The text said, “call me”.
Instantly, I knew something wasn’t right. I figured it wasn’t anything tragic, but bad news nonetheless. I called my wife, who told me she was on her way to our son’s school. Mason had broken his wrist while playing soccer in PE.
Now, kids break limbs daily. With three kids, this wasn’t our first rodeo, and we knew he would be fine. I did feel terrible for Mason though. His soccer season had just started, and he loves soccer right now. He is the goalie for his soccer team, and he spends hours practicing. This past weekend, he played a shutout game, and he was so excited to get back out there and play some more. Except now, in a freak injury, his season is over. There are worse things in life than breaking a wrist for sure, but things are relative, especially for a twelve-year-old boy.
I know Mason will take this setback well, but there is still frustration and pain to deal with. So, it got me thinking….
People deal with injuries all the time. Athletes get hurt every game. It seems like we are always reading about players out for 4-6 weeks or out for the season. These athletes live for that sport. How frustrating must it be to train for so long, only to lose your season to a random injury? And then there are all the difficulties and disappointments that happen off the field to us non-athletes.
So, how do we cope? Here are three truths to remember and to cheer up with.
1. It Could Be Worse
As I said, a broken wrist is far from the worst thing that can happen to someone. Actually, on a scale of 1-100 of pain and issues, it’s probably a three. Not to celebrate that someone else has it worse, but it’s a good opportunity to be grateful for your own good luck. Get a positive mindset, someway, anyway.
2. Now, You Have Extra Time
My son now has an extra 15 hours per week that he’s not using to play soccer—so, what can he do with the time? Maybe he’ll use some of that to read? Wishful thinking, but, hey, you never know. Or maybe he can spend more time with friends, or helping his sisters, or maybe he’ll come up with something else. The point is that time is not usually to your advantage, so if you lose an important project or activity, you can probably find all kinds of other things to fill your time. Take advantage of that opportunity.
3. When You Get It Back, Cherish It
When things are going well, it’s easy to take things for granted. You can spend your time complaining about things that are not ideal, and not notice everything that’s going right. A short-term setback is your reminder of how good you have it most of the time. When my son gets back out on the field next year, he’ll appreciate it all the more.
Injuries are bad. Being sidelined for any reason is bad. But there are ways to make the most of it. Remembering that can help–even if just a little bit.
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