As co-captain of one of my soccer teams, I’m in charge of sending out the evites for the games to everyone on the team. Which means I’m in charge of harassing people every week until they RSVP yes or no. As my teammates would probably tell you, I’m actually quite good at the harassing part.
What really grinds my gears though is when people RSVP yes and then change it to no at the last possible moment. Tonight was the last game of the season and 3 days ago we had 14 yes RSVPs. One of my teammates had offered to get us some subs, but I was a little hesitant because I didn’t want too many people. I really should have learned by now that it doesn’t matter if you have two dozen people on the roster, you’re never going to have 14 show up to the same game. Apparently it’s a rule.
I did end up telling my teammate to ask the extra subs to come, but it was too late. Still, 14 is a pretty good number. Then last night two people changed theirs to no because of illness. Okay, I can accept that. I wasn’t happy because it was two of our best players, including our captain, but I understood. We still had 12, meaning at least one sub.
On my way to the game I was looking up the address of the field on the evite when suddenly the number 10 jumped right out at me. Meaning two people, knowing we were short, had changed their yes to no within hours of the game. Seriously? I understand that soccer isn’t the most important thing in your world, but have some consideration for your teammates and give us a little warning before you bail.
So I was in a less-than-stellar mood while putting on my gear on the sidelines, especially since we didn’t even yet have the seven players required to play. As I’ve said before, I could put my soccer stuff on with my eyes closed in a moving vehicle, but for some reason my ankle brace had ended up in a weird spot in my bag instead of the bottom part where I always keep all my really smelly stuff quarantined. So while my mind was racing through possibilities and considering the fact that we as of yet had no goalie, my hands reached for the brace, didn’t find it, and moved on to the next step.
Just as the game was starting I realized I wasn’t wearing my brace. But since we only had seven players, stepping off the field wasn’t really an option. Still, I remember saying “If something bad happens to my ankle I’m blaming the people who didn’t show up.” Yeah. Probably shouldn’t have said that.
From the very first moment I felt so off balance without my brace. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I have really weak ankles. That tends to happen when you sprain each of them over a dozen times. So my brace is pretty key and without it my ankle felt completely naked. About 20 minutes into the game that bad feeling in my gut had developed into a flashing neon DANGER sign going off right in my face. It was apparently very distracting because all I was doing was jogging down the field, far away from the action, when I twisted my ankle and fell. Over absolutely nothing.
One of my teammates ran over and asked if I was okay and before I said “Yeah, but I’m going to have to get off the field,” I took a moment to mourn the good old days when my response would have been “Yeah, but I’m just going to lay here until my Dad comes to carry me off.” I never had to look, because if I was ever on the ground for more than two seconds, Dad knew. And he came running.
I’ve gotten pretty good at the assessing-while-limping-away thing though, and I knew pretty quickly that this one didn’t fit into the BAD category. More of the SLIGHTLY NOT GOOD one. Bright side, it provided me with the perfect opportunity to put on my brace. Once I did that the limping was way less pronounced and I was able to play the rest of the game. Which we won, so it was totally worth it.
The whole second half I could feel the ankle swelling a bit but the brace was keeping it pretty well in check. So much so that when I first got home and took a look, it seemed even more minor than I had thought. I had forgotten that swelling is kind of like my curly hair in the rain – one minute it’s fine, the next it has exploded into a giant ball of disaster. Thirty minutes after I took the brace off, I looked down and saw this:
I think I’m going to stick with my initial plan and blame the lame last-minute-RSVP-changing no shows.