So. The countdown begins. I’d be lying if I were to suggest that I am not filled with trepidation at the prospect of holes being drilled into my flesh and long alien-type tubes within tubes inserted, inquisition style. The various ripped and tortured bits of ragged tissue that comprise my left shoulder joint will be cajoled, weedled and simply forced to knit with one another. I’ll be beslung for quite some time … my arm released into the wild sometime in the middle of January, to be gently nursed back to full operational fitness. Finally I will be able to reach to my left to pick up a cup of tea without wincing. To lift my arm above my head … it will be splendid. Eventually.
I write this in the newly cleaned and organised dining room, currently serving me well as an office. The house in which I will be stuck for the next week at least is slowly becoming a home. Even Ginger, the recalcitrant mog himself, is starting to treat it like one. It’s starting to make sense. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to prepare it for a less-than-sinister future, though with regards the tools of my trade, letters stuck on pieces of plastic tip-tapped by my little fingers, well … I mostly type one-handed anyway, my left hand merely providing the odd index finger to the equation.
This morning I woke secure in the knowledge that, sometime on thursday, I would walk groggily into a car, be driven bumpily and painfully down the A23, and I’ll be strapped into my bed … hang on, that’s wrong … I’ll be gently wedged in so that I don’t lie down on my newly chopped rotator, the ginge will be locked out of my room, and I shall sleep the sleep of a man expecting trouble. Naturally, the best laid plans of the marvellous mechanical mouse party rarely run smooth. They moved it to Sunday.
It will be for the best.
In the meantime, several quests remain to be fulfilled; several dragons slain. Left-handed. If you recall, I’d had a couple of nets, completed a couple of supported practice sessions, and generally not got on too badly. I was feeling increasingly comfortable with my new style, though most everyone was amazed I could do it, and confident that I’d pull it off next season. Then reality bit. Perhaps because I was’t concentrating, or I wasn’t with it, or perhaps I was having a bad PD day. Whatever it was, I sucked. I felt awful, had no poise or balance, no foot movement, bat wafting airily (thou sadly not Goweresquely) and flinging across the line, a gate the size of the gates of Hercules between bat and pad …
Reader, I videoed it. At least I can watch it over and over again. Relive every painful, flat-footed swipe, every stiff swivel pull, every ‘defensive’ prod … ah, what days I shall have. Seriously, however, it says an awful lot to me. Apart from ‘you have no natural gift for this game’, it reminds me how important it is to concentrated on every aspect of your game. When I was a guitar player, I used to spend hours fine-tuning my picking technique, getting it ‘just so’. I was one of the fastest, cleanest players you could have found back in 90s England. And it was hard, hard work. Hours of graft. This is what I now need to do … while I’m slung. Get my technique absolutely perfect. The stance, the step and swing, the shot, the follow-through … each is currently flawed.
My stance is ok, but my eyes are not level enough, my bat is away from my body, and my legs aren’t flexed enough.
I barely have a step most of the time, and when I do, there’s no backswing. Which means I jab at the ball rather than swing through it … and I have no follow-through.
Apart from all these wee issues, I’m perfect! The fact that, in nets at least, I’m middling most balls and putting away a fair few makes me wonder what might happen if I practiced really hard, and intelligently … I think I might score a few runs. My plan, therefore, is to work on my top hand for the next six weeks. Then the sling’ll come off, and I can introduce the left hand to the party. The first net will be very tellling.
Already, my head’s in next year’s play.