Friday, May 25, 2007

This Sporting Life

I am, at heart, a gentleman of leisure.

I was never meant to throw on a football jersey and charge down the field, nor was I intended to feel the thrill of adrenalin when my bat would make that satisfying crack upon contact with a ball.

I was barely meant to get off the couch, frankly.

In this respect I was the odd man out amongst my siblings, who enjoyed nothing better than sweating their way to home plate, or a touchdown, or first place at the Kentucky Derby.

I was more the Ferdinand the Bull type, sniffing flowers just outside of the stadium. Just let me know when it’s over and if we’re stopping for ice cream on the way home.

I have, in fact, prided myself on my ability to do absolutely nothing for hours on end, barely expending the energy necessary to breathe.

A comfortable chair can be immeasurably helpful in accomplishing this.

So it was with no small irony the other day that I discovered that I was the victim of a…sports injury.

And not merely any sport. No, it had to be a rather snobby one that I usually identified with a more moneyed class of individuals than I am accustomed to spending time with.

I couldn’t have a torn rotator cuff or a pulled hamstring or some good ol’ American sports injury.

No. I had to get tennis elbow.

I mean, to have an injury connected with any kind of sport, any kind of physical exertion, in fact, is embarrassing enough for someone of my sedentary persuasion.

But for it to be an upper-crust, Jody-and-Muffy cashmere sweater kind of injury is almost too much to bear.

If I had to have a sports injury, I would have preferred the sort of ham-and-eggs, Converse sneaker, local pizza joint team sponsorship kind of an injury, not this precious, prissy little ailment.

When we were kids, we didn’t slice tennis balls in half and smack ‘em at the wall, for cryin’ out loud.

Now I don’t suppose I have to explain that I didn’t get this playing tennis. It was, rather, something common to folks who performed the kind of repetitive tasks I was, until recently, regularly performing.

But it’s still tennis elbow, nevertheless.

So now I wear this little black elbow splint around my arm (which looks rather morbid, as the wife pointed out) and it does seem to be easing things somewhat.

But in the meantime I have to tell people that I’m not working because of my tennis elbow.

Is there a more sniffy, elitist, bring-the-car-round-james type of sports injury to have? Do those chess guys ever sprain their wrists moving those little horsies around?

Really, I’m asking because I don’t know. Even that sort of thing always struck me as too strenuous.


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