Five tips for a fading five-a-side player

No matter how often I hit the gym, or go for a bike ride, or brave the elements to go for a run…..

….nothing – ever – prepares me for the aftermath of a grueling game of 5-a-side football.

Why does it hurt so much?

I could do a triathlon every week (no I couldn’t) but I’d still ache like hell if I played just one hour of football; twisting and turning and trying to sprint on a little fives pitch.

And these days, it’s not only the next day that it hurts. I played a game last week – my first in about six months – and I was still groaning a full 48hrs later. I had a bath, stretched (well, tried to…) and rested, but it still took me three full days to feel normal again.

“Normal”

My legs get the worst of it. I wake up the next morning barely able to lift them out of bed. They do get better as the day goes on….but then I go to sleep again and when I wake up the next morning, they’re even worse.

My back aches too. My hips hurt. The squidgy bit just above the hips (that isn’t even supposed to be there in the first place!) is achey too.

Is this age? Or is this just what being a dad is?

Or……is my body finally telling me to stop trying to be what I will never, ever be and just restrict myself to the odd brisk walk?

Well, maybe not….

Joanne Groves, an educator, author and exercise trainer based in Wimbledon and with 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry, tells me there may be life in the old dog yet!

Joanne Groves is an exercise trainer, educator, mentor, presenter, stand-up comedian and actress!!

“The reason for the soreness is due to a couple of factors”, Joanne told me.

(Booze and dirty food…?)

“It’s a lack of specific preparation, and therefore a lack of conditioning” she said. “The soreness is often described as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and can leave you feeling tight and not wanting to move”.

So how do I prepare for a game so that I don’t feel like a 90 yr old man the next day?

Five tips for five-a-side recovery

1) Keep moving! You may not feel like you want to move but this will keep blood flowing.

2) Take a relaxing bath or cold shower, giving you the opportunity to rest.

3) Massage. Who doesn’t love a little skin touch? This does not have to be painful as a gentle message will stimulate blood flow.

4) Compressed clothing – again, this will increase blood flow, adding recovery.

5) Make sure your training better matches your movement goal, and you will soon find your conditioning improves reducing the symptoms.

So there we go; it’s really not that complicated! And I fully intend to give it a try, if it means prolonging what has always been an eventful, if perhaps modest, career in football.

And you should too!

For more specific details on how to improve your conditioning, you can contact
jo@joannegroves.com for one to one or online programming.

Chickenpox

A couple of weeks ago, we took Marley out to get chickenpox.

Sound harsh?

Well, yes, I suppose it is a bit….but we had actually been due to visit his chickenpox-ridden cousin anyway, even before we found out he was right in the middle of the most contagious phase.

We basically came to the conclusion that Marley – now that he is 2 and a half – is at as good an age as any to get the virus, so we took our chances.

It began about two weeks after that visit for Marley. And he was fine for the first couple of days; in good spirits and as happy as usual, no sign at all there was anything wrong except for a couple of little spots.

Monday and Tuesday were much the same, a few more spots maybe, but he was still pretty content and although he wasn’t allowed to go in to nursery he was more-or-less the same us usual.

But then there was Wednesday….

Marley was up most of the night – so WE were up most of the night.

We dabbed at his pox with calamine lotion regularly, we gave him anti-histamine to try and help with the itchiness. (One funny Marley Moment was when he made a funny face after having his medicine, so my wife asked him if he liked it and he replied: “it’s not the best!”)

We also plied him with about as much Calpol as it’s legal to give a toddler, but still he was boiling hot.

He was grumpy as hell because he was so incredibly itchy, rolling around like a dog to try and itch the pox on his back.

Basically, all night long, he was just miserable.

So in the morning, I escaped to go to work (I had a webinar I had to run and couldn’t get out of it – I promise!) but I was getting regular WhatsApp updates from home.

“He’s really uncomfortable and sad.”

“He’s miserable.”

“He didn’t eat breakfast and then he wanted porridge for lunch….and then he didn’t eat it.”

And when I got home, he was so fed up with it that he ended up just slumped over the coffee table with his head in his hands, wailing: “I’VE GOT CHICKEN POX!!

And still he itched….

We tried to find other reliefs for him. We got some gel that’s supposed to help, and we even gave him an oat bath – the aftermath of which reminded me of the end of an especially heavy night on the sauce….

Ultimately, it’s really hard to know what works and what doesn’t for chickenpox. Thankfully, by the time Thursday morning came round he had started to feel a little bit better.

The itching had relented. The pox went from being little red itchy things to larger crusty scabby ones (sorry for that little detail).

And after another oat bath – strained oats this time, after advice from friends on how to avoid a pukey-looking bath – he slowly got back to his normal self.

Chickenpox – check!

Another milestone reached for Marley….time to dance on the table.

Halloween hilarity

I’m not a big believer in the supernatural – but this Halloween week has certainly produced some unusual and hilarious moments.

First of all, I went to a Halloween party. On a Tuesday night.

A TUESDAY NIGHT!

The abnormality of this was probably summed up best by a good friend of mine – a teacher – who sent me a message to let me know that his wife (also a teacher) had asked: “who the f**k does he know who throws a party on a Tuesday night?”

Well, it’s a good question. And the answer is Lady Wimbledon, an unbelievably well-connected and gregarious member of the South West London community who has a reputation for throwing awesome parties.

And this was no exception – you can read all about it here.

The rest of the week contained a number of other spooky circumstances and ghoulish goings-on, with Marley was at his hilarious best.

Here are a few of this week’s other highlights:

5) Bobo’s bum

We were sitting on the sofa one evening, Marley was playing with his toy cars on the floor. He stood up and approached the sofa to stroke our cat (Bo, or Bobo) and as he did so he told us: “Bobo has a nice bum……but we shouldn’t touch it”

He is almost certainly remembering a time where he did, indeed, touch it.

Anyone who has met our cat will understand when I say I don’t think he’ll be making that mistake again in a hurry.

4) Pussy…

I was carrying him up the road on our way to his music class, and he spotted a little dog on the other side of the street. So he shouted out: “DOGGY!”

I asked him: “what do you think the doggy’s name might be?” and was a little surprised when he told me:

“Pussy!”

We moved on very quickly after that. I thought I might get in trouble if he was heard shouting that word out across the street….

3) Bitey McBiteface

I may have been the one dressed as a werewolf this week, but it was Marley who was getting in trouble for being a bit too vigorous with his teeth.

While visiting his cousins in Surrey, I’d felt a sharp pain in my leg as he passed by. And then a few days later I felt that same, distinctive toothy agony, this time in my shoulder just a few seconds after he had screamed: “I’M GOING TO EAT YOU!”

There were tears. And not just mine…

2) Lady in red

The day before Halloween, and while I was out, Marley had been lying on my side of the bed as Mummy had read him a story. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, he frantically scrambled over and climbed on to Mummy, holding on for dear life.

When she asked him what was wrong, he replied: “There’s a red lady there” and pointed to where he had just been sitting.

Needless to say, Mummy was absolutely terrified!

1) Why are pirates called pirates? They just ARRRRRR

After learning about pirates at nursery this week, and having his face painted as one, he must have had them on his mind.

As I pushed him along in his buggy this morning, we walked past an (admittedly fairly piratey-looking) older lady, and he shouted out:

“PIRATE – AHOY THERRRRRE”

Shiver me timbers – I do love my little pirate!!