11/18/10

Anatomy of a Roddick

     As mentioned previously and explained sufficiently, a roddick is the term used in the Isner Scoring Method (ISM) for the need to postpone or cancel a prescheduled match. For any reason--injury, conflict, weather even. Last week's mahut ended 2-8 in Keck's favor to take it to 45-15 after six mahuts of the third match to be played by the ISM. J. Vita had recently lost his first Isner match, the second ever, to the same Mr. Keck by a score of 70-35, less worse than my previous defeat to Keck in the first ever Isner Match. During the 2-8 mahut, as I was rushing to the net after a first serve, I felt the plantar fascia pop a little. According to Wikipedia, The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the calcareous (heel bone) and extending along the sole of the foot towards the five toes. I surely felt it but at the time I was getting mouletted 0-7 by Keck and I was more concerned with avoiding the humiliation of that development. To refresh, a moulette is the french term for skunk. A mahut ending in 10-0 is a skunk and as a tribute to Nicolas Mahut, we use the french word. Vita had been mouletted in his Isner match and I shuttered at the thought. I never followed up with Joe immediately after his moulette, but I heard he was wrecked. He came back strong and actually took a few mahuts from Keck, but the start was so poor the inevitable loss to Keck happened a few mahuts later. He seemed changed when I talked to him recently and he's challenged Keck to a more traditional contest, but he will play ISM again one day, probably seeking revenge and, likely, successfully. I did win two of the last three to finish 8-2, even after I was suffering from plantar fasciitis.

     I limped through the night at home, even applying an ice pack at one point. When asked about how the match went by my youngest daughter, I lowly claimed, "Keck, 8-2. He's just tough girls. I think I even tweaked m'foot. I like playin' with guys better than me. Keck's like a machine. A tennis machine. What chagonna do?" All the girls gave my sympathetic nods and assured me that I was one of the best tennis players they'd ever seen. In person, anyway. The "one of" comment hurt, but I knew it was true. Now I was injured and beat. The pop seemed different. More sudden than a sore muscle. It tightened up my calf and howled in the morning. It was painful and it concerned me.

     After the internet helped me with my diagnosis and I began developing my rehabilitation plan, I was mainly trying to stay off the foot and creating reasons to sit. In a foolish act, two days after the injury I went to a Ray Wylie concert at the Granada in Dallas and stood by the stage the entire time. Never understood why the girl singers never came back out after the first two songs, but he only played Snake Farm once and his kid was playing a very blues/rock lead guitar. Lucas Hubbard, I think. His bass player was really good and Ray was excellent. The drummer made the show go very smoothly, lifting the audience when needed and shaking the noise when an important lyric came from the songwriter. Forget his name. Ray Wylie remembered, or made up, all the words and a full shiner bock was poured on me by a guy holding six in his hands. He apologized and offered me one of the remaining beers and we went back to watching the show. Hosted by Okra and attended by David Kent and John Kylie, the concert was worth the additional pain endured by my case of plantar fasciitis.

     Through the weekend I rested the injury, continuing a series of cold packs and keeping to a stretching regimen. Monday brought work shoes and further pain. Tuesday was worse (the morning!). Wednesday was scheduled for our seventh mahut of the Isner match. Keck, anxious to get closer to seventy, was surely anticipating a match. I had not let on that I was experiencing the level of discomfort that had me considering the use of a roddick. Early in the morning, I sent him the message. The foot ached after a brisk walk in to work, and I was confident with the decision. "roddick" I wrote on the title line, then explained my rationale for using one of the two roddicks allowed per match. The next day, after my continued rehabilitation efforts, my foot felt much better. It was a good use of a roddick. The plantar fascia is an important rubberband-like feature of your foot. Stretch your calfs and make sure you got arch supports. Painful if inflamed.