I’m in limbo right now.
My collegiate soccer career is over. I’m finding myself thinking about the things I should’ve done and the things that could’ve been. It’s the whole “glass half empty” concept where I’m beating myself over feeling as if my career slipped by, as if I somehow blinked and it was all over.
I’m not going to fake happiness. I’m not happy right now. I’ve been beaten up, kicked, bruised, knocked down, and screamed at for four years just to find myself watching the last, and biggest, game of my career from the sidelines.
Doesn’t sound fair, does it?
But I’m not going to be a pessimist about it. For all that negative, every ball that hasn’t bounced my way, I have a lot to be happy about. What I want to do is explain why my time on the soccer pitch is far from the picture above, which is the last time I set foot on the field.
The picture above is eight days ago. It’s a picture my parent’s have seen many times before, in countless different variations. Anyone who watches me play knows I live on the ground. I get hit a lot. But for all those times I’ve hit the ground, I’ve gotten back up. This time I didn’t.
Diagnosis: a partially torn MCL. Not exactly the news you want to hear with one week left in your career.
6-8 weeks; that’s how long it takes to fully recover. For the past week, I’ve been working my butt off, doing everything I could to get back to playing with my team. The training room has become my home for four hours a day. It’s been full of leg raises, squats, stairs, sprints, and icing. But one week is just not enough time.
An injured knee and a battered spirit is what I’m left with.
But that picture is not the culmination of what my career has been. This is what it has been.
It’s been happiness.
And it’s all because of my family, friends, teammates, and all the individuals involved with the athletic department.
I’ve found a home in Rochester with people that have supported and pushed me though all my successes here. Take a look at my record over the past four years; the scoreboards haven’t been all that favorable. But this sport is more than numbers. It’s about going to war with your teammates and coming out of it as brothers. There are always going to be bad refs, terrible bounces, unlucky touches, and career-ending injuries. Those aren’t what define your career. You define your own career with the attitude you take from it.
So my attitude is happy. Happy for everything, even as I sit here with this damn knee injury that will keep me in the trainer’s far after my time as an athlete has expired.
And so while I can sit here and dwell on the negatives, I’m not going to do that. After all, the glass is half full, right?
Cheers to everyone involved, especially my family, for making my senior season one to remember. Love you all.