I moved to Texas in 2006. A year later, my daughter’s soccer coach, a very likeable friend, talked me into playing with her on a women’s over 40 league. Despite my husband’s warnings, I played one season in the fall of 2007. Now, I wish I never did that.
I started playing soccer in fourth grade and continued through my freshman year in college when I played center halfback for Hollins College. In 1989, I started rock climbing and spent my twenties adventuring outdoors. I never hurt myself playing soccer back in the day, but I do remember having sore feet and that the trainers used to tape my feet and ankles before games. I thought I’d be able to play again and just be careful not to get hurt.
During one of the games, I rolled my right ankle running full speed, heard and felt a crack, and fell to the ground in pain. I put on someone else’s ankle brace and tried to finish the game but couldn’t. I limped around for a few weeks and then saw a doctor who put me in a brace and then a boot. An MRI showed a partial tear, but it healed on its own after a few months.
BUT, that injury led to a cascade of other injuries that have changed my life completely.
*tore cartilege in my right knee December 2007 while in the walking boot for the torn ankle (had surgery to fix that)
*rolled my right ankle again in April 2009 doing high kicks with my then high school aged daughter who was trying out for varsity drill team
*two surgeries on the right ankle to fix the torn ATFL (all the way off the bone) and tendons in the back on both sides) in August and December 2009 (and in the December surgery, they also fixed my torn cartilege again in my right knee because it tore again from walking around in the walking boot).
*tore cartilege again in my right knee putting on shoes (had another surgery to fix that in September 2011).
The first and last time I tore my knee, it was the kind of tear where my leg was locked in the bent position until they could get me in for surgery. I never had lower back pain until I hurt my ankle the first time playing that one season of adult soccer. As soon as I hurt my ankle, it was a chain of events, one after the next, and now I have had two ankle surgeries and five knee surgeries on my right leg. I still walk with a little limp and have a handicapped parking sticker because I can’t walk very far without pain. I don’t do any more outdoor sports or ball sports. I don’t run anymore, and I don’t jump anymore. I miss being more active, but I am still thankful I can get around and am in relatively good health.
But I sure wish I didn’t play that one season of soccer because I was able to do a whole lot more activities before I hurt myself.