anything whatsoever, as I neared the jumping board, it dawned on me that I couldn't even remember which foot to propel myself from.

I flinched at the last minute and jumped using my left foot. My body propelled forward about as far as the 7 year olds jumped. This was not a good idea.

My flinching at the last minute caused me brief pause and, although I felt ok afterwards, the next day was a different story.

Things started out fine. I decided to run for an hour. The first 40 minutes I had no problems. But suddenly there was a sharp pain in my left calf.

As I usually do, I kept running, figuring the pain would go away (it often does). Not this time. It worsened to the point that I could not run anymore. The pain was too sharp. I was relegated to walking.

That single long jump attempt in worn down casual shoes, no warm-ups. no stretching and wearing jeans, was a dumbass move on my part.  Now I'm stuck with a new injury.

One jump forward, three steps back.

I used ice and Advil to calm the soreness. Next day I couldn't run, On Tuesday I was able to run 2 miles flat footed, but it was still sore.

I wrapped compression tape around the lower calf and it seems to help a bit. Oddly, there is no pain when I walk. The pain is only there when I run.

As with every other injury I've ever had, I will recover from this. But more importantly, perhaps this time I will learn from my own stupidity not to do things that are indeed stupid.

Today (Sunday), it felt a little better, so I attempted the same one hour loop from a week ago. I lasted about 35 minutes without much pain, when the soreness came back.  I walk/jogged home.