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Posts Tagged ‘volleyball’

Anybody that knows me well knows that I have always been a huge believer that we create our lives exactly as they are right now.  And I don’t mean we voodoo control life… just that life presents itself the way we we intend it to or expect it to- it’s why people that believe everybody is out to get them tend to keep finding themselves in situations where they must defend and protect themselves, and where I can walk around downtown Guadalajara, MX at night completely unscathed. And trust me, I have no idea why or how it works this way!

But as a believer in this philosophy, what happens when things work out differently than I want or expect?  What happens when something comes up that I feel I didn’t intend and maybe don’t even want?  This is where I get stuck because if I was completely in control, then it wouldn’t be this way, right?

Or maybe sometimes shit just happens.

I came across a quote from one of my favorite writers and philosophers, Kahlil Gibran:

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

The thing is that sometimes things just feel scary, or difficult or upsetting.  My instinct is that it’s not okay to feel these things and it means something is wrong.  I usually just push those feelings down as far as I can muster, and try to “get over it”.  Smile and keep moving forward. But does this actually allow me to explore myself and my world to it’s full capacity or do I cut off some self expression when I do that?  A year ago I would have read the quote above and thought…”k, i’m doing it all right, just smile and pretend all is okay until it feels okay”.  And now, for some reason that doesn’t seem sufficient to authentic happiness and growth.

I do think it’s important to see ourselves, others, and the world in a positive, powerful light and there is always the opportunity to do that in any situation.  That is the TRUTH in life, and this is who I know myself to be deep down at my core. But there is something about the full experience of being human which includes the spectrum of emotion- joy, sorrow, love, patience, anger, fear.  And it’s good – ALL of it is good!  But it’s the thought and action after that determine who we are in this world.  After our full experience of being human, do we stand for who we truly know ourselves to be regardless of the situation we are in or our feelings we have?  For me, I’m starting to think that really is what creating my life means….

Something tells me that the awesome kid in the video below truly LOVES her life!  And her life probably includes a few tears 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg

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These guys dont have a chance 🙂

Oh to be in the dating world – so much fun, so much excitement, so much craziness… SO MUCH.

The last 13 years of dating for me has been somewhat of a blur – there was an 8 year long term relationship stint (3 in a row!) that defined my youth.  First the crazy rugby player, completely opposite to me in terms of values and beliefs but that caused so much excitement and turmoil, it must have been love!   Then there was the one I thought I would marry at 21 which of course didn’t pan out (I mean, I was 21!) … followed by the first real grown up relationship I had that ended with a cross-country move.

So I was by definition a “relationship person” by 26 and followed that with 5 years of singleness, of which I account all of my dating saavy to.  Am I actually dating saavy?  Probably not.  I mean, I’ve come  a long way from the naive 18 year old from the prairies, but I have figured a few things out along the way.  Maybe it was the actor who declared his commitment to me, immediately followed by a month being MIA, the California born-and-bred art director who believed that he had talked to mermaids, or the pro basketball player who had all the wrong moves, here’s a little about what I learned that’s out there for the ladies these days 😉

Of course, I’ll use a little sport analogy – what else would you all expect?!  Maybe you’ve dated one of these guys, or married them but feel free to share which you think has the most long term potential, which is a flop, and definitely let me know if I missed any (I mean, I haven’t ever watch a cricket match… maybe they are the holy grail of men?!)

The Pro Basketball Player : 

Okay, we all know it.  He gets all of the chicks, and I mean ALL of them.  He looks at us from the corner of his eye (as he’s being interviewed of course!).  He has fans and admirers around him always. We think we are the special one, that he’s somehow been looking for a long term, committed and stable relationship all along and had to go through ALL of those women to find US.  We start imagining our fairytale futures which he obviously has the looks, money and social connections to provide.  The problem? He never really had to work in a relationship before so he doesn’t do all those things we want like call back, plan dates and ask us questions about ourselves. And a few months after he notices that other girl and she starts planning their fairytale life too…

The Pro Basketball Player Wannabe: 

He’s the guy at UrbanRec who wears the bright yellow jersey, a bandana and has the armband tattoo.  He’s playing coed to meet the ladies but he never passes to the girls (even though he misses most of his shots!).  About once a month he gets into a fight with one of the guys he’s playing and we watch with disdain as he treats this fun league like the NBA playoffs.  But then the UrbanRec social happens.  And for some reason we had one too many drinks and we start talking to Wannabe and he’s actually nicer than we thought.  In fact, we had such low expectations that we are totally blown away by him, and mistake our average conversation with a massive connection.  And then we get a response to our “it was great meeting you” text with “fo sho”. Oops.

Next.

The Volleyball Player:

Hmm, this one may be a little touchy since I have loads of wicked volleyball friends out there (and many of my lucky girlfriends married them!!)  but hey, I gotta be fair 😉  You see the volleyball player competing.  He’s tall, he’s hot, he’s possibly without a shirt on the beach…. he hits the ball so hard but still – there’s a net between him and his competition.  He doesn’t really like body contact and is he hugging his partner after a play?  So in spite of that you make a date for Saturday…and how perfect- the sun is out when you wake up!… you can go to the park, or for a walk… BUT nope – a pick up beach game happens and the date is cancelled.  Well, not cancelled, it’s postponed and maybe you can help him ice after and replay every single point he scored during the game. But no big deal right?  There’s always next weekend (oops, is that the volleyball BC season opener?  or the following one (a Cliver tournament? – ah, bad luck!) – well, what about a weekend in July?  Oh, right, Corona Open followed by Centre of Gravity Tournament.  So you are officially in a winter only relationship 🙂  The thing is that this guy is the ultimate guy in so many ways.  He’s got great genes and he’s smart.  He isn’t going to ever get in a bar fight.  And he’s so wellkept, even his fingernails are perfect… so perfect… I mean, seriously, how did he get his nails to look like that, is it a french manicure? I’m a little jealous…

The Swimmer:

Swimmer’s have always been confusing to me.  They are the most fun people to hang out with, but they are willing to stare at a red line on the bottom of a pool for 5 hours a day.  You meet a swimmer and he’s awesome.  Funny, outgoing and smart, he’s the perfect catch (it seems).  But he has some weird things that just don’t feel right.  Maybe it’s a small obsession with training or the fact he is in bed at 8, but you start to feel like you are simply along for the ride, and that he is only available when it’s convenient, which is between 10am-12pm mon/wed/fri.

The IronMan Triathlete: 

My boyfriend claims that this is the ultimate man 😉 Not gonna lie, I think I may agree with him on this one.  The ironman is a rare breed of man.  He dedicates his life to something that very few people follow (though there is a cult following).  He doesn’t do it for the admiration or the fans or the glory.  He does it because there is something about racing for 10 hours that fulfills a personal journey for him.  But here’s the question.  Does the IronMan triathlete ever feel truly fulfilled or is he seeking forever?  And can you ever move to the top priority or is this semi-obsessive sport forever in his mind?  On the bright side, endurance is a great thing in many areas in a relationship!

The Cliff Diver: 

This athlete makes for a fast and furious relationship.  He will take you places you have never been, you will try new and novel foods, locations and experiences constantly.  He’s the most fun we’ve ever had. But is he safe?  I mean, literally and figuratively, will he take care of us?  Or does he coax us to always jump, even if he’s unsure where we will land?  This guy, though flashy and fun, bores of everything after one or two tries and can you blame him?  He’s so much more exciting than…. us?  So some of us try to be as cool and fun and carefree as CliffDiver but it never feels quite natural and we’re pretty sure once it’s not as fun, he’s gonna move on.  And then fun becomes kind of boring and we just want to sit and have a tea.

The Rower: 

Yep, we’ve found the perfect athlete.  Physically gifted, probably went to Yale.  Other than the morning practices, he’s a keeper (though he never fails to bring us home a latte! ) He’s perfect.  Just so perfect. And yet why is perfect so darn boring?  Can we have a little more drama please?  Or a joke? Okay okay, I know how that sounds but the rower is the guy that we know we should want but for some reason we don’t.  We call it “lack of chemistry” or “he’s nice”.  Whatever we call it, we feel we are lacking something and I’m not sure whether that’s about him or about US.

The Decathlete: 

A jack of all trades, the decathlete does it all.  He can run, jump and throw and he does all of these things well, but he’s a decathlete because he never really excelled in one thing.  And I’m not saying that as a bad thing, but this guy is always doing 10 things at once!  His computer is on, the tv is going, he is texting and folding his clothes.  There’s so much to talk to him about but his mind is everywhere else and you never really feel like he’s focused or present. Everyone tells him how much potential he would have if he just focused his energy on one thing but he can’t decide what he likes best and what he wants to do. It seems his life is always in the “in-between” stage as he searches for the next gig, the next relationship, the next ______. And 3 years goes by and he’s still not sure how he feels about a long term commitment 😉

The MMA Fighter (not including GSP of course!): 

Tough, strong and fierce, this guy turns us on because he scares us a little!  We know he’s bad for us but for some reason we see his soft side and we want him to see it too.  Our friends warn us, and we don’t introduce him to mom and dad because deep down we know that they are right – he’s trouble.  So we start hanging around with his friends instead of ours, and as we get to know him more, we learn that he too has a pattern of bad relationships.  And he helps us see that we aren’t perfect either and that the two of us really deserve each other. As time goes by we start to wear cutoff shirts, short jean shorts and clear heels and we wonder how we ever lived without a spray tan before…

The Rugby Player: 

He impressed you with his beer bong world record and he’s that guy that everybody loves!  Centre of the party always, you are the IT couple.  There are people around you always – and lucky for us, it’s mostly the guys.  Actually, the guys have been around every night this week and it’s another boys night this friday…  But it’s cool because he always comes home to us (even if it’s 5am) and somehow he always makes his 8am game warmup and kicks butt on the field!  He’s totally exciting and up for anything and when he casually jokes about a potential threesome, we laugh, give him a punch in his amazingly defined shoulder, and then casually wonder if he’s talking about adding your friend or his?

The Figure Skater:

Move on ladies, he’s just not that into you!

But all jokes aside, each one of these guys is awesome in their own way – and I am sure we could easily do some female categories to even it all out (perhaps that’s a later blog!).  I want to make sure everyone does know that I am using these sports as analogies – I’m not actually saying we should or shouldn’t date a decathlete!  I know many decathletes that act like rowers or basketball players in “real life” 🙂

For some reason, I have never really had a type – I’ve dated every kind of “athlete” listed above, but for others, they keep finding the same ones over and over…

The question I pose is this:

Is there a cheerleader for every football player?  And if so, what type of a woman is right for each of these men? Any ideas as I’m currently trying to set one of my best friends up and she is almost always attracted to the MMA Fighter or Decathletes.  I kind of feel like she would do best with a swimmer or ironman but do we just have a type and that’s it or is chemistry negotiable?

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As I slowly opened my eyes, feet dangling beside the fireplace and spooned up next to my cat I looked out the window in a dazed confusion.  It’s sort of light outside… is it morning, evening, raining?  Why do I feel so tired? Am I really napping?!

I could blame it on Vegas, and most people would understand that – or on how I just recently wrapped my 8 month season of coaching.  Maybe it is the high of winning and the inevitable release that follows.  Or it could be the training… yep I’ve been doing more than usual…

But I know the truth.  I could notice how my circumstances might affect me, but I don’t believe that energy is a limited resource.  Like the sleeplessness and lack of hunger that new love joyfully creates, energy comes from a fire within – a purpose.  And while I have achieved many goals this year, I feel like I’ve been evading making some decisions with intention.

The thing is that my life is amazing.  Truly it is.  Every single day this year I loved waking up, going to work and I loved being in the gym.  I couldn’t ask for a better roommate and my family is one in a million.  My relationship has changed and grown, giving me a chance to discover pieces of who I am and what I am made of.

And the thing that I’ve been struggling with, that I feel has sapped my energy, can be slotted into one simple question “What do you want to do”?

And I guess I am stumped by this question most because I feel like I have figured out a lot of important stuff this year –

I know who I want to be

  • somebody who is my word
  • who believes that anything is possible for anybody
  • wildly creative
  • committed to the health and wellbeing of myself and everyone around me
  • somebody who inspires others to live their dream

I also know what I want to create in my future:

  • A healthy body and mind
  • Success in beach volleyball
  • A job that I love and that allows me to use all of my talents
  • An amazing relationship that is exciting, challenging, unique and creative
  • A beautiful and blissfully happy family that contributes to making the world better

What I am missing is the details of this.  How do I do this? How much money do I want?  Where do I want to live?  Who do I want to live with? How will I be spending my days?

My friend just started writing a blog, and he truly inspired me to consider declaring what I want and letting the universe take it’s course.  The thing is that I’m not exactly sure how to figure out how to get to what I want.  I seem to get many amazing and unexpected opportunities, and it feels so easy that I wonder if I am letting life happen to me or if I am the driver. I know my starting point, I know my ending point, but it’s the stuff in between that I get confused about.  Do I look 10 years down the road and choose a job that gives me that future, or do I do what I love right now, and trust that will take me exactly where I need to go?  This isn’t a hypothetical question, by the way… I’m looking for insights and ideas, so please share!!

At the end of the day, the more I think about this stuff, the more I know in my gut that there is nothing to figure out.  Trying to figure life out is causing me to feel like a different person than I am.  I feel like this process has taken the spark out of me and I’ve been dragging my feet, rather than reacting to life’s unexpected gifts and ideas.  So in knowing this, and also having to make some decisions – what is the balance?  How do I decide what is right, and an even bigger question would be… is there such a thing as right?

And maybe, just maybe this has nothing to do with making a decision or figuring out some far out purpose.  Perhaps my life will just keep giving me what I need to learn something about myself that I haven’t discovered. And right now it feels like an enigma but as soon as I learn, it will all make sense.  What I have noticed, above all, is that whatever decision I have made in the past few years has always ended up being about self discovery.  And maybe that’s the whole point… more to come as I figure this one out 😉

I read a few quotes about decision that resonated with me and I’m going to post them- feel free to add any comments or email me about your thoughts!

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.  ~William James

A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one.  ~Rita Mae Brown

It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.  ~Roy Disney

You’ve got a lot of choices.  If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.  ~Steven D. Woodhull

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The thing about love is that we use one word to describe a million different feelings, a gamut of experiences, a choice, a goal, and a way of being.  We love ourselves, we love our friends, we love a joke, we are in love with our partner, and we love our hair…  It’s an action and a verb.  It’s permanent and it’s passing. It means a lot and it can mean a little.

And we wonder why we are confused about love.  Why when one person says that they love you, it means something different than when you do…

I’m one of those people that “love” love.  I feel like it’s the answer to the age-old question “what are we here for?”  I think that people find purpose in caring deeply about our planet, and there’s something about feeling so strongly for another human being that we risk being heartbroken.

And as I’m sitting here days before Valentines Day, where love is certainly in the air, I wonder what love truly means to me and how my perception of love has changed and developed through the years.  I mean, it has changed, hasn’t it?

I remember the first time I fell in love.  I was 19, and it was my first boyfriend in university.  I remember this sort of passionate, impatience to how I felt- we literally spent hours, days, and then weeks solid together.  I experienced my first fight, first makeup, first intimate moment, first “I love you”, first betrayal and first heartbreak.  I got it all in that relationship.  And I quickly after met the guy that would be my longest-term relationship so far.  4 years that finally ended in a bittersweet realization that we had outgrown each other.  Tears flowed on and off for months and I literally felt like I might not make it.  I felt physical pain, I questioned my decision, regretted it, then accepted it.  And he soon found somebody new, and 6 months later when he told me he was getting married, I relived it all once more.

I remember thinking “I will never feel like this again”, and meaning it.  I remember the moment- crystal clear, that I decided to never get hurt like that again and I haven’t.  I’ve played my game defensively since then.  Always careless at first in my excitement, “forgetting” the lesson I learned, and then when I noticed what was happening, I would  pull back just as fiercely.  The guys I have stayed with are the ones that were willing to deal with the dichotomy, and that would endlessly forgive my ambivalence.  Those guys, though unbelievable people, I’ve realized aren’t actually the right ones for me.

So now with that awareness has to come change.  If there isn’t change then it means I am operating with the same mindframe as a hurt 23 year old…

The coach I work with uses a quote “what’s in the way is the way” and I think it applies here.  The way to truly be in love is to put ourselves in a position to truly be hurt. For people that have had similar situations to me – every instinct will have us do what we’ve always done, and so it’s important to notice our instincts and feelings, but honour our commitment to changing.

So upon reflection about what love means to me and to answer my initial question – yes, it has changed.  For me, love used to be a feeling that I had.  I needed some way to describe the warmth, connection, and vulnerability that I felt.  Now, it’s changed a little.  It still describes that feeling but unlike a passing emotion, love for me is a choice to keep doing actions that cause me to feel love.  It means choosing to treat my partner with respect even when I’m frustrated, it means making sure people are taken care of and it means deciding not to pull back when I start to feel like I may get hurt.  And it’s the only way, in my opinion, for love to last a lifetime.  I let anger pass, sadness floats away, but love is what I’m committed to keeping.

So this Valentine’s Day I am going to remember how far I’ve come from the 23 year old who decided to be tough.  And maybe after the cinnamon hearts and chocolate truffles and sappy love songs, we can all take a moment to reflect about what love actually means to us and what we want our experience of it to be.  And then do it – put in into action… because at the end of the day, doesn’t Valentine’s Day always end with a little action anyways?  😉

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Rain is a Good Thing – Luke Bryan

My daddy spent his life lookin’ up at the sky
He’d cuss, kick the dust, sayin’ son it’s way too dry
It clouds up in the city, the weather man complains
But where I come from, rain is a good thing

Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey
Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky
Back roads are boggin’ up, my buddies pile up in my truck. We hunt our honeys down, we take ’em into town
Start washin’ all our worries down the drain
Rain is a good thing

Okay so anyone who knows me… and I mean really really knows me, knows that deep down, way down – I’m a country girl at heart.  I can two step with the best of em, I know what “boot scootin boogie” is, and i’ve had more than one long summer night listening to “fishin’ in the dark”.  I learned to shoot a gun in elementary school, know what 4-H is and I just can’t help but fall for a guy in a cowboy hat 😉

So when I heard Luke Bryan’s new song (above) I loved it.  It was simple, it was country cheesy (I mean, there was no talk about losing his wife, home and dog but still…), and it is true-  I mean, a little rain leads to a hot night out!  One thing (rain) creates another (corn, whisky), which results in a night ripping up the main street drag.

One of my best friends, Mae, is such a great example of this.  She’s been trying to find a job for about a year and because of that, has held off on a bunch of things that she wanted to do.  She kept waiting for the job to come in order to figure out the rest of her life but she totally had it backwards – this proving true when she spontaneously adopted a new puppy.  Literally as soon as actually followed her heart and got the puppy she’d been yearning for, she got a job offer.  Coincidence, maybe, but I doubt it.  There is something about doing what you feel is right, regardless of your circumstances, that I believe is the key to getting the circumstances you want.

Which is why I’m a bit at a loss right now.  I am waiting for my circumstances to come together to move forward.  It feels like the right thing to do… feels like the safe thing – almost like I’m waiting for a sign.  But I think what is instinctual is not necessarily the way it works, because I think that instinct is sometimes created by fear.  Maybe I need to move forward and choose something regardless of my circumstances,   and then the circumstances would present themselves.  Mae wanted a settled, financially secured life where she could have a home and a dog.  So she skipped the financially secure part and headed straight for the result… and life filled in the blanks.  Luke Bryan wanted a night out, so he appreciated the rain.  Seems unrelated but is it?

It really comes back to two stepping.  Do you choose that guy that doesn’t really know the dance steps? The one who you know is just trying not to F up the steps and lays his hand stiffly above the small of your back.  He tries to turn you but is so indirect that he just kind of pushes you and you hesitantly spin, missing the beat, almost stepping on his toes and ended up nose to nose and unsure how to get back into step?  Come on, you’ve ALL been there!!!  OR, do you just go with the guy who knows how to lead?  He may not be the man of your dreams, but the certainty of his steps allow you to get lost in the moment and just live  the dance.  You turn, you move together, you may spin once or one too many times, but at the end of it, you know you left it all on the dancefloor!  And you can then choose to dance with him again or not, but at least you know exactly what you are choosing cause you danced full out 🙂  With the other guy, it would probably take 5 dances to finally get some rhythm.  Not that either choice is bad, but my gut right now is that guy #2 is the best option for me.

Which in real life means that I need to just choose boldly my next step and see how life lines up to allow it to happen.  Because being unsure and “open” causes confusion and I never really know what I am choosing between.  So time to let it rain, and grow corn, and make the whisky.  Cause I like my men a little frisky 😉  [insert line about losing my house, my wife and my dog here]

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My story of miraculous healing is one that I’ve told very few people.  Maybe it’s because I think that it seems to “out there”, or maybe (and more likely), I still struggle to believe that it happened to me, because it doesn’t make sense and I can’t explain it at a physical level.

In April 2009 my 2nd pro beach season started.  The previous year my partner and I had been extremely successful and so we began the season ranked #1 in the AVP qualifier.  I had spent most of the offseason training like crazy for the big year I was predicting.  To take my game to the next level, I decided to throw out all of the training methods and principles that had taken me to this place, and replace them with a new training method that I believed had the potential to take me to the top.  Looking back on this choice, it seems crazy.  What I was doing was working but for some reason, I was worried it wasn’t enough.

So April rolled around, and our season was starting in two weeks.  I was nervous, excited, unsure, and even though I’d been training like crazy for 7 months, I didn’t really feel  quite ready.  I’m not sure what the missing link was, but I worked harder.  And harder.  Like that was the answer…  I worked so much one week that while in the gym I was doing a really tough workout and something happened in my body.  It wasn’t much just this sense that I wasn’t in control of it.  Like I had met exhaustion.  After what I thought was the end of a brutal workout, a coach gave me one more drill to do.  I remember having this total repulsion to doing it, which was so unlike me.  But I did it anyways, because I thought that’s what champions did.

It’s probably not too hard to figure out what happened next – and I finished the workout with such acute pain in my left foot that I went home and iced 3 times.  I woke up and did the same thing, and continued that regime of icing 6-8 times a day for the next 3 months.  Sure, I couldn’t walk for the first hour I was awake, but if I was just a little stronger, more committed, and more strict about my diet then it would all be okay, right?  I called my injury “a little plantar fasciitis” (based on my internet research) and struggled through three of the most painful and frustrating months of my life, quietly trying remedies like massage and acupuncture to heal myself.

I don’t think that anyone can ever understand what long term pain can do to a person’s sense of self and their happiness until they go through it.  It was a dark time for me, where I felt hopelessly alone, and I alienated myself from my coaches, partner, friends and family because I thought I had disappointed them.  I can honestly say that there was not one person that knew what I was going through.  To me, injury was weakness and I was doing everything I could to prevent looking that way, including continuing to train 9 times a week and play a tournament each weekend.

The following September, after I finally told my mom what was going on, she insisted I come home to see one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in the country, Dr. Jack Taunton.  I found out that I had so many tears in my plantar fascia that the doctors stopped counting after 20– my plantar fascia had literally been tearing itself apart and was 3x the width it should have been as a result of my continuing to play on it. After getting that news, for the first time I allowed myself to truly feel the pain, the numbing, the throbbing in my foot and I cried for hours.  Less because of the diagnosis- although of course I knew that my life was about to change significantly.  There was this feeling of relief, that there was finally truth around this whole situation that really impacted me.  In finding out the truth, I had freedom to be honest about what happened last season, and in some small way, it gave me the opportunity to stopped blaming myself.

This all being said, with the removal of the blame I had put onto myself for having such a rough season, I replaced it with this belief that I deserved the injury.  I got very adamant that I SHOULD have gone to a doctor, SHOULD have taken time off at the beginning, and SHOULDN’T have changed my training program.  And I believed that because I had done so much damage, the path to health would be a long and steep one.  I bought into the prognosis.  I was injured.  I owned being injured like it was my name – I’m Leah, and I’m injured.  And I kept saying it and saying it – mostly to describe why I was back home in Vancouver, why my season had sucked and why I didn’t know what was next.  Because as soon as I said it I was off the hook and people “understood”.  It really gave me an opportunity to step back and just let life take me… and take me it did.

I underwent a new therapy called Prolotherapy starting in October.  It’s a painful injection of glucose into the site of the tears that stimulates inflammation and healing.  By February I had gone through 4 injections and had only a little bit of improvement.  I was frustrated a really resigned to the fact that nothing was working.  Then, things changed.  On March 1st, one day after the closing ceremonies for the Olympics (and, for the record, a 3 week Olympic sized walk/dance/stairclimbing fest), I woke up unable to move my foot.  It was totally numb to the touch, and I could feel nerve damage through the bottom of it.  It was the worst it had ever been and within a week I had a new diagnosis – I had retorn it completely, and had also compressed all of the nerve endings in my foot.  I was back at square one.

I’m not sure how to describe the next 24 hours except that it was the closest to depression that I think I am capable of getting to.   By myself I cried, yelled, blamed, fought.  And when it was all over, I just laid there, in nothingness.  It was as if every feeling had been used up and this extreme peace came over me.  In this peace, I began creating.  I imagined how health would feel, what it looked like, who I had to be to have it.  I got this really strong image of a sparkling white light, regenerating and healing my body with every breath in.  It was so clear that it felt real, like I was pulling it in from an outside source.

For the next four weeks I was a ghost to the people in my life.  I had one thing on my mind, and it was regeneration.  Every movement I made I was connected to the feeling of health, every morsel of food I put into my mouth, I imagined giving my body energy to heal, and during workouts, I would picture breathing in white sparkling light that would restore my foot back to health.  I can barely remember those four weeks because I was totally in the zone.  Nothing could faze me as I was on a mission – and I wasn’t attached to a specific result, just who I wanted to be in the process, and what I wanted to feel like.  My joy came from noticing what I was able to do in a workout, knowing I had a team of doctors enrolled in my recovery, in finding moments and opportunities to help my body heal just a little bit easier.  I had a newfound appreciation and love for myself, and I spent most of the day feeling very grateful.  Especially for the experience of being injured, as crazy as that sounds.  I decided and completely believed that I was lucky to have gotten injured.  It caused me to take a step back to reflect on why I play volleyball, to have the opportunity to take care of myself (because this injury was just a symptom of me not taking care of myself on a larger scale), and to truly connect with others once again.

I knew that no matter what happened or when I would be healed, I would be okay.  And then, at about five weeks, I realized something.  I hadn’t felt pain in a while.  In fact, I couldn’t even say when the last time was, as I hadn’t been paying attention to that, I had been paying attention to the process and had been so busy creating the feeling of health that I didn’t realize that it was already present! A week later I went to the doctor for an ultrasound and injection, and was shocked to read an email later in the day from Dr.Taunton “there are no visible signs of a tear”.  I read and reread it over and over. In six weeks I had completely healed my foot.  The impossible was possible.

I think that this quote signifies why my injury continued to persist for as long as it did…

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.”

Fulton Oursler

The second I let go of the past, and let go of the future, and just totally engaged myself in the moment… in what I could do right NOW, I was healed.  Was it the white light I imagined, or the massage, or the physio?  That had something to do with it for sure, but the truth as I know it is that it was about being okay with what is.  There was no other way than the way it was, and I appreciated that and worked with it.  At the end of the day, it’s about gratitude.  True, complete gratitude for whatever life brings us.  Because in accepting it all, a path is created where anything is possible.

The Guest House:

This being human is a guest-house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

Who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you

out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

–Rumi, “The Guest House”

Translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne

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