The lessons never end…

More life lessons from the football field.
(You can read where it all started here)
He was so excited to start his first year playing high school football…technically junior high, but he was finally going to get the much anticipated opportunity to play on that high school football field. First, a scrimmage at the other team’s practice field: he was looking good, blocking and tackling well from what I recall. He looked great to me…as his mom watching from the sideline anyway…Next play, as fullback, he carried the ball, gaining about 30 yards before the tackle. The game went on…a few minutes later I noticed he was on the sideline, moving his right shoulder around, under the watchful eye of a coach and the other team’s trainer. Most likely a sprained AC joint is what the trainer said. Ice it and try not to move it.

Fast forward two days and we’re in the orthopedist’s office. He’d been in constant pain since he went down and he couldn’t even lift his fork to his mouth at dinner that day. Diagnosis: broken collar bone. 4-6 weeks. Follow up with the team doc in a week. Of course, I then google to learn more about fractured clavicles and what it could mean for his season. What I found wasn’t promising. At the follow up the doctor said to come back in four weeks but a broken collarbone combined with the positions he plays means almost 100% chance of re-injury should he choose to go back to playing at all for the season. Fractured clavicles take 4-6 months to heal completely. Not exactly what any of us wanted to hear.

I was on my way home from being out of the country and had to board my flight when I got the news from his dad. All I wanted to do was get off that flight so I could be alone to cry! I, mostly unsuccessfully, tried to hold back the tears until we landed. I just wanted to hug my baby boy! I was just imagining what was going through his mind and how his heart must be breaking. By the time I got home he had talked through most of it with his dad and seemed to be in an okay place. Throughout the next four weeks he dealt with it with a very positive attitude. He went to every practice and spent time on the sideline as water boy and holder of the tee. He encouraged his teammates, all the while dying to be out on that field. When it came time for the follow up, the doctor cleared him for all activity but told him again, “if you hit or get hit, you will most definitely rebreak that bone.” You can do everything else…but those two things. Nothing like dangling that carrot right in front of the horse’s nose….then pulling it forcefully away again!

“Whatever brings you down will eventually make you stronger.” -Alex Morgan

Through it all he’s learning patience, and so are we. Through it all he’s discovering what’s important, and so are we. He’s learning that life has a way of throwing you for a loop and how you react to that is what will determine your outcome. Your reactions show your character and life doesn’t always go the perfect way you’ve planned it. He’s figuring out how he can do other things in the time until he can go back to football, all the while asking every day if he can go back, knowing full well it’s not safe to do so and that the adults who’ve got his best interests at heart are not going to allow him to return until it’s time.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it forever: There is so much to be learned on the football field…and on the sideline…that can be applied to many parts of life, for the rest of one’s life.

It didn’t go how we planned this year, but he’s young and we’ve all grown through the challenges and are so grateful to be a part of a supportive and loving football family!

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