Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sport and the Older Gentleman.

The paramour is non-bendy. That is to say he is the most inflexible person I have ever met. I used to think he was making it up, I couldn't fathom how anyone couldn't touch their toes, or indeed the ground, but the paramour can't. And no amount of stretching has changed that. My yoga friend once confidently assured him she'd have him touching his toes in a matter of weeks. She's still saying it, only in a less assured more tooth gritting manner. Memnoch used to say anyone can be taught to increase flexibility. I disagreed with him and told him of the paramours non hinge-ular legs. He 'pfffted' at me and gave me some instructions that the paramour was to carry out, confident that by his very word the man I loved would be pressing his nose against his knees in no time.
I carried said instructions home, proceeded to imperiously tell the paramour that Memnoch on high has declared his limited movements a falsity and instructed him to try out the new and improved definitive non failing answers.
No luck, the poor man gamely tried out all manner of exercises but nowt came of it.
Then I discovered he can't hold his leg out in front of him, say in an L shape without bending it slightly either. Befuddled, I went back to the drawing board, searching though ancient yoga texts, Pilates texts, tae of Jeet Kun do books until finally I had to throw my hands up and say, 'You're just not that bendy.'
'I told you that.' The paramour said. 'It's my hamstrings, they're like steel cable, not elastic. I could never touch my toes, not even as a child.'
'I see' I replied, 'But I just never met anyone that inflexible that wasn't suffering from a disease.'

So, finally I accepted that the man I love will never touch his toes without bending his knees and I moved on to fretting about other vital things, like will I ever find the perfect pair of jeans and why people don't clear their throats before talking.

I would have quite cheerfully never revisited said topic if not for this morning. Picture the scene. I was standing by the counter munching a slice of toast covered in butter AND wild blueberry preserve when the paramour hobbled in looking for his mobile.
'Why are you hobbling like that?' I asked.
'I think I dislocated my arse in football training the other night.' Quoth he.
'You dislocated your arse?"
And so he did tell me the story of defending most gallantly and taking an almighty swing at a high ball before their forward could get a head to it. Transpires in the heat of battle the Paramour forgot all about his leg's natural propensity to stay bent. He swung and twinkle toes straightened, there was-to him mind anyway- and audible 'clack' as his arse slid out of position, allowing for him to hoof the ball high up the pitch, and then it slid back into place as his leg retracted.
By the time I'd stopped laughing at this 'Alien mouth arse' of his, he was miffed.
'I'm telling you, I'm bloody sore.'
'You're always sore.' I said.
'That's another thing,' he said glumly, 'I thought as some stage I'd reach a level of fitness that didn't involve aching all the time.'
I pondered this. 'You know, I don't think that really happens. I think you just get used to the aches and what not.'
'Yes, but I get battered out there. My hip still isn't right for where that fella crashed into me and then used me as a landing pad last Sunday. And when I was warming up in training last night I kept thinking , 'is this worth it to play football?'"
'We all do that too, I complain every time I go out the door to run and-'
'No no, you're more in tune with your body, my body is lazy. It doesn't want to do anything I tell it.'
'And yet you're the only person I know who can dislocate your arse.'
'Worrying isn't it? I really think this might be my last season playing, or maybe the next one.'

Well I don't know what to make of it really. Poor old chap. He loves football, he lives and breathes it. Sometimes when he's dreaming, I can actually catch him trying to head imaginary balls. He would stand in the middle of a raging river on the coldest day of the year to watch his favourite team play.
But he's not a spring chicken any more and the knocks and scrapes take their toll.
But still, if he can dislocate part of his body to reach difficult shots, you'd have to think he's got something in reserves. He just needs to be more flexible.
And here's where I came in. I, Fatmammycat, resolve to help my beloved in playing at least another season or two of football. I will do so by increasing his flexibility-thus lessening his chances of injury. I have no idea how I am going to achieve this goal, but I will try.

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17 Comments:

Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Hmm, methinks I share the param's condition, I was never Mr Bendy. Mind you, I have an infestation of ageing to explain it away these days. If yoga really hasn't worked it may be time to get the pipe and slippers, unless he'd be interested in refereeing. I'm sure it's usually less dangerous, not as much contact or arse-dislocation.

10:52 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm a firm believer that the older you get the more you should be doing to combat physical decline. I"m from the country and well used to watching old boys well up into their seventies working away on farms and I'm convinced that it's because they've been active all their lives that they can keep going.
That said...he can't touch his toes. I mean his fingers are almost a foot above them.*

*shakes head in utter befuddlement.

11:24 a.m.  
Blogger finn said...

is there any sort of warmup before the mortal kombat, er, football begins? just to get joints and muscles oiled up?

11:39 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Nearly an hour in some cases. I swear Finn, I've never seen anything like it.

11:42 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Agree on the activity as one ages, but some of us start out less bendy and sedentary occupations are the smooch of death. Those old boys are on the move all day, even if what they're at is not physically demanding all the time.

11:50 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's true Conan. So basically he screwed. I'm sure pig headedness will get another two seasons for him anyway, but it would be nice if he could do it without being competely banjaxed.
There must be something he can do to minimise the injuries? No?

12:02 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Hmm, bad ligament damage is a total fucker, I had one go on me a few years back and it aint funny. We're talking zero runability for a whole year. Although it might be considered the hard man's noble exit from the sport.

I'm sure any minimisation tactics would be considered a bit 'gay', as they say. It's a team and a contact sport so if he wants to stay active in a team game he could try tag rugby, although that might be considered a bit 'gay' in certain quarters too.

12:11 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Good lord, we can't have that.

12:15 p.m.  
Blogger Willie_W said...

Although it of no comfort whatsoever to your Bend-free Paramour, your description of his arse dislocation momentarily turned me into a pale imitation of Ray Charles at a piano. Laugh? I cried.

12:23 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm sure he'd be only delighted to know that his suffering has made someone's day that bit brighter.

12:43 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Would a hot bath help to loosen up the muscles before you try to stretch him out? Or a deep massage with arnica?
Poor Paramour. If Mr. M couldn't get on the bikes anymore it would drive us both mental.

1:49 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

"Dislocated his arse" - hehe, I'm sorry but it made me laugh.
However I'm not cruel about it because I can totally relate to his un-bendy body, I have never been able to touch my toes with my fingers either! Never in my entire life (maybe as a new-born or infant, eh, can't remember). I remember being mortified at school (when you really want to be like everybody else!) when all the other kids did it without blinking. And there I was, feeling handicapped. Even though I did quite a lot of sports and I was fit, no amount of stretching or bending would do it.
So I gave up and just accepted it. It doesn't affect my life as such, the sports I do are mostly swimming, cycling, hiking and a few years ago badminton and running (I got bored though, I never liked running, I always just did it for the exercise, and when I couldn't do it in my favourite park in Rome anymore, I gave it up completely)
Aaanyway - some years ago I was flatsharing a house with a yoga teacher, and when I told her how totally un-bendy I was and had always been, she claimed (like you) that anybody could train themselves to be more bendy.
She tried with all kinds of exercises with me, but in the end she just shook her head and said: "you're very unbendy".
I know.
So your paramour has my full sympathy :)

2:27 p.m.  
Anonymous bendersbetterbrother said...

Nah, he's buggered. Did well to get this far, which it seems he already knows.
Dust off his Subbuteo set and tell him not to flick too hard.

3:19 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

All he needs is an injection of cortizone pre every match and he'll be good to go.

5:35 p.m.  
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8:09 p.m.  

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