The Hardest Part

Derek Edamura

July 1, 2016

This is the hardest part.  It’s one thing to finally wake up from surgery, open your eyes to see what used to be a pretty good looking leg, now triple the size, wrapped endlessly in ace bandage, secured by a brace that looks more suited for a construction project than a gumby knee like mine.  It is painfully obvious the road ahead is not a short city street, but a long endless Texas highway.  But if I can be honest, there is a considerable amount of comfort in those long highways.  In knowing the work ahead, having a schedule, and understanding that marginal gains over the course or 6-9 months will be the most important thing.

It’s another to get to the day where the question is asked, “Am I ready?"  A fork in the road is not particularly comforting.  On the one hand, I know I am ready to play now.  On the other hand, I am ready to play now, I think?  When do you really know, how can you tell? Am I ready today or is tomorrow when I am ready? All the signs point to yes as far as I can see-- physically I feel strong, functionally I am there, all the positive doctors notes, the “eye test” (I actually look like a soccer player on the field and not a baby giraffe on skates), and my wealth of knowledge in this area (I am not bragging, I know way more than I want to).  I am fast approaching that day; basically it's here.  It’s all here.  My first practices are here, my first game with the Reign will be here very shortly, and soon after that first game back with the Gals, then the biggest sporting event in the world, the Olympics. 

I suppose this is that thing we call gut feeling? How comforting.  As I sit here writing, I have to chuckle to myself a little. I am not sure why exactly, probably because I’m nervous.  But it’s a different kind of nervous.  Not the nerves of uncertainty or lack of preparation.  More like pre-game nerves with jitters of excitement and confidence. And who knows, I might make the team or I might not, but one thing I'm sure-- I'm ready to play again. 




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  • Love this blog because it is so much my story in the late 80’s as a competitive softball player. I too tore my ACL clear off the bone as well as my MCL. I know the painful recovery. I did it in 6 months and I was back on the field and I remember having to will me left leg to move again on balls hit to my left at 3rd base. My leg didn’t react normally. I had to really work hard to get the leg to move going left. It worried me a lot because playing 3rd base is very much based on quick reflexes. I know what you are going through and am rooting you on!

    • Gina Klewin
  • Been there, 3 times now, with ACL reconstruction / recovery back to sport and life. Indeed a journey, and indeed you get anxious when you’re near the end of the rehab road. Confidence grows like a tree – seemingly slow at first but those roots get growing and holdfast, your branches and leaves will be all that much more superlative and supple. Know that you will and you will know that you’ve arrived. Luck to you and the Gals!

    • k.d.
  • I’m wishing you good luck in the Olympics and getting back in the game. I’m 15 and tore my ACL, lateral meniscus, and sprained my MCL this May so I know how you’ve felt. The timing is bad so I can’t play soccer this fall but I’m so excited for you in the Olympics. Good luck and lots of prayers?

    • V.S.
  • I would like to wish you all the strength through focus and determination that an athlete needs to battle to be on the field. As a former college softball athlete with many obstacles to stay on the field, it’s a true gut check of mind and will power to push through adversity. Your goal is already accomplished(to get back out there), now the heart overpowers the rest. For the love of the game!

    • J.B. (Texas)
  • Wishing you all the best! We will be following with best wishes and encouragement! You CAN do it!

    • JoAnne. (Sera's Auntie)