Someone in the office has got “that-nasty-bug-that’s-going-around” – and you don’t want it.
Or you’re in the (inevitable) queue in the Co Op waiting to pay and you’re trying to box clever and avoid the shop assistant who sneezes into her hand (“Att-CHA! ‘Scuse me”) then gives you your change – from the same hand!
Or maybe someone’s turned up at your Guerrillas class coughing away but still acting like a trooper and expecting a pat on the back for toughing it out.
Or maybe a sympathy-seeking friend’s put on FaceBook that they’ve got “a little poorly girl” who’s had to stay off school today. Aw, bless – NOT!
Or is it simply a dilemma of having to shake someone’s hand when they’ve obviously got a cold?
If you do get this bug, it’s going to completely ruin your training plans because if it’s serious enough you simply can’t exercise – and you know it.
It’s not as you actually dislike any of these people!
But you feel like you have to choose between being polite – or staying healthy.
Solutions regarding the workmate (who by now is coughing so hard she’s had to terminate a phone conversation) include being the Office Good Samaritan & offering cough mixture, surface wipes, throat sweets etc and/or making sure you use your hand sanitizer religiously.
And if you do shake hands with Mr/Ms “I’m-so-full-of-flu”, just hightail it to the Ladies’ and wash your hands thoroughly ASAP!
I speak as one who’s so far been off exercise for a week with lungs full of phlegm – not good.
But then I’ve stayed away from Guerrillas so it doesn’t spread there – and in the office I scrupulously wipe down my workstation and the phone with antibacterial wipes when I finish work.
That’s not to say I haven’t been caught out!
So if you don’t want to pass on your germs then good advice includes: the “Dracula” sneeze into your sleeve and, if required to shake hands, telling the person you’d rather not because you don’t want to infect them.
(BTW there’s more colds and flu prevention advice for athletes here)
And regarding exercise, I usually deploy the “neck check” when deciding whether or not to go ahead (ie if all of your symptoms are above the neck you’re usually good to go, but still use some common sense).
Unfortunately for me, and as said already, that means I’m off until this chest clears.
How does a football club manager deal with injury – when it’s his own?
Meet Richard Ibbs, 32, who is in charge of AC Milton.
Now it’s not as if he’s got access to the medical support and physiotherapy enjoyed by the likes of David Beckham, but that’s no reflection on his dedication to his club.
Rich sustained his injury whilst helping out his men.
“Basically didn’t have enough players to start the game with, we only had ten players so I decided to help the lads out and actually play,” he explained.
“So during the course of the game I was passing the ball with my left foot and a defender came through my standing right knee – and as they’ve taken it straight through, that’s literally thrown me in the air and snapped my patellar tendon.”
He wasn’t prepared for the pain!
“It felt like somebody had literally blown my leg off. It felt like I’d stood on a landmine or something like that – that’s the only thing that I could imagine it would feel like. The whole of the bottom of my leg felt like it was hanging off.”
After a disagreement with the referee about exactly how he was to leave the pitch, he ended-up having to be “manhandled” off by his team members, then taken to hospital.
Initially Rich thought he’d “just sprained something” but ended up undergoing surgery to replace his kneecap and stitch back his tendon, because there was a five-to-six centimetre gap between the ends of it.
He’ll be in a leg splint for four weeks, then in a brace with restricted movement for six more – and that’s before he even starts physio on the leg.
“If I was a tradesman, you’d be talking 10 weeks off work. Because I do have an office-based job, hopefully, I can possibly even start work from home maybe in four weeks, but it’s going to be quite a substantial amount of time off work.”
In the short-term, those 10 weeks will compromise pre-season training, and in the long-term, Rich has to come to terms with some very harsh realities.
“I’m not going to deny it, it’s almost made me cry while I was in hospital when they said to me after the ultrasound, you know, ‘You’re probably not going to play football again’ or ‘You’re very stupid if you decide to play football again at a competitive level’.”
Rich has taken his side to Sunday Coors Premier League from the Third Division.
He’s keen stress his club is a work-in-progress – ” a group of friends who are trying to evolve a community football team that everybody can be proud of”.
I’ve got a hunch that no injury’s going to get in the way of this goal.