July 2 was my weekly ice hockey game, which I have participated in for the past 12 years. I wasn’t having a great game, which isn’t surprising. I am not a great hockey player; I’m not even a good hockey player. But I love it, and I bring all I have—effort—to each game.
This night I stood in the faceoff circle at right wing and thought, “Get to work, Les. Show some hustle.” The puck dribbled out of the circle and I stepped to it immediately. Surrounded, I quickly chipped the puck past the two defenders and chased it into the offensive zone. Finally, a decent play! I headed down the left-hand boards with the puck, chased by one of the defenders. He swung his stick at the puck to get it away from me, but instead made contact with my right leg. Suddenly off balance, my left leg went out and made contact with the boards. And stayed there. While the rest of me kept going.
So now, as I type this I’m situated with my left leg in a splint, resting on my desk, as I await surgery on Monday—an oblique fracture of my left distal fibula my reward for my hustle.
“Life is unfair.”
"What a pain.”
I’ve heard various versions of those comments, probably most often in my own head.
“That’s why you shouldn’t play.”
“So I guess this is it for hockey, huh?”
"You’re getting too old for this stuff.”
I’ve heard these comments, too. Not in my head, though.
And you know what? Life is
unfair. Much more unfair to one of our friends who just passed away at 52 from leukemia. And it is
a pain, but much less so than it is to Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs while watching the finish of the Boston Marathon.
Occasionally, we’re thrown a curve. It’s how we deal with it that matters.
I hope you have a good week. I will.
And I’ll be back on the ice by Christmas.
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