Tennis does really have a ‘season’ as you can pretty much play all year round, and in previous years I have done so, barring rain or snow on the ground. This year has been very different and I didn’t play at all during the winter, protecting the shoulder that had caused me trouble in the middle of last summer. This weekend, especially with the improved weather, has marked the start of what you might call the tennis season in the UK.
I was somewhat nervous about going onto the court again. Truth be told my shoulder still isn’t 100%. I’ve noticed it less and less over the months since the injury, but every now and again I notice it as the shoulder joint clicks with a movement. (As an aside I’ve noticed that washing up seems to cause this quite a bit so maybe it’s a message that I should get a dish washer!). Joking aside, I had no idea how things would go. The nature of the injury is not such that it causes pain, and is the sort of thing that I wouldn’t really notice during play. It would be in the following days that I would be looking to see if there has been an adverse reaction and in that it could only be based on if I noticed the shoulder more than I had been doing so.
With it being of the joints, there is understandable concern that it could have an effect years down the line. I am no medic, but I know enough to know that when a joint ‘clicks’ it’s because it’s bone rubbing against bone and that can lead to limited and painful movement in that joint later on in life. Obviously this is something that I would like to avoid. It’s been 7 months though and part of me feels that there is a level at which I have to say, ’well let’s give things a try, see where they go.’ I’m working on the grounds that after about 3 weeks of tennis once a week I should have an idea on whether I can continue to play this season or not. Just one session isn’t enough, especially as there could be a ‘settling back down’ need. There is also a part of me that wonders (or is it hopes) that maybe playing again could move things back into the right place now that the tendon is no longer inflamed.
There have been two other side effects from my 7 month layoff. Both, to be fair I should have been expecting, but one was a bit of a surprise. The lack of timing I expected, and my timing was woeful! Things were a bit better after an hour or so, but there’s still a way to go if the injury allows me to play.
What I wasn’t expecting so much was aching so much the next day. While I have been injured, I’ve not been inactive, but then I’m using muscles in a very different way. I was also reminded about how much pressure you put on the side of the foot as you move around the court. It was something that I hadn’t felt in years, probably since I’d started playing again, and is a good reminder that even in similar sporting activities there are totally different pressures on different parts of the body.
There were glimmers of good tennis in my play, which given the time off I should be pleased about, I just hope I can make more progress in the next few weeks before the start of the competitive season, assuming the next 2 tennis sessions leave me a state in which I can continue to play.