and it is funny that when it happened, i couldn't find any pictures that showed what i felt, where it hurt.
the first time i hurt my leg, it was the spring of 2011 and i was walking, briskly, down the hall at work. i thought i had a charlie horse in my leg (back of my left calf). i say "charlie horse" because it was a really bad cramp and i had never had a leg cramp. i just thought that was what people called a charlie horse. the pain intensified over the next hour or so and it took about 10 days before it went away. i could not put weight on my leg for about 3 to 4 of those days (i had a really bad limp). i stretched a lot, it seemed to be a natural reaction - stretching meaning flat foot and leaning into the wall, stretching my calf.
about 2 weeks later, about the time it healed, i was walking down the hall again and i felt it tighten. i stopped, stretched, but it was too late. it hurt. same cramp. again, hopped for about 3 days and in 2 weeks it was better.
the third time it happened, kendal was on my shoulders and i was running around in the living room in a circle. not "running" more than just briskly walking. this time, it snapped - loud. kendal and holly heard it and asked what it was. i nearly dropped him for wanting to drop to MY knees in pain. it felt like someone shot me in the back of the leg. this time, a few hours later, i went to the ER because i was worried i tore a tendon or something (i had no idea what was wrong, i just knew the pain was uber intense).
turns out - torn calf.
the ER doctor gave me crutches and told me to stay off it. crutches suck. the bruise came days later, just below the spot where it hurt. i went to an orthopedic doctor and he gave me a boot to wear for 2 weeks. next was PT. PT involved easy exercises to increase my flexibility and slowly build my strength. After two weeks, the exercising was ON! they put me on the bike, and put weights on my legs... the strength building was from my hips down to my toes! but, my calf got better. it's been 2 months now since i finished PT and i haven't had even the slightest pain in my calf. i'm happy about that too, because a torn calf is worse than childbirth before the epidural! :)