Guest Post 2 – EP of Stylish Handwriting

July 17, 2008 at 8:30 pm | Posted in 20 Something Bloggers | 8 Comments
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Ed. Note: Below is a post by the lovely EP of Stylish Handwriting, one of my first and favorite friends in the 20SB crowd. Pop over to her and say hello and a big THANK YOU for filling in for me. Thanks to all who have asked, my hand is healing, a bit numb at the moment. Should this concern me? I am tweeting again. It’s a nice start. I should be back in the mode again soon, but I am sure you will miss all the great guest posts! Enjoy!

 

Since Tipp is currently out of commission due to a wrist injury, I thought I would tell y’all a little story from my past that involves a significant injury — one that ended my high school basketball career (and any career that would have happened after that).

As a child, I dreamt of playing varsity basketball at my high school. I practiced hours per week on my dribbling skills, shots and lay-ups. I played on numerous teams, went to multiple basketball camps and did all in my power to ensure that I would be good enough to make the team.

My sophomore year, this dream came true when I was asked to step up from JV to practice with the varsity team. I was ecstatic. And while I spent most of my time riding the bench, it was incredible simply being a member of an esteemed team and practicing with the girls who lead us to a semi-regional game at the end of the season, something that hadn’t been done for a few years.

Junior year rolled around, and after volleyball season ended, I was ready for basketball. I was ready. But when the games started up, I still wasn’t playing as much as I should — so much so that the assistant coach and the head coach had numerous disagreements about me and other girls not being subbed into the game when the team was up more than 30 points. (I learned this later on, not when it happened.)

I became increasingly frustrated. Like most girls my age, I began to have doubts about my abilities since I was not seeing results from all my hard work. And while I tried to shake these thoughts from my head, it became more and more difficult as I saw teammate after teammate substituted in while I sat the bench, cheering for my friends on the court and praying the coach would look down the bench and notice me.

Somewhere along the lines, I began dreading going into the games because if I went in and screwed up, the coach would have even less reason to play me in another game.

January rolled around, and the more games that passed while I sat on the bench, the more I dreaded going into the game.

My new basketball shoes that the coach had ordered earlier in the season had just arrived, and my teammates and I loved them — they were the new stylish black and white Nike basketball shoes. The only problem was they were in men’s sizes and mine were a little too big.

I shrugged this off and wore them every practice and every game without fail. About a week after I started sporting them, I noticed an ugly blister had reared its head on my right heel. After consulting my coach (who told me we would wrap the blister with athletic tape and gauze, much like an ankle, and it would go away), I didn’t think much about it.

Another week went by, and my heel still wasn’t feeling any better. In fact, it looked worse.

Still, the coach told me to wrap it up, and it would be fine.

About a week later one Friday evening before a game, I was having major issues running during warmups and the assistant coach (bless her heart) told me to consult the physical therapist who worked with our boy’s team.

The PT was surprised I could even walk when she saw my heel and demanded I not wear the shoes again or even play until the blister had healed. Apparently, it was incredibly infected. And I hadn’t really noticed. (How disturbing is that?)

My injury — lame, I know — kept me out of practice for a month. I still attended practice, but instead of running suicides with the girls and shooting foul shots to determine how much we ran, I sat on the sidelines. Most of the time, I worked on homework or read books while occasionally cheering my teammates on or chatting with them and other students during downtime.

By the time I was ready to play again, I had lost a lot of time and was scrambling to catch up physically.

I never enjoyed running, but it was even more challenging because I had spent a month of the season sitting on my butt instead of sprinting with my teammates. My shot was off because I didn’t work on it — I would have been standing on one foot taking the shots with this blister. And, all in all, I was having a really rough time keeping up with everyone else.

A few weeks after trying (and failing miserably) to get back into shape, I made the ultimate decision to quit the team. I wasn’t playing, still, and it didn’t look good for the rest of the year since I had fallen significantly behind. And while I wanted to pull out the rest of the season, I just didn’t have it in me.

I had given up and for the first time in my life, I was OK with it.

I told the head coach first, who told me he didn’t understand why I was crying as I uttered the words. (He didn’t know of the lifelong dream I was giving up.) The assistant coach told me she didn’t blame me and would have done the same thing if she was in my place. My teammates understood, too, knowing just how frustrating it had been for me to be on the sidelines when everyone else had gotten to play.

Something as simple as a blister — an aggravated, infected blister — was the turning point of my basketball career and led quickly to the closure of a lifelong dream for me. It wasn’t the numerous sprained ankles I endured or the countless bruises, scratches and scars I carry still today from rough play on the court. It was a blister. A BLISTER.

The next season, me and a few friends (all of us actually played varsity basketball) formed a church league team. We goofed around the ENTIRE time, and it brought joy back to basketball for me — the reason I wanted to play the sport to begin with. And it was much needed, too.

I had fun playing basketball again, something my coach had sucked out of the game.

And while I still find the story of that life-changing blister amusing today, I’m thankful it happened. I’m thankful I learned my limit. And I’m thankful that I finally came to the conclusion that some things just aren’t worth fighting for because I was a lot happier and at peace when my tenure on the varsity team had come to an end.

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8 Comments »

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  1. i had a cousin who had a similar situation with HS bball. joining our church league was the best thing she could have done. it was just what she needed.

    but a blister?!? you crack me up erin.

  2. […] not here today. Instead, you can find me at Tipp’s blog writing about my high school basketball career and its tragic ending. No, seriously. I’m not kidding, but the cause of it is amusing and slightly unbelievable. I […]

  3. Wow, that must have been a pretty crazy blister! I know I’ve had a couple blisters that are painful for a couple days, but wow. I could only imagine.

    Sorry it forced you to quit high school basketball, but it was ONLY high school basketball, yaknow? And then you had your church league later on, which you said was wayy more enjoyable.

  4. Wow! Crazy!

  5. I hope that coach changed his ways! I hate to think how many other girls might have had similar experiences…

  6. and I coached! (the church league team. once.)

  7. I always hated how seriously Varsity sports were built up to be. Every time I became somewhat enamored by a sport,coaches always found ways to arouse my disgust for the sport.

  8. So sad! I had to give up dancing after an injury that was caused by someone else. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.


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