Week 26: Risks and Heavenly Awards

It has been a while since I have posted here. I have a lot going on in my personal life. I just started a new job a month ago which I am very excited about. It seems to be a great fit for me. The universe is funny in how randomly things shake out. I suppose it was a sign when I walked in to their office to interview and it was like football threw up everywhere. I knew we would get along just fine.

My knee has been progressing. My old insurance had cut down on my physical therapy appointments allowed and I’ve the transition of starting a new job and getting under new insurance. Therefore, I have been working mostly on my own.

My staples have included leg press, single leg press, calf rises, bike, stairs, and pool therapy. Pool therapy has been awesome. I go to LA Fitness as my gym because in the Seattle area they are everywhere so it is very convenient for me. The locations I go to all have pools and they don’t go over 4 feet in depth. This is great because I can literally walk and/or job the entire length of the pool back and forth without needing to swim.

indoor-pool-800x536

I have noticed a definite increase in strength in my left leg. When I was first cleared to do leg press, I started at 65 pounds. Which again from previous posts, is no where near where I normally lift. I am now at 185. Still no where near normal but definitely gaining ground. I have also noticed an increase in range of motion as I have been focused on strengthening and stretching my quad.

It is not perfect. There are days when I am sore. Usually when I am sore though, my LCL is completely fine. The soreness that creeps in will creep in on the inside where I had a fracture and it’s more of an achy bone feeling. Or sometimes my hamstring feels tight where they worked on it. My gut is telling me that I need to start focusing on that as well.

My walking has gotten to be fairly normal. I do notice stiffness if I sit for a long period of time or soreness if I stand a long time but it’s not a major deal. Once I get up and walk or sit down for a bit it works itself out.

My next physical therapy session is September 13. Hopefully my new insurance will give me more PT sessions. My next orthopedic appointment is September 22. I am hoping between the 2 of these events I will be cleared to jog on land. I feel like I will be able to do so but that it will take a while to build up endurance.

I also found out that the Team USA Tryouts have been announced. They will be in 2 sessions, Jan 21-22 and Jan 23-24. Then Jan 25-28 will be the Women’s World Games 4. This will all take place in Orlando at the ESPN complex.

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This is very exciting stuff but also a bit daunting when you are coming off a knee surgery. According to my ortho, as of the last appointment I had, I am on track to return in January. But this means it will be cutting it close.

I will not know where I am at until I know where I am at. This makes planning a bit more difficult which is hard on someone like me who is Capricorn and likes to plan. One of the hard things about this type of injury is that you can’t just work harder. You can but you also have to work smarter and not over do it and put yourself back. It’s a delicate balance to push but at the right tempo.

I am going to register for the first session with the though of, if I can get through 2 days then I can rest the next couple and get ready for camp. Or if I’m not up for camp, I can always help coach since I am already there. If I am not cleared to return for the tryouts, I will do whatever I can that I am cleared for and just let everyone know whats up. I am going to really give it my best shot.

The last tryout was in 2013 and I was coming off an MCL injury and I was like 60-70 percent. Since that moment, I had circled this moment of coming back stronger. I really had done that until my injury occurred. I feel like I owe it to myself to finish this out.

I do have people who have questioned me trying out. This has been a difficult thing to deal with. They mean well but usually don’t understand that importance of what I am trying out for. Once I explain it, they kind of get it. I feel like that senior in high school kid that is trying to get a college scholarship but is coming off an injury. You have to weigh the risks and rewards. I have no idea how much longer I can play. This team only comes around every 4 years and it’s the highest level of football we have as women. The reward for me, far outweighs the risk. I would regret not trying way way more than doing whatever I could and coming up short.

In trying to explain these things to people, I have come across this conundrum that as an athlete my entire life, not everyone on this planet is as competitive as I am and there people who do not understand drive. It is not a bad thing. The world is full of different personality types. It is just so mind blowing to someone who is consistently around people who are chasing dreams, to meet people who aren’t. And you look at each other as if you were as foreign as aliens.

Maybe it started for me as a child. I do remember when the other girls in my class were playing MASH, I would play but not really be as into it as they were. For those that don’t know, MASH is a game we played as kids in the 90s where you would, through a series of blind questions, randomly be told how many kids you were going to have, what kind of car you would drive, and where you would live.

The other girls would talk about what their husbands would look like, how many kids they would have, etc. I never thought in those terms. I always thought of what I was going to do in my life. Where I was going to go to school, my career, my dreams. I knew a family would happen along the way but it was not my driving force.

Watch this interesting TED talk about how our society programs girls to think.

I believe it to be absolutely true that girls are taught that they have to be perfect and therefore they don’t take as many risks as boys do. I always wanted to take risks. I never had a fear of taking risks. I was always climbing in trees. I was always diving after loose balls in basketball that no one else would try far. I was never afraid of risk and sacrifice. I am not sure why I wasn’t afraid but I think it’s a gift that more girls should have.

I also have been listening a lot lately to Eric Thomas. He is one of my favorite motivational speakers ever since I saw this video that uses one his speeches:

He now has a weekly podcast with a couple of his friends that I have discovered and really like called the Secret to Success. The most recent episode was called Google Your Name. And it talks about how people have a hard time being self aware of where exactly they are in their journey. They state that many people enjoy promoting themselves without the substance of work to back it up. I think they do a great job in explaining the hustle it takes to pursue your dream.

You see, there is a story in the Bible about a master giving 3 servants money.

“He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![b]

22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’

26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away..’

I believe that we are all given gifts. The first stage is to find your gifts. Some are more obvious than others. Some are hidden and you don’t know you have talent at something until much later.

The 2nd stage is to develop your gift. No matter how good you are out of the womb, you still need to practice it to really get the most out of it. This is the 3rd brother mentality of making your gifts work for you.

The 3rd stage is to give your gift away. Yes, give it away. Your gifts aren’t meant for you. They are meant to be tools to help other people. This is true wisdom. When you develop your gift to the point that you can give it away and help others, it is no longer you gift, it is now your Purpose.

Ever since I was a child and read that story in the Bible, I was determined to find my purpose so that when I die, I can look God in the eye and said not only did I use what you gave me, I helped others with it.

This is how I view football for me as well as my writing. I have spent years developing both. I have toiled in the soil and continue to do so. I have been blessed to have seen fruit from it. I will continue to work at it because I am really just starting. I have a vision and no matter how many times I get knocked down, and how many forms of adversity I have faced and will face, I will continue to work at it until I am finally home.

 

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