This time, there really wasn’t a question; I wasn’t going to practice.
It’d started on Sunday when my ear became clogged (sexy, right?) and then it was downhill from there.
By midday Monday, I felt virtually deaf on my right side, my head throbbed with sinus pressure, and my nose was starting to run away from me.
Yeah, it was great.
But I tried to be diehard and to try and stick things out, making it through my first job and then heading off to my second, not quite writing off the idea of practice just yet. But it was all for naught. Sometimes, you’ve just got to acknowledge what your body’s telling you and stop.
So that’s what I did, listened to my body, headed home from work, ate a quick dinner, and fell into bed.
Yup, I took a sick day. Or night, as it were.
And while nobody gave me any grief over it, in fact, the only comment I had about it was one of sympathy, I still wrestled with elements of grief and “what are they gonna think?” as I drove home to rest. It’s stupid, I know, but I still have this internal struggle with the whole thing and of wondering, foolishly, what folks are thinking of me.
“Ah, he’s probably faking it,” my mind conceives of one saying.
Another mental apparition offers, “He’s not going to make it; he just can’t hack it.”
Again, I’ve no evidence nor justification for these thoughts; it’s just the stupid way my brain goes. And, it’s almost as though some subconscious part of me is trying to use these things to dissuade me from trying anymore, from stepping out into the sport. Because, clearly, I still suck at it and it’s something that’s really tough to get excited about.
And that suckiness is really something that bugs me. Not only from a pride perspective, although that’s there for sure, but also from the perspective of trying to not hold others back as well. I remember days participating in other sports where we’d play or practice with a less-than-skilled individual and, while trying to be encouraging, I’d feel a bit of frustration at being held back, at having to temper my skills to accommodate that person. It’s selfish but honest.
And I desperately don’t want to be that guy who’s holding people back. But, just the same, I acknowledge the fact that there are some skills that I have to simply do, over and over and over again, to get good at. It’s a frustrating place to be right now, starting at the bottom.
Yet, I’m determined to not let my mind get the best of me. Sure, some of this sounds like whining, and in part, maybe it is; but the other factor that’s taking place is that by getting some of these thoughts out into the open air, it lets me see them for what they are, generally overwrought and products of an all-too active imagination. They’re figments of my self-conscious nature which, thankfully, often collide rather violently with the reality of what is really going on.
I guess, what I’m trying to say is that, on occasion at least, people like me. People understand and want to encourage.
And that’s pretty cool.
While my derby future is still set in very uncertain waters, I’m very thankful that I’ve built in accountability and support with some pretty supportive people. Because, in all honesty, it’d be easy to quit. When life presses in, sickness falls, and voices clamor for your attention here and there, it’d be so easy to just write this one thing off.
Or, I can just take a sick day, step back, let me body get the rest it obviously needs, and try again tomorrow.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
(There’s 7 days left in our challenge to help Rescue Project Rainbow! If you haven’t taken the time to stop by and donate, please don’t hesitate and do so today! We need your help to make Christmas the brightest and best for these most deserving families! Thanks in advance for your support!)