This is the hardest part. It’s one thing to finally wake up from surgery, open your eyes to see what used to be a pretty good looking leg, now triple the size, wrapped endlessly in ace bandage, secured by a brace that looks more suited for a construction project than a gumby knee like mine. It is painfully obvious the road ahead is not a short city street, but a long endless Texas highway. But if I can be honest, there is a considerable amount of comfort in those long highways. In knowing the work ahead, having a schedule, and understanding that marginal gains over the course or 6-9 months will be the most important thing.
It’s another to get to the day where the question is asked, “Am I ready?” A fork in the road is not particularly comforting. On the one hand, I know I am ready to play now. On the other hand, I am ready to play now, I think? When do you really know, how can you tell? Am I ready today or is tomorrow when I am ready? All the signs point to yes as far as I can see– physically I feel strong, functionally I am there, all the positive doctors notes, the “eye test” (I actually look like a soccer player on the field and not a baby giraffe on skates), and my wealth of knowledge in this area (I am not bragging, I know way more than I want to). I am fast approaching that day; basically it’s here. It’s all here. My first practices are here, my first game with the Reign will be here very shortly, and soon after that first game back with the Gals, then the biggest sporting event in the world, the Olympics.
I suppose this is that thing we call gut feeling? How comforting. As I sit here writing, I have to chuckle to myself a little. I am not sure why exactly, probably because I’m nervous. But it’s a different kind of nervous. Not the nerves of uncertainty or lack of preparation. More like pre-game nerves with jitters of excitement and confidence. And who knows, I might make the team or I might not, but one thing I’m sure– I’m ready to play again.