Friday, March 04, 2005


Over the course of my illustrious athletic career, I’ve suffered my fair share of injuries. Among my laundry list of injuries that made me a favorite among my sports medicine doctor’s patients was a high ankle sprain, courtesy of an unfortunately located hole in the middle of a Canadian soccer field.

It fucking hurt.

And I was in the middle of a great run, too.

The ankle sprain certainly wasn’t the worst of my sports injuries. But it was the biggest nag. After the original sprain, I would roll it in nearly every game. Shooting pain that would buckle my knees, shaken off and ignored in a hopeless quest for athletic greatness; my ankle was never quite the same.

I sprained that same ankle, again, about three weeks ago. Playing soccer, of course. In indoor soccer, ankle sprains aren’t unusual. The speed of the game and the playing surface – a thin layer of Astroturf over cement – makes every player susceptible.

Since I sprained it, I’ve re-rolled that damn ankle a half-dozen times. It stings. It swells. I ignore it, convincing myself that time will heal better than rest and reminding myself of the very first sprain. My ankle, unlike the original time, is not swollen to the size of my neck. Game on!

When I was coming back from my initial sprain, frustrated at the frequency of the re-rolls and the ankle’s general instability, I was told that oftentimes it is easier to recuperate from a broken ankle than it is to heal after a severe sprain. A broken ankle is broken, temporarily inoperable and, eventually, heals up. Good as new. A sprained ankle, even if the return to the field is significantly faster, takes much longer to regain its strength. In the meantime, there are the aftershocks of minor sprains.

My friendship with Jess, if it can even be labeled as a friendship and not simply as the biggest mistake I have ever made, was an ankle sprain.

There was the first sprain. That one initial lie. Told, via the internet, to a girl who I never thought would become a close friend.

There were the aftershocks. Re-twisting my ankle with every little lie, propping up the original. I rolled my ankle every time I stepped on the field with Jess, trying to protect the both of us from the ugly realization of an enormous, foolish mistake.

The ankle broke just over a month ago.


It hurts every day. Every time I think about it, I am ashamed and I am embarrassed and I hate myself and I hate the very poor decision I made.

I am in a cast.

But I will come out stronger. Healed from the initial injury. Immune to the aftershocks.

And a hell of a lot fucking smarter.


Plantation said...

u ever gonna share this with me?

Stace said...

EUGH! That sucks, take care of it, and yes learning a lessson is a plus.

Constance said...

I am too struck by your awesome writing to comment on the pain of the subject. Heal anyway.

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