Sports Injuries and Old Age Arthritis
I tend believe sports injuries and old age injuries have a direct relationship.
In my case it is a stiff and erect back.
It started with severe back pain while I was on 24/7 routine work of the internship.
Shortwave therapy and warm bath got me out of trouble but stiffness remained.
It stood good for me when I was working abroad.
I never bent my back to anybody especially in front of the Officers of the Immigration.
If somebody checks me a lot and delayed my entry, I used ask them what's the problem, do I have to call my lawyer.
This was before LTTE and I learned to tone my aggression drastically after the emergence of LTTE, fearing incarceration for no fault of mine but simple suspicion as an undesirable element.
That is the White man's and White woman's mentality Trump and Hillary both included.
If not for Mandela we would be treated in the same manner under white domination.
Having said that we would not have had cricket, railways, roadways, system of organized education and universities, botanical gardens and many more.
They only neglected our tanks and paddy cultivation by default.
Coming back to my stiff back it was all due to long jump and hop step and jump I practised.
Now the backache comes even I lift over 5 kilos.
I used to jump a pit prepared for under sixteen when I was just 14 and land on the edge or on the ground hurting my back (not on the sand pit) literally.
These pits were prepared on arbitrary standards then, and I learned to skip the landing plank and gradually increase my approach to the pit.
Mind you there was no coach but I always came first except on one occasion where one guy with a forged birth certificate (he was over the real age limit) beat me.
I grew fast and I was able to beat him with my physical age catching up with him.
I was lucky I had a late puberty and I put on one inch in the first year of my life in the university.
But I had a big problem, (I was the third youngest in my batch).
Good old days we used to work on British Standards in inches and pounds and Ceylon changed to French metric system.
I knew the conversion but the metric system was bit ahead or high for my growth and I used to land on the edge of the pit which was set for National Standards, if I missed my step at the landing board.
As a way of improving my jump I used equate 3 feet with one meter.
That was the reason for aggravating my back injury.
I probably had a stress fracture which I never knew or checked with a X-ray.
I had no problem with the ong jump, it was only the hop step and jump that landed me in trouble.
Anyway over the course of the first year I had consideable improvement and I was happy to take the second place in hop step and jump, if there was a guy who was better than me.
What matteed to me was to try the second place if not first and land within the first three by default.
This was the time Nirmal Dissanayake (National record holder) and a guy who held (I think he was one Perera- I forget his Christian name) 400 meters Nationa Record were in the University.
Coming back to feet and and meters, my maximum stamina was 200 yards not 200 meters.
I was very bad at 400 yards.
Any guy can beat me at the last few seconds (both in 100 and 200 but especially 200).
I did not know the glycogen storage in my legs was built to last 200 yards, the most, from young age (feet not yards).
That was my handicap!
There was no sports medicine then and the Oxford Textbook of Medicine had only five pages on sports medicine.
When I was teaching atherosclerosis (my pet subject) lately, I discovered that fact not in a medical text somewhere else, which I cannot remember.
To close this sports entry, I must relate a story.
How to be a good sportsman.
In my final year, in the Inter Faculty Sports Meet (I assured the hockey win by beating formidable Engineering Faculty with my last goal in my sports career) I wanted prove that the administration made a big mistake of not including me in the University Athletic Team (it was some sinister operation by two guys one from Arts Faculty and the from Science Faculty).
I took the science faculty guy head on and beat him on both 100 and 200 meters and long jump.
He was supposed to be a public school record holder.
By the way, I was at my peak and they were my best performances after stopping smoking for two years.
I continued to smoke but managed to stop it in England.
The beer and wine I never stopped but only sparingly in UK compared to my indulgence under N.M.Perera's regime (We used to call him Rere RA, affectionately).
Coming back to hop step and jump, I calculate and do my best jump on the first go when my glycogen is at its peak.
The guy I am relating is a completely different guy.
And I always ask to jump before the other contenders so that I have no mental barrier to better another guy's performance.
Sure enough, my first jump was my best performance in all my life and even I was surprised.
This event was prerequisite to getting a place (who wins this event with the required standard would go) to go to Russia's Youth Athlete (University) Meet.
The guy was almost selected (I did not know him) but he had to show his potential in this event.
He missed his foot in the first jump on the plank, a foul jump.
I skipped the second jump.
His second was a foul jump.
There was a real contest now.
I decided to go for the third jump and better my performance.
It was a good jump but two inches less of my first.
I approached the guy and ask him whether I could help him.
He never expected my gesture but said OK.
I told him my jump was a freak and he is a better jumper than me.
I also asked him whether he wants to go to Russia.
He was affirmative.
I said I do not wish to go to Russia and if it was England I would have considered it a fair deal.
I told him he should not foul his third jump.
I was watching him, the previous jumps and knew his mistakes.
I told him all what he has to is to qualify first and then beat me on the last three (extra) attempts.
We measured his steps to the landing plank and I kept six inches of allowance so that he does not make a third foul jump.
He agreed and made his third attempt which was about six inches less of my mark and was not foul.
I shook his hand and said, I am going to skip all the extra attempts and it is time for him to beat me with his best jump.
Fourth jump was foul.
Fifth was few inches below mine.
With the final jump coming he was almost exhausted.
I told him 'You can do it' but do not make it a foul and I checked his approach and got all round him including me to cheer him up with a 'Come On'.
I was very happy in his final jump he cleared my mark by six inches.
He went to Russia and was out in the first round which he never told anybody.
Incidentally we never made good friends and I left the university soon after.