I knew Sunday was going to be tough. I just knew it. It was the first time since my injury that I would go back to our stadium and NOT run out on the field with my teammates. I didn’t know how I’d handle it. My fiancée told me to be strong, but I couldn’t make any promises.
When I arrived to the stadium, I immediately ran into two of the other injured players. Each of us had casts and scooters to get around. We decided to call ourselves the Street Crew. We scooted onto the field before the game and I got a chance to do what I do best—encourage my guys. It meant the world to me to have each guy come and shake my hand before the game. They made me feel like I was still out there with them, even though I was in street clothes.
A few minutes later, once the team went to the locker room, the Street Crew proceeded to our seats. It was weird and different, but still fun. I watched from afar, cheering on my team, and nearly jumping out of my seat after each big play. I think the highlight of my day was joining the fans in “the wave.” It was so cool!! Maybe this “From Field to Fan” thing isn’t so bad after all. I felt like I needed some pom poms and a skirt, because I was the biggest cheerleader out there. I couldn’t have been more happy about our win and more excited to celebrate with the guys in the locker room. Our head coach welcomed the Street Crew in with open arms, as did our team and our staff.
To be quite honest, I considered not going to the game yesterday. I didn’t want to face the reality that I would no longer be out there with my teammates again. But I had to go. Going was the first step in my road to recovery. Going meant facing the reality of loss. Going meant possibly realizing some emotions that I had held back. But going also meant supporting my team in a way that I can only do while present. Going also meant facing an unfavorable reality. Going meant looking uncertainty in the eye and not turning back.
What does GOING mean to you?