|Yes, that's the whole of my thigh!|
I’ve just found out that I cannot climb for about 4 – 6 weeks. It all started on the last Bank Holiday Monday, I was climbing at our local crag and trying a new route (Stone Farm Crack, Stone Farm, Sussex) and I was working on the start of the route. I was trying to follow the rules; technique rather than relying on strength, trying to use my feet properly – you know, everything the experts tell you to do.
Unfortunately it wasn’t working for me that day and having slipped four or five times I lost my rag and thugged the start, in doing so I felt a little pop, one could say a tweak, at the top of the inside of my left thigh, I thought to myself “Oof, that smarts a touch” shrugged it off and <ahem> danced to the top of the route with all the elegance of a mountain goat (think an arthritic old billy in his latter years).
Fast forward a week to the following Friday evening and I’m at Harrison’s Rocks near Tunbridge Wells for the first time, and having a lovely time trying some new routes when just as I’m topping out I manage to leave a foot behind (boy-o-boy are those new 5.10’s sticky!!) and sure enough there’s another tweak, not to say wrench, in that left thigh. Luckily I was at the top as there was going to be no effortless waltz up for me this time. I walked off the top and belayed my mate, all the time I could feel the throbbing in my groin getting bigger and bigger <you boy, at the back, yes you, stop sniggering>
By the time I was getting out of my mate’s car an hour later I was ready to reach for the Vitamin I, the next morning I got out of bed and it felt like my left leg had been shortened by three inches but I thought “Hey, I’ll be okay, it’ll walk off, it’s no biggie…”, so four hours later having limped round Bluewater and Decathlon looking for a harness for Mrs. W I find myself in my sister-in-law’s back garden having an anesthetic beer when a rugby ball is introduced into the afternoon’s equation. I distinctly remember saying to Mrs. W “Don’t let me run around, it would be silly”.
And yet ten minutes later I’m charging around like a bleedin’ eejit, then its Col goes one way and Col’s left leg went the other way and Col ends up sat on his ‘arris in the middle of the lawn holding back the tears cos this time its not a “wrench”, it’s not a “tweak” and its certainly not a freaking “pop”, it’s a strain, a bloody great groin strain.
Over the last week a bruise has formed covering most of the inside of my thigh which is an incredible colour and the pain hasn’t diminished much despite icing and painkillers so I decided this morning that I’d go to the doctor’s. After a quick exam (much prodding of tender areas and whimpering from me) the doc announces that I’ve torn the muscle and some blood vessels and it’s going to be 4 – 6 weeks before it mends fully. Gutted. So, no climbing for me. Double-gutted.
Hopefully you’re reading this thinking what a twonk, an absolute pillock, a bloody fool – that’s what I want, I want you, the reader to take from this one lesson - warm up, stretch and warm down properly, hands up all of you who’ve heard yourselves say “The walk in is a warm up” or “It’s just a quick climb, I’ll be fine”, well take it from me, it’s important and I will be doing it next time I climb……in a sodding month.