This spring I decided to start playing indoor soccer. I had played in the informal Microsoft outdoor lunchtime games a few years ago, but decided to do something different because a) it's hard to find time in the middle of the day, b) my group ride is Tue/Thu evenings, and iii) I might get wet and stuff.

I needed to do something other than cycling because cycling specialists have trouble running to save their lives and have the bone density of 75 year old grandmothers.

So, I signed up for the "over 40" league at Arena Sports in Redmond. We play on Sunday nights.

The first few weeks were hard. My atrophied soccer skills were complimented by my disused running muscles and my untrained anaerobic system, but over time I started to make progress in all those areas, and the day at which I could actually walk without wincing became Monday rather than Thursday. I did get a rather spectacular skinned knee, and have therefore become a devotee of Tegaderm, a truly wondrous wound dressing (Seriously, it's great stuff).

About 10 days ago, I scored two goals (one floater, one hard shot with a move before hand (I played defender for years, and my skill with "moves" is fairly limited)). I also left the field with Grade 1 Turf Toe, which was notably painful at the time. By Sunday, it was healed well enough that I could show with only a moderate lack of judgement, to play a double header. The games have blurred together, but both were against the top teams in the league and both featured some pretty skillfull players. Playing defense, I blocked one shot with my left leg, leaving a nice imprint of the ball across my knee. And I blocked another killer hard shot with my upper right chest, leaving me with...

Longtime readers (Hi George and Fred) have probably figured it out already...

Cracked rib.

To go with #2 and #3. #1 is not chronicled yet, but involves people asking me if I was alright from a chairlift and lots of animated waving by me.

This one - which I'm considering naming "Stanley" - is still in the "hurting more each day" phase, so it's not clear how it will compare to the others in terms of overall pain. Given how much it hurt to get out of bed today, I'd have to say I fancy its chances. I am happy that this is in a different place than the last two so the experience will be different.

The *real* question is whether this is the "reason" (ie "excuse") I drop off of the waiting list for RAMROD.

I'm going to ride 7 hills on Monday, doing a distant but undoubtably far whinier imitation of Tyler Hamilton in the 2003 Tour. The smart money is on the "7 hills" variant rather than the "11 hills" version, though some savvy betters have chosen "4 hills".

To make it easier to track my rib-cracking antics (a pretty good name for a rock band), I've added the "CrackedRib" tag to my blog.

Enjoy.