That was the question.
Today there are answers. I played tennis and didn’t feel a thing … until I got off the tennis court. Odd how that is, just sucking up what normally seems bothersome to get on with life.
A former student, Frantisek, texted me a few weeks ago, asking how my knee was (we’d met almost a year ago for six weeks for lessons on sports-related English: focus on tennis). Today I got out there: nice clay courts at a club overlooking the Vltava River. Franta teaches tennis there, and many of his clients are English speakers. Franta’s an excellent player: hard shots, strong serve, gets to just about everything.
I started out with baseline shots, moving right and left just enough to see how lateral movement taxed the knee. Okay, that worked. Then I moved up to the net, slowly, getting in position and not darting one way or the other. That felt fine, too.
So being me, I decided to see if game-play speed would do anything bad to the knee (or my back, my shoulder, ankles, wrist … all the things I’ve twists into pretzels over the years). I played smart, not chasing too much, or twisting to make unusual shots. The result was better than I expected, because often just walking down the street I feel the knee sending out pulsing pain.
While I lost a set 6 games to 2, I’m happy with the effort, the play, the knee strength, and my overall conditioning. More tennis to come!
(photos do not show actual tennis play)