April 29, 2010


When I broke my foot in January, it was the first day of the new soccer and floor hockey seasons. I had organized the entire hockey team and paid the deposit, so I continued to organize even though I was unable to play. I watched every game, and it was nice to see the team have a successful season even though I was heartbroken that I couldn't play on my own team.

I played in the first soccer game for about 20 minutes before I broke my foot. The team kept my money and replaced me with their friend who got to play for the rest of the season for free. There were a few "I'm sorry, that sucks" e-mails, but then I never heard from them again. When the spring season started, they formed another team without asking me if I could play.

My department has an intramural soccer team, and their season is going on now. I'm not allowed to run yet, so I can't participate. The season will be over in two weeks, so I will miss the entire season. I will probably be able to play sports this summer, but I won't have a team.

It's amazing how one split second mistake, and a small fracture, changed my life for months. I used to love playing sports, but my injury meant about 5 months of being unable to play. I missed the only intramural floor hockey season -- there won't be another one for a year -- and two seasons of soccer.

Maybe it's just that grad school provides so few opportunities for teamwork and excitement, but I loved my sports. I was never very good, and we lost most of the time, but I loved to play and participating really meant a lot to me. I'm tremendously sad about missing out for all these months.

When you get injured or sick, everyone makes a show of feeling terrible, you know, "let me know if you need anything." But then, very quickly, you get left out. I had a few friends who were amazing -- inviting me out and giving me rides -- but others just really didn't want to bother to include me even though they maintained that I could ask them for "help." It's especially bad when the friendship was based on activities that require everyone to be healthy and able-bodied (like playing sports).

This chapter is mostly over for me -- soon, I will start a "running program" to get my foot ready for the impact of running, and then my body will be healthy and back to normal. It probably doesn't even sound that bad to you guys, that I was left out of sports for five months. You are probably thinking "Well, can't you join a new team in the summer." I know. At some point, I need to stop feeling sad about an intramural hockey season that is long over.

Tomorrow, I'm driving back to my city. It has been good to hide out and relax in the suburbs, but break's over. Time to go home and deal with my real life.


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