Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Achieving Quiet

I have not been blogging much lately because, fact is, this has been a phenomenally bad summer for The Squashist. I have not been able to play much at all, spending most of my time in a perpetual Groundhog Day of rehabbing. Not playing has kept me away from writing about squash, since to do so would put me in a bad mood, since I can't play!

I had been playing last spring for some months with a balky knee, and as a result didn't try to make heroic gets. I played less often and spent more time rehabbing in the gym with light exercises. I thought my knee would gradually get better, but that turned out to be a very misguided notion. One day, wouldn't you know it, I planted my foot to turn and something gave. I felt a sharp pain and got off the court immediately. 

It turns out that I had a small posterior meniscal tear and a traumatic bone bruise. I went to my orthopedist and we decided to see if rehabbing it would work. I went to my PT, got some rehab advice from him, and that has been what I've been doing. We had set a date for mid-August for me to go back to the ortho for another look, hoping that I might be ready to play. But the knee, while considerably better, does not feel completely okay, so we have set another date, in mid-September, to check the knee again. If not better by then I will go ahead and get it arthroscoped; I probably should have done that 3 months ago. 

All this has transpired at a time when the company where I work is undergoing severe financial strain, and as a result a few people had to be cut and salaries were reduced across the board. As the editorial director, this causes all types of personnel problems for me, not counting the obvious economic impact of my own reduced salary. 

I was thinking about this rotten summer I've been having today, because in the old days, back when I had a good knee, I used to love escaping from daily woes by going to the squash club and playing almost 3 hours of singles squash, then maybe getting together a doubles game, then going to the gym for a half hour weights session, and then finally getting in the steam room and boiling myself silly. The result from all that activity was a wonderful sense of mental quiet, a quiet that those who meditate seek to attain but that I never have. The only way I have ever achieved mental calm -- no internal dialogues, no replaying of interactions with others during the day, no arguments replayed in one's mental cinema -- is through the physical morphine of squash. 

I need a dose. Fast.

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