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Injured? No, I’m Not Injured

Murmurs from the Losers' Bracket Frank Cerabino 02-14-2024

Yes, I can play. 

What’s that? You think I might be injured?

Um, no I wouldn’t call it an “injury.” That’s being a little dramatic. Hyperbolic maybe. Injured? No. 

Let’s not jump to conclusions.

I’ve experienced something that – at its worst – might be considered  “injury-adjacent.” But it’s nothing, so, if you’re looking for a fourth, I can … What’s that? You heard I was on crutches?

Well, I wasn’t “on” them. Certainly, not since Tuesday. 

Yes, crutches have been in the general vicinity of my body for the past few days, but not because I need them. 

I’m just opting to use them while trying this new exercise drill where I vault around with them and take all the weight off one leg.

Why? Well, um, I just thought it would be fun to give one the nerves running down my right leg a little break. That’s all. Just having a little crutches fun. 

By the way, you’d be surprised at how many nerves there are in the human leg. There are three alone in the thigh. 

I had no idea until I started playing pickleball. It turns out that when you start to play pickleball in your 60s, you concurrently enroll in an extensive anatomy course without even realizing it.

Do you know what “meralgia paresthetica” is? I didn’t either until I started to play pickleball. 

Anyway, the important thing is that even at my recent low point, about 66.6 percent of the nerves in my right thigh have been fully operational. 

That’s great news if you do the math.

That’s more than half non-injured. If it were an election, “not injured” wins a landslide victory at 66.67 percent. Sure, it would be nice to be 100 percent, but only 20-year-olds and dictators operate at 100 percent. 

And let’s be honest, if you ever saw me play, even when I am 100 percent, I’m not 100 percent – if you know what I mean. 

So, you won’t even notice anything amiss if you invite me to play. I’ll be fully functional. Well, mostly. And I have a very stylish way of hobbling.

Question: Will there be lobs? 

Just wondering. That’s all. Sometimes, you play with somebody who has spidey senses about the mobility issues of an opponent, and the next thing you know, every ball hit at you is a lob.

I was just wondering if I would need to double up on the Voltaren gel before the game if I was going to be galumphing back to the baseline on every rally.

What’s that? You think I should not be playing. That I should be resting another week or so.

Are you a doctor? If you are, I’d like to get your phone number, especially if you’re an ortho. 

If not, you sound just like my wife. She tells me I might be addicted to pickleball just because I need to play twice a day. 

Imagine that! What nerve – and I’m not talking about the kind that emanates from the lumbar and sacral plexuses. 

I tell her, “It’s not an addiction. Addicts are powerless to reject behavior that they know isn’t in their best interest.”

I just reasonably need to play pickleball whether it’s rainy or sunny, hot or cold, and whether I’m 100 percent or 66.67 percent in 50 percent of my legs.

That’s not an addiction, is it? … Hey, where are you going? … Come back here … Does this mean you don’t want me for a 4th? … 

Before you go, do you mind handing me that crutch? 


Read past editions of Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket, including:

Frank Cerabino is a long-time columnist for the Palm Beach Post in Florida, a pickleball addict like the rest of us, and a newly published author. Check out Frank’s newly released book, I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction (available on Amazon and a great read (or gift!) for any pickleball player), for pickleball tips and laughs!

I Dink, Therefore I Am | Frank Cerabino


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