The gift of the sprained ankle

Sometimes you have to be hurt before you sit on the sidelines.

My outdoor soccer team decided this last summer that we would field a team for the indoor season.  We love doing this together and so off we go into a new adventure.

The morning of Game 3 I took an unexpected and tumbling trip down the basement stairs and landed in the emergency room, and left with four staples in my head.  I went to the game that night and watched from the bench.  I support my team no matter what.  Then on my first shift of Game 4 I got tangled with the opposing team’s keeper and hobbled off the field with a sprained ankle.

And so I am wondering what the Universe is telling me.  It might be about soccer, or just the phenomenon of noticing when it’s time to take to the sidelines for a bit.  A question from a couple of team mates startled me in the middle of Game 3: “are you in agony watching and not playing?”  As I reflect on this, I notice that I wasn’t in agony.  I didn’t even think of being in agony until it was mentioned.  I couldn’t do anything about it, so I just watched and enjoyed my team’s efforts.

I have a feeling that the agony, however, is setting in around this ankle.  Not only can I not play soccer for a while, I am required to keep it elevated.  I can’t be physically active.  I have to sit or lie down.  This could well drive me nuts.  It is not lost on me that also at risk, if I do not heal well, is skating, cross-country and downhill skiing.  I love winter and I consider not being able to do these things agony.

But I am curious about what windows might be opening.  One gal on my team has suggested I start doing other things to keep my fitness level up.  I could do weights, and she advises that combined with the weight I have lost I could get quite ripped!  There might be other physical activities that could serve as cross training for running and soccer, that might even improve my performance.  Beyond the physical, I can spend additional time writing and doing things I like around home.  I can find a balance of these things.  Nothing is lost when I notice that other things are gained – I just have to be open to finding them.

So the conscious choice I make is to be on the sidelines enjoying my team’s games and friendship.  The other choice I make is to receive the gift of the sprained ankle.  I see opportunities to try new physical activities and reacquaint myself with quiet things to do at home and work.  I am curious about other places where I need to step back into the sidelines and let others have a turn.

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