Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60mm — 1/20 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2000 — map & image data — nearby photos
( actually one of those “plasma orb light” toys )
I guess this gets chalked up in the “it sucks getting old” column. Last night while playing some light “livingroom soccer” with Anthony, during a minor little sideways move I heard a loud pop and sensed what felt like a slap to my left calf. Then pain.
It seems that the soleus ripped. It's a big muscle in the calf next to the bone, under the bigger muscle that gives the calf its shape. It's sort of useful for tangential physical activities like “standing”, “walking”, and “bicycle riding”.
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 720 — map & image data — nearby photos
for a few weeks
The sound was eerily light and airy, just like the pop sound you'd make with your mouth when trying to imitate the sound of a champagne cork. The thought sends shivers up my spine.
The various calf muscles are generally used to extend the foot (e.g. to stand up on your tippy toes) and keep balance as you stand, but I don't feel pain in those situations. Rather, when returning back down after getting up on my toes, I get a sharp mother-of-all-muscle-cramp pains just before my heel hits the ground again. So, whatever muscle ripped seems to be involved in stabilizing the foot in that situation.
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/8, ISO 5000 — map & image data — nearby photos
somehow this image seems appropriate
I'm really at a loss to understand how this happened... my movement at the time was mild compared to any number of movements encountered throughout any normal day, much less the intense stuff I often do at the gym or on the bicycle. It reminds me of the time decades ago when one of my teeth cracked in half while eating french fries. The doc said that when the tooth has a crack and is ready to go, it goes, and you could be eating pudding at the time.
I don't know whether this is a symptom of whatever caused the tear, or a result of the tear, but since the incident, all the muscles in the calf seem a bit unstable, with lots of involuntary twitching and the occasional sudden full-calf cramp that very much gets my full and immediate attention.
Very oddly (to me), the whole calf is swollen to 1½ times its normal size, which is large to begin with since I do a lot of cycling. There's no discoloration or general pain, but it's puffy like a balloon filled with water. Strange.
I just wish there were something I could learn from this (besides “it sucks getting old”) so that I could take steps so that it doesn't happen in the future, but at this point it feels totally random and unrelated to any action I have taken or should have taken.
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 4000 — image data
The tear is high up, almost right behind the knee, but it's unrelated to the knee, so that's good. I've heard of too many folks my age hurting their ACL or have other knee issues. This injury doesn't preclude me from actually hurting my knee, but lowers the chance of it happening any time soon because I'm out of action for the next few weeks. Sigh.
I consulted with therapist Kentaro Kataoka (seen on my blog various times, most recently here), who kindly came over at 11pm(!) to check me out. He said it's a mild tear, and that if I were a college rugby player with an important game the next day, I'd play. Not being a rugby player, nor college aged, I'll rest. But hey, Anthony and I called off our “livingroom soccer” game with me leading 2-1, so I've got that going for me.
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/30 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image data — nearby photos
always seems to be somewhere ahead