If you know me at all, you know I’m pretty gregarious. I’ll talk to just about anyone, anywhere, at any time. Much of the talking has been made easy because of what I do. I play football, and everyone wants to talk about football (or at least fantasy football).

But what happens when I can no longer do the thing that I’m known for? When I can no longer talk about my main talking point?

To a certain extent, this injury has taken that luxury away. No longer are people sending congratulatory text messages after games, or tweeting at me on Sunday mornings to spur me on to victory. All of that is gone and I am left with who I really am. For the time being, I’m a man in a cast.

I’ve now had my first cast taken off, got my stitches taken out, and got a new cast put on. Through this experience I was reminded of a few truths. Playing football is what I do, not who I am. I AM gregarious, and a broken leg can’t change that. But what it can do—what it has forced me to do—is to come out of the protective shell that football has granted me.

This broken leg has allowed the real me to come out. The gregarious, encouraging, game-night-loving me. And I couldn’t be happier. This injury has been a tumultuous turn and a derailing detour, as injuries tend to be. But more than anything, it’s been an exciting adventure into the unknown. I’ll wear this new cast for a little longer, but then I’m coming out of it. In the meantime, I’m coming into my own.

What casts are holding you back? Which shells are you hiding behind? Whatever they are, It’s time to break out of them.