Monday, November 25, 2013

Separated at Birth?

I'm in rehab.

No, not the drug/drink kind of rehab, but the physical, my knee sucks and I have to fix it with hours of boring bike work, rehab.  I go to the gym, get on the bike, ride for 20 minutes, then go do weights. I pick things up, I put things down.

It's not very stimulating, to say the least. 

But today I'm working out on the bike, and there was a report on Snowden. His big mug comes up on the screen. And then it hits me. 

Follow me now:

And Kevin Klipstein, President and CEO of US Squash:

Possibly separated at birth? It's a thought.... 

Now, back on the bike..... 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Qatar, WTF?

I watched some of the Qatar Classic currently underway, proudly sponsored by the Ali Bin Ali Group. In truth, some great matches, with perhaps the most memorable being the Selby vs. Willstrop match. Selby has been dominated for years by James Willstrop, but today as fate would have it Willstrop hit a shot up the middle (a shot that seems to be more and more in vogue) that Selby anticipated, and Selby responded by hitting a behind-the-back dropshot to the other corner for a jaw-dropping point-game-match winner: 13/11 in the fifth game. Selby laughed, then looked to the heavens in thanks. 

There were several other great matches, but all that played out in front of a crowd that appeared to number 10. 

No, seriously. Here's a screen shot of the crowd 5 seconds after the conclusion of the Karim Abdel Gawad vs. Tarek Momen match, which Gawad won, 12/10 in the fifth. Another great match, watched by a precious few. 

What is the story here? Despite the support from the Ali Bin Ali Group, is the squash-loving population in Qatar so vanishingly small that they can't muster up a few spectators? It's frankly embarrassing. And I would think old Ali Bin Ali would be rather displeased.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I have thrown aside the crutches that had supported me for a week or so after my operation, and since have been content to go through the various steps of rehabilitation. At first, I simply stretched. But two weeks ago I got on an exercise bike and went through the motions, albeit with zero resistance. This last week I have exercised on the bike with mild to moderate resistance, and have done some other weight work that is about 50% what I would normally do. The important thing is to gradually apply more resistance, but very gradually, and stretch like a cat, and don't rush it. Something I can normally be counted on not to do.

Yesterday I went for my second post-op evaluation. I told the doctor it feels pretty good at times, but other times it feels like the tracking is off, like there is some crunching going on in there that shouldn't be happening, and, rarely, I experience a little pinpoint of pain. 

I'm about halfway through my scheduled 10-week rehab. The doctor said my knee is rehabbing okay and not to get worried. I confessed that I was indeed worried that the knee just wouldn't be able to take the stress of a hard squash match, and told him that I was thinking about the various options, namely:

  • Play squash anyway, suffering the occasional insult of pain. I have been doing this pretty much for the past 2 years, though, and it has lost its appeal....
  • Or, play racquetball instead. I know, sacrilege, but the reduced movement of the game should be better for my knee, yes? And it is not such a terrible sport, is it? Baby squash ....
  • Play racketball on a squash court. This is done fairly regularly in Britain, why not start something up here? Again, the benefit is it is easier on the knees. Perhaps racketball on a squash court should be promoted more in the US as the next step for older athletes with dodgy knees who still want to get out there....
  • Give up squash altogether, in the realization that the knees will not allow it, but concentrate more on my tennis game. Hell, I won a B tournament a few years ago, I'm not that bad. Tennis has always played second fiddle to squash, but maybe it's time to rethink that. There is more straight-line running in tennis and reduced scrambling, so it is a little nicer for the lower extremity, and points are faster.
The doctor's advice was to wait and see. "It is too early to tell how the knee will end up, and the tracking problems you have are not uncommon after this type of surgery, particularly when osteoarthritis had to be burred out of the knee. Sit tight, keep rehabbing."

But he added, "You know, you've played a lot of sports on that knee. It's your right knee, your dominant knee, you push off with that knee, causing extra stress. It's just that now your knee has started to betray you."

I didn't like the way he said that. Although, in truth, that's the way it feels.