Long ago (1988) I moved to Berkeley and started sending a monthly "newsletter" to my Boston friends. When I returned to Boston (1993), I continued the tradition for about five more years (or until I had kids). Looking back, I realize that I was actually blogging. Each newsletter contained anywhere from a few to several blog posts. Having been silent for the past decade or so, I've decided to resume these activities. Don't expect anything profound -- I tend to focus on what I find entertaining or amusing and perhaps sometimes informative. We shall see!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ankle Rehab: Mental Rehab

So for those of you who follow facebook, you may have noticed that I returned to the soccer field a few weeks ago (September 26 -- 5 months after the fracture). The planets aligned -- we were playing on a turf field (i.e., no unexpected bumps) and we were playing a team whose average age was close to our own. It was a few weeks earlier than I'd anticipated, but a trip to Maine got unexpectedly cancelled and I found myself home on a Sunday morning.

So, how was it? It was Great!!! My teammates were fabulous -- welcoming, supportive, happy to see me, etc. I played in 5-10 minute shifts and loved it. We all decided it made the most sense to put me in at forward as any ineptitude was likely to cause the least harm there.

As I had kind of anticipated all along, the hardest part of coming back is the mental part. Once I started running around the ankle felt pretty good -- I was making some runs and seemed to be able to handle a ball. But ... I was wimpy -- yeah, she who dives in goal and never shies away from a tackle just couldn't do it. I couldn't make myself go in for a tackle. I could kick with my left foot, even take a shot on goal (which would have gone in had it not been for the annoying player on the opposing team who decided to get in the way), but as soon as it came down to stepping in for a tackle (with either foot), I just couldn't do it. I suppose it's to be expected, but it makes playing frustrating.

I'd love to hear from others who've come back from injuries and struggled with this. I'm hoping that it will just take time, but I'm not sure how to be effective in the meantime. I don't feel I can play anywhere other than the forward line -- it's just too risky to put a wimpy player in the midfield or backfield. Forward has always been my weakest position, so I guess I can see this as an opportunity to learn and grow -- developing that killer 'go-for-goal' instinct would be a good thing.