Well, it was only a matter of time and a matter of stupidity before I would make my way back to the location of my injury...the Rockville Sportsplex. Last Friday, after 11 weeks of surgery, rehab, medical bills (oh yeah, I never touched on this disaster), and learning to chew food again, I pulled my blue jersey over my head and got in my car, returning to the field for the first time since the accident.
As I drove, a combination of excitement and fear filled my stomach, as I got the uneasy feeling like someone rising up the initial slope of a roller coaster. Should I be going back to play this soon? Should I be going back to play at all?
The doctor had informed me that my bone had not completely healed at this point, and was merely reconnected by a callous, one that does not have the strength that my original bone had. He suggested I not even consider playing any contact sports until February, if ever again, and explained that repairing a second break would not be as "easy" of a process. It would be a process that required grafting bone from my hip. YIKES.
So, why do I continue to drive? Why am I putting myself in a position where I could be forced to go through this unbearable process again?
It's hard to explain the force that was driving me, and I can only assume that someone who has had something stolen from them or maybe even lost a loved one could relate in some small way. This was something I loved doing. Something I looked forward to each and every week. Something I was good at, and getting better each and every week. And then I stopped doing it. Not because I wanted to, but because someone forced me to.
So, as I parked my car, and grabbed my gym back, I knew what physical danger stood in front of me. And I also knew what mental danger stood behind me. I needed to go back, prove to myself that no one could stop me from doing what I wanted but me. Not a doctor, not my family, and certainly not the guy who sent me to the hospital.
24 lbs. lighter...two rows of braces still on my jaws...11 weeks without practice or lifting...and terrified inside like a base jumper on the edge of a bridge, I threw myself into the game. I had come full circle, a slight detour, but I had made it back.
And wouldn't you know it...two sore quads prevented me from doing much of anything. God works in mysterious ways. I didn't even think about my jaw for most of the game, because I was too concerned with how to relieve the tightness in my legs. It forced me to run slower and limit the amount I could play. Apparently, whether I wanted them or not...I was given training wheels. Who cares, it's good to be back.