Another game of football beckons this evening; something that I am really looking forward to. Or rather, I was. I do need to somehow mend my lower limbs first though, as after a hefty gym session yesterday (and despite a gentle one this morning), I am very much suffering from Concrete Leg Syndrome.

You won’t find any reference to Concrete Leg Syndrome in any of the medical books, because it’s a name I just made up. There are no visible contusions, no specific damage to the muscles or joints of the legs, nor is there any one area or part which is particularly painful. It’s just that in CLS, it does genuinely feel like your legs are made of concrete. Heavy, immobile (no, not the Italian centre forward), generally slow and a bit grumpy.

I’m not in agony, not even pain. To be honest, even ‘mild discomfort’ is going a bit OTT as a description. I’m simply just aware that my legs appear to be made of concrete at the moment.

Because CLS isn’t actually a thing, there’s also no real treatment for it. Sure, stretching helps a bit, and generally a little light exercise assists with easing the weightiness of the thighs.  I’ve also tried popping a couple of anti-inflammatories, but it seems that time is the only healer. And given that tonight’s game kicks off in about 6 hours, it’s something I don’t have a lot of. Later, I may slather my lower half (no, not all of it) with Deep Heat in a last ditch attempt to wake my legs up from their petrified stupor.

There may be advantages too, of course. It must surely be difficult for an opponent to injure a concrete leg, and if I get time to swing one of my mighty trunks backwards and then forwards again into the ball (and I get it on target), there’s likely to be no stopping it – even the net may be in danger. But 5-a-side relies mainly on speed and dexterity: attributes I was already running a little short of given my advanced years. CLS will likely only make things worse. Just call me The Statue.

Watch this space tomorrow, as I report back on the game and my personal experience of 40 minutes of high tempo, leg-dragging football.


I spotted this and it rang very true. We went for a walk this afternoon in the Constantia Green Belt: a beautiful Cape Town oasis full of invasive plants and white privilege ignoring the “Keep Dogs On Leads” signs.

Science indeed. I have done science for loads of years, and I can assure you that this is absolutely true. We wandered, beagle on lead, for over an hour. OK, so we stopped often for fun with the new camera (not mine) and rope swings, so we only managed a gentle 4½kms, but that’s basically all of my Christmas indulgences accounted for and now I can start planning for the New Year indulgences.

And then a 2 hour snooze on the 2nd should clear those calories too.


Me, banging out a second consecutive “30+ minute workout at 80%+ of maximum heart rate”:

Ha! This used to be difficult!

Me, a few hours after banging out a second consecutive “30+ minute workout at 80%+ of maximum heart rate”:

Why… why does everything hurt so very much?

Feeling Strong*. Feeling Good*.


* effects may be temporary.

Five fine

After my problems with my knee at the beginning of the year (and then throughout the rest of the year, if we’re being completely honest), I’ve been working hard to put things right.

I’m happy to say that it’s paying off.

Some decent weight loss (still a work in progress), a huge improvement in fitness (also ongoing) and, this last weekend, a 5km run. Walking isn’t an issue, but that constant impact on the knee as one runs isn’t good. 5km might not sound like much, but given that I wasn’t sure that I’d ever be able to run again, it was huge.

I was dragged out to try a flat parkrun on the weekend and – without wanting to blow my own trumpet – I smashed it. No knee issues whatsoever, and I finished feeling that I could have gone faster or further if I’d wanted to.


Sure, a little muscle stiffness here and there the next day, but nothing terrible. And so now I’m moving straight onto the next hurdle: a game of football on Tuesday evening. Running apparently isn’t an issue, but that constant impact on the knee as one plays football isn’t good. A game of football on Tuesday evening might not sound like much, but given that I wasn’t sure that I’d ever be able to play a game of football again, it will be huge.

Hold thumbs for great news on Wednesday morning.

Health update

Following promises made in the post about yesterday’s Run In The Sun, I’d like to inform readers that the only bits of me that are sore are all of them.

But it’s a “good sore”, as if my body is grudgingly acknowledging that it needed a bit of a push to move it towards some greater degree of fitness.

Younger readers may not appreciate my concern that tomorrow morning, being a critical 48 hours on from the exercise in question, may be a whole different story.