Posts Tagged aches and pains from exercise

Living With Aches And Pains

If I play tennis tomorrow and Sunday as scheduled, I will have played 10 times in 12 consecutive days. I am now aching slightly somewhere most of the time. My friend Joe says he is ALWAYS aching. And I imagine the pros are as well, even though they are 40-50 years younger.

I am not at all used to pain, discomfort and illness. Blessed with good genes and avoiding many of the foods/drinks/drugs that are bad for humans (my chiropractor father said, “you are what you eat”), I am totally spoiled by continual good health. So aches are an unfamiliar experience. And though I can attribute them to the extreme activities these days, when I am playing tennis 2 1/2-4+ hours each time, I still mind that there is any ache at all. Totally irrational and unreasonable.

If I were a pro or a lifetime athlete, I probably wouldn’t give it a thought. I am remembering an earlier article about Matt Hoffman, who said “If I died with a body that wasn’t completely wrecked, then I’d feel like I completely wasted it.”

I am very conscious that if I make it to age 80, and I am in good enough shape to still play tennis, then my game is likely to be weaker than it is now. That is only seven years away. These days I am still improving, on the upswing. Just learned a new stroke today from Joe (the slice backhand…rotate those shoulders and throw the racket like you would a frisbee). Yet at some point, a downhill slide of poorer performance will take over. It is inevitable, and I can see it in older players at the courts.

Should I push hard, while I am able? Or start taking it easier?. Not accept so many extra matches, where I am asked to sub for traveling or ill players? But I love the game so much right now. I know, I know…it’s a high-class problem. Hopefully I will not seriously damage any body parts. And in the meantime, I am having fun…

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Rudy Kellerman’s New Lease On Life—Jai Alai

I find myself, yet again, sitting and waiting at the doctor’s office. It’s been nearly a year now of visiting doctors. I remember my parent’s routine, back in what they called their ‘golden years’. It consisted of going to the bank, attorneys and doctors. My wife, who is younger and in great shape no longer accompanies me on these medical visits. She tells me that I am a hypochondriac.

professional jai alai player

professional jai alai player


Three years ago we both began working out with trainers. After a year, I looked terrific. I could do 1000 jumping jacks broken up by sets of free weight lifting of over 100 lbs. I was looking and feeling great but always looked at training as a chore and a bore. You constantly get bombarded by society with the idea that exercising is the thing that one must do to maintain good health. Probably true enough but boring.

I started to notice I could no longer sleep on my right shoulder. I had terrible pain which was becoming increasingly worse, most likely stemming from old skiing injuries. The results of repeated falls skiing the black runs in Aspen during my youth had finally taken its toll. I stopped training and started with the cortisone shots that eventually led to a medical procedure to decompress the right shoulder. That was my first operation, save for the time that I had to have my finger reattached after a bad motorcycle accident. Not bad, I guess, for a 69 year old guy to have stayed out of hospitals for all these years. I had resigned myself to the fact that the extent of my active sporting life was going to be in rehab clinics. Soon I was off to the JCC pool to meet with an aqua therapist. Next I developed a painful new condition in my leg that eluded diagnosis for nearly a year. This led to appointments with a series of different medical specialists.

One day, having nothing to do while waiting to be seen by the latest Dr. of the month, I picked up a local newspaper. Leafing through it, I noticed an ad… “Free Jai Alai Lessons”. Wow! Jai Alai, a game that was so popular in South Florida back a half century ago. As teenagers back then, we would try to sneak into the ‘frontons’ where the pros played at night. These were the days when guys played football or baseball after school and rode bicycles as a form of transportation. Moms did not drive you to soccer games back then. There was no soccer and no SUV’s in those days. We did not stay home to play with electronic devices. We were lucky if our parents had a Hi FI or a Stereo. And we weren’t allowed to touch them. We were always outdoors playing sports or delivering the newspapers after school. It was a great life.

view of pro jai alai court

view of pro jai alai court


Some of us who had just gotten our license would borrow the family station wagon. We would all pile in and sneak into the ‘fronton’ to watch the professional Jai Alai players. Most of them were from the Basque country, a part of Spain. They played with their ‘cestas’, a wicker basket and hurled the ‘pelota’, a ball the size of a baseball and as hard as golf ball, against a granite wall at 180 miles an hour. It was played in an enormous indoor court 180 feet long. It was fun to watch not only for the exciting ‘partidos’ or games, but also for the chance to bet on the game and sneak a beer. Some of us went out and bought used cestas and played with a rubber ball on hand ball and racket ball courts. It was so much fun. It was an exotic and exciting game. The girls would come and watch us play after school against the wall of the local Catholic church.

Some of us got to be so good that we were invited to play amateur league in the regulation fronton where the pros played. Read the rest of this entry »

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