Every Thursday night for the past four weeks, I have left the comforts of my home, strapped on my shin guards and headed out to join a very athletic group of women for a competitive game of soccer. And every Friday morning, I am nursing a new injury.
Today was no different. After pulling a calf muscle in last night’s game, I am now hobbling around on a cane, asking why I continue to do this to myself. Feeling every minute of my 46 years, I feel like quitting. I feel like conceding to the little voice in my head that says “give it up, you can’t do this, you are too old.”
Why do I feel the need to pursue new interests, especially ones that are causing me such pain. I was perfectly content to sit at home night after night, sipping on a well-chilled martini, content to hide out from the dangers that lurked outside my comfort zone.
Indulging myself in self –pity, and contemplating the desire to return to the safety of my old habits, I heard a second voice in my head. A voice that seems to be growing louder and louder all the time saying, “don’t give up, you can do this, you are not too old.” And somewhere deep within I am reminded that I have a choice. It’s up to me to decide which voice to listen to, which words to hear. After all, they are only words. Words that have no power until I give it to them.
So maybe I’m not the next Mia Hamm, and maybe it will take me longer to get my body ready for the grueling demands of competitive sports, but I refuse to give power to the voice that says I can’t. Armed with determination and perseverance, (and ace bandages, Advil and maybe some crutches), I will return to that soccer field just as soon as I can walk again.