Posted by: johnsfbay | February 5, 2014

2 Years Later - Back Playing Soccer!

Hi everyone!

Just over two years ago I ruptured my left achilles playing my very first indoor soccer game at a local college class.  Most of my family and friends told me not to try again…I am 54 & hadn’t played outdoor soccer since I was 15…but I really loved playing the game, so I told them that I was going to try to play again no matter what it took!  Well…I’m back playing in the same college soccer class again, and loving every minute of it!

My recovery process probably could have been shorter, but I decided to take my time and really prepare my body for the dynamic movements soccer requires.   That meant working with a great personal trainer who initially kept my core strong (during the first 2 months after surgery) and then gradually started working on building back my calf, ankle and hamstring/quad strength.  By the end of the first year, my leg had pretty much recovered to where I was before the injury.  I decided to continue training the next year with flexibility, dynamic movements, running techniques & stretching routines before I started playing soccer again.

Having played soccer the last 4 weeks now (three one hour 7 on 7 games per week) I really believe that I am in better shape than before my injury.  The repaired tendon can perform quick turns & changes in direction, sprints, hard kicking, jumping and other dynamic moves.  Am I pretty sore after the games - yes, ankles and knees mostly.  Is it a good sore - absolutely - no injuries!

So unless you have a complication that prevents you from a full recovery, you can and will recover - it just takes time and lots of patience!  And don’t give up the sport that you injured your achilles in just because everyone tells you to - it may prevent you from having an awesome time sometime in the future!

Heal well everyone - slow and steady can be a winner!

P.S. If I rupture the right side, I’m not going to have surgery…thanks Norm!


Love this post. Don’t care too much for commercialized athlete worship. To me this is an athlete.

I couldn’t agree more with BOTH of you! :-)

But John, just how does a 54-year-old play soccer “at a local college class”? Is this like an adult member of the community auditing (or taking) a course at a local university, or what?

@bionic Thank you! After reading a lot of posts on this site during the first six months of my injury in 2012, I realized that there were a lot of people just like me out there. Doing the activities we love to do, and unfortunately having this achilles problem pull us away from what we loved doing. While genetics and age were probably the factors that caused my achilles injury, it doesn’t hurt to improve your chances next time, so the extra training seemed prudent! I feel like a kid again out there - it is awesome!

I love this update!

@norm Thanks norm. Long time no talk..I haven’t posted for a long while - 18 months actually! Yes, I’m taking an indoor soccer class at our local community college for a letter grade. We can take the class over again 4 times, so that means about 2 years of fun times await! The class is 85% male, 95% young students, and has a very tight group of latino kids that are teaching me a lot about passing and dribbling. The most satisfying time of my class was when they asked me how I was doing, and I said I was tired, sore and just trying to keep up with them. One of them turned to me and said, no we are trying to keep up with you! I remembered your comments about your volleyball games with the kids at that moment and laughed!

@Janis Thank you! Keep up the great progress on your recovery! And try to keep warm there in Pittsburg! We gave up all of our rain here in California this year, so that you all on the east coast could have snow, snow, snow!

This is great! And definitely gives me hope and the determination to play volleyball again. I’ve had my worries and I still have far more to go to get to where you are. But I will continue training so I can get there~~ Thanks for the positive post.

Great stuff, John, and don’t stop!

Not sure if I’ve shared two funny sorta-negative stories from my volleyball with the 20-something’s (in my 60s). Both from the same evening of indoor beach volleyball, IIRC.
(1) First time I dived for a ball, all 3 of my teammates rushed over to ask if I was OK!
(2) After the match, the teams line up at the net to shake hands. Mostly a chorus of “Nice game!” The guy at the back of the other team’s line is louder than most: “Nice game!” “Nice game!” “Nice game!” “Nice game, SIR!” ;-)

@skim92 You will definitely get back on the court! The 7-12 month phase is a nice one, as you can do a lot of fun things that you could before the injury. As you get closer to the year mark, you realize one day that the ankle feels pretty good! Enjoy getting the leg strong again, then train for the volleyball moves!

@norm I’m sure I’ll have lots of those stories too! I’m trying to look up the spanish word for “old pest” or “mosquito” for my nickname, as that is how I attack them when I play defense. Relentless, never giving up if they dribble past me, always watching the ball instead of their tricky footwork! I think they do think of me as a pest :)


I’ll take all the snow you’ll send me! (Til mid-March, anyway, then it’ll just make me mad).

Great to hear that you are doing so well at the two year mark! I can only hope to be where you are at that point. Best of luck on the pitch!

@kellygirl I’m sure you will be skateboarding away with your daughters long before your 2 year Ruptureversary, if you haven’t started already :) Good luck with your recovery…look forward to your one year post! Got my face in the way of the hard soccer shot on Friday at the CSM gym - at least it wasn’t my ankle hurting afterwards, just my jaw ;-)

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