I hesitated a bit before I left to play basketball at an open gym hosted by my friends every Monday evening. The day before, I ran pretty hard at my son’s parent and child game time. My feet and legs were a tiny bit sore because I didn’t do much stretch or warm up as we did relay races around a game circle. Some of the relays I had to carry my 50lb son and run around the circuit twice. Hindsight, this may have contributed to the rupture the following day.
After dinner, I looked at the clock and had the typical, “dont’ want to work out” thought that often creeps into your mind. I squeezed every bit of motivation out of myself and started to put on my contacts and find my gear for basketball.
“Don’t get hurt!”, yelled my 5 year old. I always ache of pain when I play basketball and a few months ago I flipped my toe nail and was out of commission for a while. Little did I know I was going to suffer a more serious injury just an hour later.
I drove to the nearby private school where we rent the indoor gym. I enter with not much fanfare. We all know each other with the exception of a few friends or visitor. I proceed to fist bump people who are sitting on the side waiting for the next game while a game was ongoing. I put on my indoor game shoes and proceed to warm up and stretch. Growing up playing varsity basketball, volleyball, and soccer, I knew how important it was to warm up and stretch before exercising. I don’t think any amount of stretching would’ve prevented my injury. It was bound to happen.
I started off with a few games where I couldn’t contribute much. At this age and my shape, I don’t go all out competing as I just want to get some exercise playing the game that I love. In the 3rd game, I started feeling it and made a few layups. On the next possession, I got the ball on the right wing and I dribbled to my left and launched a left hand hook shot. Everything happened so fast. The defender didn’t jump to block the shot and as I elevated and released the shot, I watch the ball bounce off the glass and went in. I landed on my right foot and the moment I planted my left foot, I felt a hard POP-SNAP on my left foot. It was nothing like I’ve felt before. It felt like someone kicked my left foot and my entire body ricochet through my neck with a flash. I fell hard and grimaced as I held onto my foot. I was trying to find a culprit as I wrapped both hands around ankle waiting for it to swell. However, no one came to apologize. Then someone confirmed that no one was near me when I fell.
“I swear someone kicked me!”, I protested.
“You must’ve torn your Achilles dude…”, joked another as people started to gather to see if I was ok.
As I waited and hoped for my ankle to swell, it didn’t happen. Then the sudden realization that I may have an Achilles rupture crept into my mind. My ankle didn’t swell. The pain wasn’t great. Something wasn’t right.
I couldn’t move my foot.
Thoughts of long recovery and how inconvenient things were going to be sunk into my mind. I thought about my family and my business trip I was supposed to go on the following month. No more playing catch or playing soccer with my son for months. I gave a big sigh as I was helped off the court and proceeded to call my wife.