I haven’t touched on soccer for some time, but the phone call this afternoon brings it to the forefront.
Me: How’d the game go?
The lovely yet distraught mrs tbogg: We’re on our way to the hospital.
Oh. Shit. Not again.
Now the last time the lovely and talented Casey was in an ambulance on her way to the hospital was this past July when she was playing up at Whidbey Island and what we feared was a blown-out ACL turned out to be a dislocated knee that popped back into place.
Not so lucky this time.
Twenty minutes into the second half in a tournament game up in the OC, she plants her left foot and attempts to save a ball headed out using her right foot. Twist. But the cleat holds and “pop” (heard by everyone on the bench) there goes the knee. Early diagnosis (until the swelling goes down and we can get an MRI) is a torn LCL (not so horrible) and possible damage to the ACL (not so good) meaning that she is out anywhere from six months to a year which eliminates this years high school season and possibly all of next years club season. This is not a good thing for a sixteen year-old determined to play Division I soccer in college.
When I spoke with her tonight she didn’t seem upset ( but it could have been the combination of morphine given at the field and vicodin talking) but she seemed to be determined to play once more even after I asked her if she wanted to call it a career and try being a normal teenager. She said “no” and that she wanted to be back in six months; six months being key since she is supposed to go play in Costa Rica next July and I know she doesn’t want to miss that. And it’s not as if she doesn’t know what she is facing. Two years ago when Casey was recovering from her first torn hamstring, one of her teammates was at the same rehab facility working her way back from a torn ACL. After fourteen months her friend was ready to play…only to tear it again ten minutes into her second game back forcing to have to quit the sport. I know this is on Casey’s mind but she seems determined to not let the idea of something like that happening to her stop her from trying.
I can’t speak from experience because we didn’t have club sports like this when I was a kid, but I guess if you’ve been playing something since you were four, you play somewhere near to 70-80+ games a year, and you have spent the better part of your teen years passing up on trips to Disneyland because you have a tournament that weekend, not sleeping over at a friends house because you have to be up at 5:30AM to get to a game fifty miles away, and learning how to Ace bandage a bag of frozen peas to a swollen knee, it’s not an easy habit to break.
If you go into the hallway and up to Casey’s bedroom door you will read a sign that says:
There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best
That is a quote from Doris Lessing. I don’t know where she got it, I don’t even know if she knows who Doris Lessing is, but it’s just one more thing that impresses me about my daughter.
She impresses me more and more every day that I get to know her.