June 14th, 2009
Long before I ever skied I played soccer and although my days of soccer are few and far between now but every summer co-ed soccer kicks off in Ketchum.
I have yet to miss a summer much to the dismay of many who know me. Co-ed league is especially dangerous simply because of the 100% varying degrees of skill level. Not to mention the fact that men in their 30-somethings hate being dribbled around by a girl in her 20-somethings or even worse, having the ball take from them. I have had my fair share of elbows to the head, unsafe slide-tackles, and shoves to the pavement yet I have not been seriously injured playing soccer since the 8th grade. I suppose it was my turn for a wake up call.
In the first five minutes of the first half of my first game of the season I went in for a slide tackle, a safe one, and stuck my arm out at a weird angle which resulted in the hyperextension of my elbow. The second I did it I knew something was wrong and I knew it could be bad. I finished the half and by then the adrenaline had worn off and I was in serious pain. A wiser and more stubborn friend of mine made me go to the ER, one of my least favorite places, for x-rays. In the ER room next to me was another co-ed casualty, albeit a much worse one, a blown out ACL. The ER doc didn’t appear to have any personality that I could see and placed me in an awkward cast and told me not to move it for at least a week. I immediately called PTs and orthopedists more knowledgeable on the subject and the cast went in to the dumpster outside the ER. I didn’t sleep that night because the pain was really bad and I couldn’t help but thinking, what have I done?” The following day I met with an incredibly smart orthopedic surgeon who is also an incredible athlete and a cross-country skier. Minor ligament sprain and a bone bruise. May hurt but nothing major. Needless to say it has been healing incredibly fast. Just two days later I have almost full range of motion and will give double poling a try in another day. The night I got home from the ER it took me five minutes and a few tears to get my t-shirt off. Today I grabbed a suitcase off of a high shelf with my “bad” arm and didn’t even notice. Bullet dodged.
I love soccer and I play it because it is fun and makes me happy but I also love skiing and I, along with many others, have invested a lot of time and energy in to making me the best skier I can be. I know I couldn’t live with myself if I let something like co-ed soccer knock me off track of my real goals. Needless to say the co-ed cleats will be hung up for the summer, a choice which is 100% my own, and while I know I will play with friends here and there I will do my best to keep myself and my mind occupied on Wednesday nights. With soccer, as with most things in life, you have to weigh the risks against the rewards and in this case, for me, the risk eclipses the reward.