What do you do? When a wrench is thrown smack dab in the middle of your spokes? Your momentum grinds to a halt, you look around for a rhyme, a reason, for help, but there is no one or nothing you can do.
My motto has always been the same as the USMC. Improvise, adapt and overcome.
Sometimes it is not so easy. There is it seems, always a price to be paid.
Such was the wrench thrown into our lives today when my husband and I took our youngest son to the ortho specialist today. For the second time in less than a year my son has injured the same shoulder playing football. The last time we took him to a specialist, had the x rays and MRI done, the doc told us, “Yes, there was damage, but it looked as if it had healed.” End of story.
My kid re-injured his shoulder when he hit the ground on said shoulder during passing league this week. We took him to a different specialist this time. There was something about the blasÃ© approach of the last guy I didn’t care for. We find out from the new doc and new x-rays, not only does my son have separation of the shoulder, but he has a new fracture over the old fracture that never completely healed. And that he needed surgery. Major surgery. Surgery would mean no senior football season. When the doc told us the news you could hear a pin drop in the room. I felt faint. I nearly cried right there in the office. My husband was silent. I looked at my son and watched his jaw clench and the muscles in his cheek flex and unflex.
“What do I have to do to play this year, Doc?” my kid asks.
I’m sure some of you are cringing right about now.
But here’s the thing. I have this kid, a terror on the football field, a kid who lives and dies for football, who has more heart and passion on the field then ten football players, a kid who can play at the D2 level. To get him there he needs game film. You get game film when you play football. If he got the surgery now there would be no senior varsity football season for him. There would be no film, and so the colleges interested will look elsewhere. Again, I’m sure you’re all cringing. Thinking, what abut his shoulder? What about his health? Is football that important? To my son it is. As a parent, I kept my mouth shut and listened to the doctor. Hubby and I and my son asked many many questions. The bottom line is this: He has fractured his clavicle. It needs six weeks to heal. The separation will not heal without surgery. However if the fracture heals in six weeks, the doc has a harness type apparatus my son will wear under his shoulder pads and under the skeleton pads he has that will bring the separation together. It should, in theory, get him through the season. When the season is over he gets his surgery. We were assured if he does play, providing the fracture has healed, he can not damage the shoulder so much that even with surgery he would never be able to play football on any level again. He needs the surgery period. But. It can wait.
And so, when all was said and done, the doctor, me and my husband looked at my son and asked, “What do you want to do?”
There was no hesitation in his answer. “Play football.”
So we, as a team will do what we have to do to heal the kid and protect his shoulder, and hope for the best. As this has all settled in my brain over the last few hours, and I have had time to digest the news, it got me thinking about just how dedicated I was to my writing and other things in my life. What lengths would I go to, to stay in the game? Was I a worthy contender or just a flash in the pan? Would I, under the same circumstances make the same decision as my son? You see, he is good enough that if he were to have the surgery now, he could walk on somewhere next summer and, at 100% fight for a spot and most likely win it. But the kid wants to play now. He wants to stay in the game at every turn. He doesn’t want to give up one play, not one down if he doesn’t have to. I respect him for that.
I recommitted myself tonight to writing the best damn books I can. I’m willing to sacrifice. I’m willing to fight. To be brave in the face of adversity. I’m willing to improvise adapt and overcome.
What are you willing to do for the passion in your life?