March 10th, 2014 by Admin
This article originally appeared at Soccer Classroom
As I sit here with every breath wincing as a sharp pain snatches my rib cage I wonder, when is it the right time to hang up the boots? I’ve been through several injuries, two knee surgeries, shoulder surgery, and now broken ribs. I’m soon to be 27 years old which is the prime of most professional soccer players careers. But unlike the professionals I have to pay towards my deductible. and I don’t get to spend the time I work recovering from an injury. I have to go back on Monday morning ready to work.
For several months I took off from the game to prepare for my wedding and a marathon in which I was training. Almost a year later I finally got back into playing indoor. We won the first session and started off both of our next sessions undefeated. Since returning I have yet to lose a game. However, in our last game I went into a 50/50 challenge, got to the ball first and tried to spin the player. Unfortunately, he did not hit his stoppers and went straight through me and into my rib cage. I continued to play through the rest of the game unknowing of my injury.
The next morning was rough. Every time I took a deep breath I had pain. I debated on whether I should go to the doctor or not, but opted to wait it out and see if it got better, maybe it was just a bruise. Three days later I thought I would try to go for a nice easy run with my wife. About a half mile into it I decided maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. Here I sit, with a broken rib debating on whether it’s time to hang up the boots.
My gut is telling me I’m not ready. I’m still competitive as ever and still have something to give to the game. When I go onto the field it frees my mind of all its flaws and it’s just me, the ball, and the field. It’s poetic how comforting it is to be on the pitch. My body feels like it still has gas in the tank but the frustrations of being injured are a lot to handle. I have a hard time as it is to sit still. Not being able to exercise is killing me. Plus, my metabolism isn’t like it used to be.
This Fall I began to find comfort in coaching and I thought, it’s alright to be not be playing. But as soon as I was back on the field I was ready to go, felt good, got my touch back, and was in my element. What is now going through my mind is I have a wife and a four-legged daughter to take care of, I can’t continue to get injured. Soon we are going to try to start a family together. Is it time to hang up the boots?
When I got injured my senior year and my college career was over I thought maybe this is when I should hang up my boots. Maybe this is God saying you have given everything to the game, this is your time. The competitiveness of playing in college is something I will never feel again. But every time the ball touched my foot I was free.
So what do you think Soccer Classroom? Is it time for me to hang up the boots, focus on my family, my job, and my coaching? Help me out. My heart is telling me to go on but my body is telling me it’s time to say goodbye. I love this game so much and there are still ways for me to give to the game what it has given me through all these years. Is it time for me to hang up the boots?boots, hang