Right then. Despite still being incredibly stiff two days on from the first pre-season training session I've done something really silly and ordered a gumshield...or a mouthguard as it now appears to be called (how many other things have changed since I last played, I wonder). I've ordered the "Shock Doctor" and I've no idea whether it's any good. However, by ordering it I am making a statement of intent that I'm going to try to get down to training at least once a week for the next few weeks, so hopefully the Shock Doctor will serve its purpose.
That a gumshield/mouthguard is necessary was highlighted this week by the story of a Rugby League player in Australia who played for 15 weeks without knowing an opponent's tooth was buried in his forehead after a clash of heads. He'd had the wound stitched up but afterward suffered an eye infection and complained of shooting pains in his head and of feeling lethargic, and a visit to his doctor revealed the tooth still imbedded in his head.
My question is this: Didn't the opponent miss his tooth?
So, unless I'm prepared to have my teeth embedded in someone's scalp, the Shock Doctor is necessary to get me through pre-season. If I do manage to survive, I'll then make a decision as to whether my body's up to actually playing, but if you wish to influence my decision by telling me to stop being so pathetic or to warn me of my inevitable doom then please vote in the poll I've set up in the left-hand column.