For a long time, I had always wondered about injury in the sports world. The media always shows the extreme upsides and extreme downsides of something. They'll talk about how long the athlete will be out, who performs the surgery (Dr. James Andrews always comes to mind...how much money does he make, anyway?), what kind of rehab they will be undergoing, and the athlete's "views and thoughts" on their return to their sport. But did you ever wonder what goes on when the cameras turn off? Have you ever thought of the psychological stress one goes under when his or her feet are cut off from underneath? Unfortunate circumstances come to people every day, and unhappiness begins to settle in, but do you think athletes want people to know that? People often use the expression of "getting back on the horse" to describe their quest of regaining the pleasure of their routines and passions.
I think it's about time for a scenario. Let's do the Scooby Doo ending for this.
You are a professional athlete. You not only hold the talent for your sport, but you're also talented in mind, music, and in charity work. With your ability to budget time, you always seem to find a time to do everything in moderation and gain happiness from what you do, regardless of the many hardships and obstacles that come your way.
Suddenly, your life takes a sudden turn for the worst. During a playoff game, you take a massive hit and sustain a freak injury to your ankle. This puts your chances of coming back in 100% shape in serious jeopardy. After numerous surgeries and bouts of rehabilitation, you try to regain your happiness through your other activities, but for some reason your endorsements and your other hobbies will no longer do the trick. You want to go back, but you have the fear that you've lost the passion to play again.
Did you fall off the horse?
Numerous athletes appear to be fearless upon the road to recovery, but there always appears to be doubt even when the future seems to be very bright. Some may go, "Will I ever be the same," or, "Will I get the same enjoyment from this again?" There's always that thought of compensation and then getting the scare of losing the passion and the will to continue. It may be a tough thing to get back "into the 'ole grind" of things, especially when an injury makes you sit on the couch way too long while watching The Golden Girls and eating a pint of Cinnabon ice cream [yes, that stuff really exists]. There is the time in one's life where they may think they no longer have the time to return to their love at full strength.
What does it take to get back on the horse?
Athletes may think that there are other priorities higher on the list after a lost passion in the offseason. He or she may take up a hobby or avoid working at something in thinking that they will not be given a warm welcome back to what they once had. There's the horror that the injury may come back and will make matters worse. What if things were different? What if he or she took a different path or had done something differently--could these things have been avoided? When it finally comes down to it, why do you fight to get better? Is there a decent point to?
Injury is an obstacle. It is just like every other obstacle and hardship that you have experienced in your life. At this point in time you can't just sit around and wallow. People say you should do it for the ones you love.
Let's think for a second--in order to know how to love someone else, shouldn't you love yourself first? There we have it. We're going to have to do it for us. Can it be done? Yes. Audrey Hepburn once said something along the lines of "Nothing is impossible. The word has 'I'm possible' in it." When the going gets tough, do it for you. Set time out to do this for you. Don't let anyone push you around. Get through your problem, get through your injury.
People on Twitter say they live every day with PMA: positive mental attitude. Even the things that a person has once enjoyed will be impossible without a positive mental attitude. This is what athletes choose--will they continue on losing the passion to heal and play, or will they re-budget their time and perform some self-pampering? Of course, your name may be Joe Theismann and have to make lemon pie out of a couple of lemons, but can something still be done with the love of your life?
I am AnimaniacZero, I was mentally injured, and I had fallen off the horse.
After much rehabilitation, I have found what has truly made me happy, and now I have gotten back on the horse.
[Are you? Thanks for the inspiration.]