Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Soccer Doesn't Hurt People, People Who Play Soccer Do

In high school I played on our Football team, and those of us on the team considered ourselves to be the "tough guys" of the school. The other fall sport was soccer, and while nobody openly mocked the soccer players, there was kind of an unspoken acknowledgement that soccer was the sport of wimps.

Folks, above we have indisputable evidence that my friends and I were comfortable only in our conceit and misguided views. See that bone that bends down? Well, it isn't supposed to be doing that, which is why I ended up in the hospital with PD2 yesterday after she took a spill on the school soccer field.

Who knew? To be completely candid, I suppose I should have for starters. PD1 has been playing soccer for 5 years, and with each new season the girls get a little more physical. Now playing at the U14 level, her games have a fairly intense physicality that I had no idea existed on the soccer field.

This year is PD2's first in soccer. We wanted her to learn a sport since she previously had led a fairly unathletic life and needed to learn a little bit about rising to life's challenges. For a future fashion designing singer (where her interests really lie) she has played with spirit and while not the best player on her team, has won over her teammates with her enthusiasm and friendly nature. She also has been getting better. In fact, after Sunday's game, I congratulated her on her increased willingness to get in the fray and fight for the ball.


Yesterday in gym, she was playing a coed game, and made a move to steal the ball from a boy in her class. As you can see, it really didn't go so well.

All in all I was quite proud of how she handled everything. She was so stoic in the car as we drove over to the emergency room, that I held out hope that it was only a bad sprain. This hope was quickly dashed by the above posted x-ray which indicated a need to set the bone.

"Two seconds and done" became our motto for a while last night. PD2 knew the setting was going to hurt, but she grabbed on to the idea that the doctor would set the bone in two seconds and then be done. It gave her courage to get through it and see through the pain. So much so that she asked not to be "twighlighted" so that there would be no recovery time from the anesthetic and she could get right home. The doctor would have none it though and insisted that she go under.

"Two seconds and done". She kept saying it everytime fear began to take a hold, and before she knew what was going on, it was over.

So we're home today, and the soccer season is over for the next month or so. PD2 is disappointed, but this will pass faster than she thinks, and like everything else will make her stronger. I've told the story before about how she became so scared of lightening when we were on vacation in Rome that she threw up in the piazza where we were having dinner. Mrs. P used our San Peligreno to wash it down a near by drain. In short, she hadn't yet developed her ability to cope with fear. Or at least she didn't think she had.

The point is, I think PD2 surprised herself more than anyone else yesterday. She had a nasty little injury, but used her will power and good nature to find the means to get through it. There is a lesson for all of us in this. Life hands us setbacks, and painful lessons that we wouldn't wish on our enemies or friends in any circumstance. These problems can take almost any form with the only consistent trait being that they present us with a very clear choice between two options. We can either quit, or we can find our way through the pain and uncertainty and get to the other side where we will be stronger and more fit to fight on. We can receive hope and encouragement from our friends, but in the end it is a solo journey, and each of us must find our own way of coping.

PD2 fought through her challenge yesterday, and I couldn't be more proud of her, or more certain that she will be able to handle the problems that come her way in the future.Posted by Picasa

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