Monday, June 03, 2013

on getting stronger.

in retrospect...going straight from the couch to the soccer field may not have been the best strategy.  but i can't pretend that i've ever been something other than impulsive.

i told my team mates to put me down as a sub.  i wasn't sure when i would be able to play again and i wasn't sure what my body would even allow me to do.  i have been out of the sport for a good 3 months...and on the couch for the last 25 days.  but my body was begging me to do something.  anything.  just get up.  move.

my mind and heart, however were not quite there.

they lagged behind...

they were all,

"but we have been through a thing.  and we need the break.  we deserve a break."

our team captain (and my sweet friend) shot me a text saturday morning.

"game tomorrow at 6.  want to sub in?"

i thought for a second...

my head and heart having a substantial inner argument with my body...

and replied,

"i can try."

she said, "yay!!!  we will make sure you take it easy."

i made sure to be honest.  heaven forbid these people...these team mates...these friends actually rely on me.

"i have no idea what i'll be able to do, to be honest.  but i have to start somewhere."

yesterday...(the day of the game)...i went to church (against my will); took the kids to ihop while chad made announcements at the next service (that new french toast commercial had been calling out to me); and then declared that i was going to lay down for just a minute to rest and read my book.  3 hours later...i woke up.  i looked at the clock, like it was a ticking time bomb.  4:00.  good lord.  i only have 2 hours till the start of the game and i have yet to even see if i can run without doubling over.

i lay there until mind and heart doing their absolute best at trying to talk me out of showing up for the game.  i had my text all planned out.

"i'm really sorry.  i thought i'd be ready...but i'm just not.  i need more time."

and i knew...without a shadow of a doubt that my text would be received well.  after all...i have been through a thing.

but my body just wouldn't let me do it.  i knew the truth.  it's not gonna get any easier.  even though i am still doctor had cleared me to play.  i was cleared to "resume" all normal activity.  like...ok...this whole thing is done with and you can just pop on back to your normal life. i discovered on the soccer field last just doesn't work that way.

i went into my room...dug to the bottom of my dresser drawer and located my uniform.

clarkson.  number 8.

that seemed like a lifetime ago.

it was a short lifetime.  but it was a lifetime.  my baby's lifetime.

i put it on without thinking.  if i thought about it...i would fold it right back up and reach for the sweat pants.  and that wasn't gonna help anybody.

i went through the motions.  fastening my shin guards and ankle brace.  slipping my feet into the sambas that i once loved to lace.  packing my bag with extra pads in case all the running caused me to bleed heavily.  filling the water bottle with cold water.

the hardest part was walking into the room were the kids were... and watching their eyes adjust to that version of my "old" self and saying, "MOM!!!  ARE YOU GONNA PLAY SOCCER????"  i could only imagine what they were thinking.  "no way.  you've been sleeping for a month.  this is gonna be a disaster."  but then i realized...those were just my thoughts.  ok...and maybe chase's.  he did sit down next to me and say..."i'll pray for you."  followed by something like, "don't break anything."


i walked into the building and luckily avoided the staff asking me where i'd been?  my entire team trickled in and no one even said anything stupid.  i say this...because i am notorious for saying stupid things in these sorts of situations.  no one ignored the situation.  but they didn't get all weird and uncomfortable...making me feel equally weird and uncomfortable either.  they were perfect.

they told me that i was only allowed to play 2 minute get my feet wet again.  and it wasn't in a "you're so out of shape that you are going to humiliate us" was in a "we know what you've been through and whatever you can do is ok and we are here to support you and take care of you" way.  and that was a relief.  no one was expecting anything.  they were just glad i was there.

soccer was something that brought me such satisfaction and joy before.  and i hoped it would do so again.  however...when i took my place on the field...i realized,

"my heart is not here."

i was up against a girl that was so fast and quick that i probably wouldn't have beaten her when i was at my best this time last year...scoring hat tricks and connecting assists and never tiring.  although i was never some soccer superstar...i at least made a difference in the game. but last night...when i was running to try to win a pass down the line...being chased (and caught) by this girl who had absolutely no idea who i was...all i could think was...

"who even cares!  why am i here???  beat me to the ball!!  i don't care!  i'll lay a red carpet out for you to score a goal.  this means nothing.  my baby just died."

used to...i would have to be called off the field.  used to...nothing mattered to me more than bringing it out there.  nothing mattered to me more than scoring and making great passes and performing to the best of my ability.  it made me happy.  it made me satisfied.

i felt like a porcelain doll last night.  i felt like i was two seconds from shattering all over the field.

and nothing about that made me happy.  nothing about that made me satisfied.

 i was just...



when i got home...and chad asked,

"how do you feel?"

i had to reply,

"supported." hard as that game was for me...there was joy to be found there.  every member of my team had my back.  they didn't care how i performed.  my worth was not in what i could or couldn't do.  my worth was in "who" i was.  they would not let me go against the "linebacker" on the other team.  they wouldn't let me get too tired.  they wouldn't let me stay out there too long.  they were watching me closely.  not because they cared what i contributed to the game...but because they cared about how i was.  they cared about my heart and my body.  they knew me...and they knew where i was.  and if my heart wasn't in it...that was ok.  and they would be patient with me.  and they would teach me to be patient with myself.


i now view myself like a muscle in the body.

you tear it order for it to come back stronger.

last night...i was emotionally and physically torn down.  and i let it happen.  i came home...took a shower...and went to bed.  i went to bed sad...dissatisfied...frustrated...hopeless that i would ever feel "good" again.

but when i woke up this morning...

i felt a little bit stronger.

i made myself get up.  and it was different this time.  because my heart wanted to get up.  i went to the y.  i tried a new body pump class.  sure.  i used the lightest weights.  i did a fraction of what i would have done 3 months ago.  but i felt strong.  and i didn't let myself quit when it got hard.  and when i walked out of the front doors into the sun...

i knew that i had come back a little stronger.

and with a little more hope.

and something about that made me smile.

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