June 24

On June 24, likely at around the same time as England are getting knocked out of the World Cup, I’ll be having knee surgery…again.

A brief summary of events. I originally tore my ACL last January, had surgery two months later, rehabbed, re-injured myself in October, and had another operation in January that landed me in a Zimmer splint for almost a month. The most recent operation didn’t actually involve any ligament replacement, which is what the next one’s all about. I’ll be off for another three or so weeks. And then I’ll start rehabbing in earnest yet again, focusing in particular on turning my upper legs into miniature tree trunks (recently I managed to squat 200 lbs, which isn’t bad when you consider that one of my legs is totally structurally compromised). I still haven’t decided whether I’ll play soccer again. My recent forays into soccer coaching–which was to have included the Soccer for Life certification course until it was cancelled at the very last minute–is largely a matter of interest, but it’s also a tactic acknowledgement that my playing days might be over. My surgeon dismissed that suggestion, but the point remains that I’ll be very apprehensive if/when I next set foot on a playing field. Remember, I re-injured myself three shifts into my first game back; put slightly differently I’ll be absolutely terrified if I ever play again. I do, however, plan on skiing again: I can’t let my final memory of downhill skiing be a meat wagon ride.

Once again my surgery’s been conveniently scheduled around a major sporting competition (and in case you’re wondering this was actually 100% unintended; I didn’t realize I’d done it till weeks later, and besides, when it comes to ACL replacements you take whatever you’re given, Olympics or World Cups be damned). Until then I’ll continue practicing the ascetic life. I want to squat 300 lbs before going under the knife and losing most of my leg strength. Again.

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